This large brass skeleton key would hurt if it was put in a pocket. On it can be seen “Hayth Hotel Fincastle VA 28.”
The key must have been to room 28. The Hayth Hotel was a large two-story white frame building with double porches along Roanoke Street across from the Botetourt County Courthouse. During the 1870s through the 1890s, this hotel was very famous. It was owned by William and then Bowyer Hayth. There were a large ballroom, bar, and shops carrying the latest millinery. It boasted a capacity of 150 guests, and banquets could be held in the dining room. Many guests stayed there to escape the hot summer months and mosquitoes further south. Some came from as far away as New Orleans. By the 1940’s it was no longer the hub of exciting activities and was converted into apartments. The 1800s Ledger used at the Hayth Hotel is also in the Botetourt History Museum in Fincastle.