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Bethel's attractive mountain setting, combined with its location far removed from Civil War battlefields, drew thousands of summer tourists to the community during the 1860s.
The town's popularity as a vacation destination is well illustrated by the fact that three large wooden hotels faced onto the village common while war raged to the south. The Chandler House (left), later named the Bethel House, and the Chapman House survived until 1911, when the former burned and the latter was razed. The Bethel Inn, opened in 1913 on the site of both hotels.
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