The Wamsutta House (later named The Emerson House) was a hotel that stood in downtown North Attleborough, Massachusetts from 1872 until it burned in 1918. But what if that had never happened, and The Emerson House was still standing today? How would the business adjust to changing times? What services would it provide in this modern era? What would its branding look like? This fun project combines a little history with a touch of creativity.


A booklet like the one above may be found in each hotel room for guests to learn about the history of the hotel and discover local restaurants and attractions in the area. The image above shows the booklet open to the first spread, which welcomes the reader and provides the following (mostly fictitious) story alongside actual photographs of the building and its employees:


North Attleborough, Massachusetts has a picturesque New England town center, with brick buildings, billowing American flags, and the bustle of pedestrians and traffic. It was as vibrant in the late 1800s as it is today, with ladies and gentlemen strolling the sidewalks, and the sounds of horses trotting along the cobblestone streets. The district attracted many visitors, who would eventually need a place to stay.

To fulfill that demand, The Union House was built at the corner of North Washington and Elm Street in 1860. Sadly, it succumbed to a fire two short years later in 1862. In its place came The Wamsutta House, which opened on March 1, 1872. By 1907, it was in the hands of Frank O. Emerson, who aptly renamed it The Emerson House.

At the time, the four-story hotel contained 75 rooms, including private suites with baths. A large dining room and an opera house served as the two main attractions for many of its guests.

At 5PM on January 3, 1918, a fire broke out in The Emerson House laundry room. Although the fire department was able to stop the flames from spreading to most of the building, the opera house was lost and the dining room was damaged in the blaze. Frank O. Emerson viewed this circumstance as an opportunity, rather than a setback. Rather than rebuilding the hotel exactly as before, he decided to put his own touches into the building. He expanded the dining room and relocated his Emerson Cafe from downtown Attleboro into the North Attleborough hotel. He also added a large ballroom in place of the opera house, which serves as our function room today.


As the oldest continually operating hotel in the area, The Emerson House is a place where guests can enjoy the charming qualities of a bygone era combined with modern conveniences and technology to ensure a comfortable stay.


The Emerson House’s visual identity combines the luxurious pairing of black and gold with a vintage aesthetic.


When Frank O. Emerson relocated the Emerson Cafe from downtown Attleboro into the North Attleborough hotel, it allowed the hotel to attract more patrons, particularly locals who may not have interest in an overnight stay.