A hotel was opened in Hersey on July 4, 1972 by HUMPHREY. It was called “The Hersey Hotel,” and was located where the NELSON Pool Hall now is. In the fall of 1872 Geo. PERRY took it over, followed by a Mrs. WATSON.
In March of 1876 Dr. Louis GOTTHELF managed it. He had an ad in a county paper stating he was prepared to entertain both man and beast in good style, as he had a first rate hotel and a fine stable. In October of 1878 he vacated and the next month the new landlords were D. POTTER and A. ALLIS. In the following spring, Mr. POTTER built an addition onto the stable. The hotel closed that winter and travelers were forced to go to the next town for lodging.
In 1880 Andrew BRIGGS came from Michigan and bought the establishment. He is the grandfather of Andrew ALLEN, former Brewster resident. In 1880, when the Depot name was changed to Brewster, the Hersey Hotel became the Brewster Hotel.
In 1884 BEATON’S were proprietors continuously with the exception of one year, until it closed January 5, 1903. D.V. LEES, prop. of the Park Hotel, directly across the street, leased it for an annex.
In the same year, George NELSON bought the Hotel property and began immediately to remodel it into a Pool Hall and Bowling Alley. P. REIFENBERGER did the carpenter work.
In 1893 the Park Hotel came into being, first as MEYERS, then as MEYERS and LEES. Farmers dinners were served for 25 cents. The “Brewster Tribune” of 1903 stated: “The Park Hotel has gotten so swelled up lately on account of the excellent service it has been giving, it bulged out of shape on the side toward the park. P. REIFENBERGER reduced the swelling and it is as good as new.”
Many oddities were remarked about in 1904 but the Park Hotel reported an interesting one. Mrs. MEYERS, co-owner, found at the age of 70 years that she was cutting a tooth, another record for the hotel. The Park Hotel was under the same proprietorship for 20 years. In 1912, Mrs. MEYERS, mother-in-law of Dave LEES, passed away. In 1913 A.W. CARE of Breckenridge bought the Hotel and in 1914 Mr. DOWE bought it. Mr. LEES managed it until 1914, when he and his family moved into the PINZ Store Building.
In 1910 plans were near completion to build a two-story hotel across the track, where Julia WEY lives, by Mr. John GILOMEN. He later abandoned the idea.
After the purchase of the Park Hotel in 1914 by Mr. DOWE, A. NORTON managed it and in 1915 it was rented by John ALBERTSON of Paullina, Iowa. The following year Harvey SAMPSON purchased and remodeled the building. A nice “lounge” or lobby we would call it, was put in. In those days it was called a “rest room,” a place where patrons and farmers wives, who were in town shopping, might come to sit and visit. The building had new rugs, curtains and furnishings. Mr. and Mrs. SAMPSON made a short stay, then went to Pipestone to run a hotel. The building was now owned by a Mr. KIES of Worthington. T.J. MCCALL ran the hotel until Mr. H.O. LEISTICO bought it. His first improvement was the installation of a steam furnace, he purchased from the old school building. Employees included in 1916, Louise MENKEN and Miss Margaret SCHMIDT; 1925, Mrs. WALKER, who later became Mrs. John WEY; 1931 Mrs. Julia LEOPOLD.
In 1919 due to a shortage of help only the dinner meal was served on Sundays.
In 1931 a fire at the hotel caused quite an excitement, when one room in the attic became smoke filled. A.L. WELLS then the fire chief used the chemical engine thus avoiding water damage.
In 1933 LEISTICO held a remodeling sale, selling all furniture at auction. The building was remodeled and redecorated.
In 1947 Mr. and Mrs. Leo SNYDER ran the hotel and in 1949 it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. E.W. STADHEIM of Hollandale, Minn. After Mr. STADHEIM’S death, Mrs. STADHEIM ran it until it was purchased by Bill and Morva WILDANGER in 1951.