Sunday, November 25, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: November 25

November 25, 1875 - The St. James Hotel in Red Wing, Minn., opened for business on Thanksgiving Day in 1875. Red Wing was the wheat-trading center of the world at that time, and 11 civic-minded businessmen recognized the need for a first-class lodging establishment and contributed $60,000 to its construction.

“On opening night, guests marveled at the hotel’s modern features, including steam heat, hot and cold running water, gas on every floor and a state-of-the-art kitchen.

“Overnight, the St. James became the hub of Red Wing. The first floor included three timeless dining rooms, a kitchen, office and baggage storage while the lower level featured a parlor, billiard hall, barbershop, public baths and four water closets. The second floor featured a ladies parlor, bridal suite and two ladies’ water closets. An elegant ballroom occupied the fourth floor.

“Located within walking distance from the Red Wing Depot and the steamboat docks, the hotel was booked to capacity every night with travelers and boarders. The St. James chefs developed such a renowned reputation that the railroad adjusted its timetables to allow passengers to disembark and enjoy dinners here. Luminaries such as President Rutherford B. Hayes were among the more famous guests."

Photos taken by Pamela J. Erickson. Released into the public domain October 12, 2012, 
as long as acknowledgement included.  


If you are interested in finding out more about your family history in Minnesota, I specialize in researching  genealogical and historical records in Minn. and western Wis., including:
census records,  birth records,  death certificates, obits, grave site photos, ship passenger lists, marriage records and declarations of intent/naturalization records.  I will visit locations to research local history and county records, as well as take photos. Quick turnaround on MNHS records. Both short searches and family history reports available.


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