The Hubbell House of Mantorville, Minnesota, began as a two-room 16 X 24 foot log cabin built to provide a rest stop for mail carriers and stage coaches on their journey west. Mainly a saloon, two guest rooms were available in the loft above.
A few years later, in 1856, the flow of travellers into the Western Frontier grew and a new inn was constructed of native limestone, three stories tall. Gas lamps and candles lit the inn and a barn was available behind for the equine guests.
As road-weary guests quenched their thirst in the saloon, stagecoach passengers, drivers, and mail carriers exchanged bloodcurdling tales of their adventures with Indians, wild animals, and weather on the Wild Frontier.
The first floor of Hubbell House, one of the oldest structures still in use in Minnesota, has been in continuous use for nearly 160 years.
Hubbell House has hosted famous visitors including two US Presidents (Ulysses S. Grant in 1876 and Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952), First Lady Lady Bird Johnson, and Iraqi President Jalal Talabani in 2007. Kind of surprising since it is located in Mantorville, a town of 1200. The day I was there, this car was displayed outside the inn, making me wonder if perhaps there were a few 1920s gangsters who signed the book as well!
In case you are wondering how the food is, I didn't eat there. I was dressed in bicycling clothes, and the maître d' was anything but welcoming when I even tried to look at the old photos in the lobby. When I got home I read some reviews to see what I had missed. Not much apparently! Lots of disappointed diners. Oh, well -- I suppose stage coach travellers weren't as picky as today's travellers.
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