Property: Star Hotel, Dorchester, Wisconsin (1886 - 1894)


Contact: Jim Jantsch



Surnames: Koerner, Meyer, Hagen, Kurtz, Wieden, Schmitt, Kramer, Miller





The Star Hotel - 1886 to 1894: John Koerner purchased the property on August 2, 1886 for $600. Two months later in the fall of 1886, another large two story structure was erected and this time it was called “The Star Hotel”. The first story contained the bar area and tables where food could be served. At the west end of the first story was a large living quarters for the Koerner Family. A large kitchen in the living quarters also functioned as the place where food was prepared for the hotel patrons. A spacious dining room and fine parlor were also available to the patrons. An office was also located on the first floor to ensure that the numbers all added up. The second story contained 15 single rooms for over night stays and a wash area which contained a bathtub for removing even the most dense and penetrating dust the trail could offer. John Koerner was masterful at running a hotel but after eight years decided that his calling was that of running a saloon so he sold the Star Hotel and purchased another saloon down the street.


The Star Hotel - 1894 to 1895: Charles Meyer purchased the property on May 9, 1894 for $3600 but very quickly found that the saloon business was for somebody else. The Star Hotel - 1895 to 1902: Henry Hagen purchased the property on January 16, 1895 for $2300 and ran a successful business there for the next seven years. The Star Hotel - 1902 to 1914: Louis and Libbie Kurtz purchased the property on November 14, 1902 for $5200. During the time that the Kurtz’s owned the Star Hotel; William Wieden leased the business for almost the entire time from 1902 to 1911. Mr. Wieden’s son was running the roller mill and the saloon business was right up his alley. He was a great communicator and a very sociable fellow which is ideally suited for that business. The roller mill burned down in January of 1907 while Mr. Wieden was proprietor of the Star Hotel. On July 1, 1911, he moved to Marshfield and operated a hotel and saloon there. According to Cliff Herman, his dad Art worked for the Wiedens at the hotel and saloon that Mr. Wieden operated in Mansfield.


The Star Hotel - 1914 to 1920: John and Margarett Schmitt purchased the property on December 9, 1914 for $4600. In January of 1916, John established a general mercantile in the saloon area of the Star Hotel and operated that business along with the hotel. In June of 1920, John Schmitt leased the building to Ed Kramer who operated the general mercantile store there until 1930. John and Margarett continued to operate the hotel and livery stable. This location would not see another drink served across the bar until Pete Miller purchased the property in 1945.


In Front of the Star Hotel, Dorchester, Wis., 1901



On wagon: Al Sauter-left, Frank Skerbeck-right, Dr. Crane-standing. This picture was taken in 1901 on Front Street in front of the former "Dotties Rustic Inn".



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