DAWSON COUNTY HISTORICAL MUSEUM – Monthly Moment –

The Houston Hotel opened its doors in Gothenburg, Nebraska on May 2, 1891 on the corner of Winchell (now Lake Ave) and third streets. The building was first class in all its appointments, the rooms were large with high ceilings and well lighted. The principal entrance was in the center of the east front through a pair of doors opening into an office. Part of the office was designed as a reading room and was connected with the main room by a large open archway and was lighted by two large plate glass windows, 8 feet square with large transoms of stained glass above them. The dining room was directly to the rear of the office and was lighted by 8 windows. The room was the whole width of the building and received light from both sides, a feature not common in most large hotels. The staircase was of Queen Anne design. The Dawson County Museum currently has one of the Newell posts from the staircase on display. There were 15 guest rooms on the second floor along with a well-lighted and ventilated sitting room. The third floor was almost a duplicate of the second floor with rooms being the same style and size. The Hotel had a total of 35 guest rooms. The Houston Hotel played a large role in the early history of Gothenburg. Parties, banquets, and meetings were held in the dining room. Doctors, Statesmen, and even Spiritual Mediums held court in the meeting spaces. The dining room was a place where guest and townsfolk alike were found eating dinner. In December of 1891 there was even a Grand Ball held in the hotel. In later years the main floor was turned into apartments and the stained glass windows removed. By the time the hotel was gutted by a fire in 1979 there wasn’t much left from the original building.

 

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