Barnes County’s First Hotel

Perhaps the most popular place in the early village of Valley City was its one and only hotel, The Valley City Hotel.

Located on Third Avenue southeast just north of what was Green Valley Laundry, the hotel was for a time the center of all activity in the village.  Both the famous and the unknown stopped here and many an early settler spent his or her first night in Barnes County in this hotel.

The proprietors were Mr. and Mrs. Hanson and their two daughters, Fannie and Hulda.  Here one could get a full meal for twenty five cents and all the coffee one could drink.  While the rooms were small by today’s standards, they were as comfortable as the times allowed.

It was the noon dinner stops over for passengers on the Northern pacific before the dining car appeared on the railroad scene.  The depot at the time was located at the upper end of the street and the hotel was only a short walk away from the train as it stopped.

Somewhat later another hotel, the Sherman House, was built but its clients were mainly the commercial travelers and the Valley City Hotel remained the social center of the village.  Dances were held here as well as amateur play practices.

In April of 1880 the Sherman House which had been owned by Charley Hokanson, changed hands and in the same month the Valley city Hotel closed its doors due to the owners having decided to go farming.  The hotel did reopen but under other management in the fall and later the Hansons resumed the management.  However, with the building of several other small hotels and the famed Kindred Hotel in 1884 the Valley City Hotel passed out of existence.

As is usually the case, the building became a rooming house and was such for many years until it was torn down sometime in the 1950’sl  If its walls could have talked , the stories would have made good listening!

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