PHOTO: Ransford Hotel, from a post card.


Headquarters Hotel, NP, our first, 1870

Brainerd has had an illustrious history of fine hotels...and lots of them! Much like most "boom" towns of the day, people were moving here faster than they could build residential housing, so the only lodging was in a hotel. Many business people worked right out of their room and the hotel lobby. Between the railroad's river crossing and the booming timber industry, there seemed to be no stop to Brainerd's growth.

On the site of the present-day Mid Town Center, then the SW corner of 6th. and Main St. (now Washington) this replaced the NP's Headquartes Hotel on nearly the same site (slightly NW of the second depot), built in 1889. Owned by Ransford Wise, it succumbed to fire on New year's Day, 1904. (Mr. Wise immediately replaced it a block south with The Ransford Hotel.)
Amazingly, this structure was brought to Brainerd, piece-by-piece, from its first location in ND, by R.R. Wise!
Destroyed by fire in 1904.



This was the first lodging in Brainerd, and built by the NPRR. It stood where the present day Mid Town Center stands, which was preceded by our last depot. (A moment of silence here, please!)

On the NE corner of Sixth and Front St., now a parking lot for the credit union. Built by Ransford R. Wise in 18??, condemned and razed in 19?? (early 70's?). See photo above.

Built in 1882, and destroyed by fire in 1887, this fine hotel praised as the most luxurious hotel north of St. Paul, was on the NW corner of Main St. (now Washington) and Sixth, or for the geographically-challenged, kitty-corner from the old concrete water tower.