In recent weeks the history of hotels and hospitality in Elk River has been area of study. The primary focus centered around the Blanchett Hotel, also known as the Merchants Hotel, and the Riverside Hotel, also known as the Elk River Hotel. Now we are giving attention to a lesser known boardinghouse/hotel in Elk River.
As late as the 1950s, the hotel above Kemper Drugs was the Hamlet Hotel. Originally known as the Princeton Hotel, the space served more as a boardinghouse for long term residences, in contrast to the short stay hospitality of the Blanchett and the Riverside.
To locate each of the different hotels, this 1894 map has been brought out from the collections to help us visualize the area. The Riverside Hotel is located on the corner of King and Main. The Blanchett is located on the east side of Jackson (Princeton) and on the north west corner of Jackson (Princeton) is the Hamlet Hotel. The Great Northern Railway station was located across the street, directly north of the Merchants (aka Blanchett) Hotel.
An important detail to note: this map documented Elk River before the many devastating fires that encouraged business owners to relocate south of the railroad tracks.