Kettle Falls Hotel
Kettle Falls Hotel
|Nearest city||Island View, Minnesota|
|Area||8 acres (3.2 ha)|
|Part of||Kettle Falls Historic District (#78000376)|
|NRHP reference #||76000210|
|Added to NRHP||January 11, 1976|
The Kettle Falls Hotel is a hotel that was built beginning in 1910 in what is now Voyageurs National Park on the Kabetogama Peninsula, at the juncture of Namakan and Rainy Lakes. The hotel was built to replace temporary lodgings, accommodating dam workers, loggers and tourists, and was finally completed about 1913. The hotel is known for its uneven floors.
The site was first patented as a homestead in 1910 by Ida May Winslow. The property passed to Minneapolis surgeon Frederick A. Dunsmoor, who in turn sold the land to William E. "Big Ed" Rose, a timberman, in 1913. Rose is reputed to have built the north-south wing of the hotel in 1913. Rose sold his Kettle Falls holdings to Robert Sloan Williams in 1918 for $1000 and four barrels of whiskey. Williams operated a hotel and nightclub in Ranier, Minnesota, with the Kettle Falls Hotel as a sideline. Williams had a number of run-ins with the law, charged with selling illegal whiskey in Ranier and Kettle Falls, and later operated stills and a smuggling operation. The hotel was electrified by 1935. An annex, called the "big house," was built behind the hotel in 1946. Bob Williams died in 1956; his widow Lil and step-son Charlie and his wife Blanche continued to run the hotel. Lil Williams died in 1961. The National Park Service acquired the hotel from the Williams family, who continued to operate it, in 1976. The hotel was extensively renovated in 1986-87.
The Kettle Falls Hotel is part of the Kettle Falls Historic District, which includes the surrounding neighborhood and the dam at the falls. The hotel was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on January 11, 1976. The hotel is the only lodging in Voyageurs National Park, and is accessible only by water.