"Old Hotel" was the pride of Clarion

This photo of the Clarion House shows that it was a busy place, and very nicely kept, close to 20 years after it was built. Photo courtesy of the Heartland Museum

For twenty years, the old, two-story white house at the corner of 1st Street SE and 5th Ave SE in Clarion was an eyesore. It became a source of complaint for the neighbors and eventually a problem by way of the squirrels, snakes, and raccoons that were its only occupants. It was called the old hotel or the Anderson house after its most recent owner.

But the old hotel was once the Clarion House, and 130 years ago, it was one of the most notable buildings in town. Built in 1881, for decades it was the social center of Clarion, a place where visitors stayed, where events were held, and where traveling doctors set up shop. 

It is believed that when the house was moved from the courthouse square to the south part of town in 1916, the third story under the old-fashioned Mansard roof was replaced with a simple farmhouse-style roof with a single dormer on the front. Without the characteristic roof and with the addition of an enclosed porch, it’s hard to tell from photos that it was even the same building, except for the angled southwest corner.


For the full story, see the October 19 edition of the Monitor, and for the conclusion, wait for the October 26 edition.