The Little Town on the Prairie: Mead Hotel

This post is part of a series: A Virtual Tour of “The Little Town on the Prairie.” If you are new to the series and would like to start at the beginning of the tour, please click here! Little Town on the Prairie Virtual Tour

Mead Hotel

The spirit of frontier life was found in the Mead Hotel.  Railroad-grading crews, train crews and land seekers stayed at the Mead Hotel.  The Mead Hotel was probably the most active social center in the town and checkers was a favorite pastime for the lodgers and townspeople.

 The hotel was strewn with beds and the tick mattresses were stuffed with hay.  The pillows so tiny that it inspired someone to remark, ‘Say I’ve lost my pillow,’ and someone on the far side of the room to call back, ‘Look for it in your ear.’

The Mead Hotel once stood where the parking lot for Maynard’s Grocery Store is currently located.

Laura’s Connection to the Mead Hotel

“One day at school, a snowstorm suddenly arose. The teacher, Miss Garland, dismissed school. All the students held hands and headed for home. They struggled against the whirling wind and in the swirling snow they became lost. They had no idea where they were until Laura bumped into the corner of Mead’s Hotel. If she hadn’t recognized the building they may have walked blindly out into the endless prairie.” The Long Winter

Main Street Looking South 3 Front 1916

The Grand Hotel is shown in the lower right hand corner of this photo. It is the two story building with quite a few windows. This is the original Mead Hotel, next it became the Grand Hotel. There are no known photos of the building while it was named the Mead Hotel. 


3 comments on “The Little Town on the Prairie: Mead Hotel

  1. Ron Chan says:

    By any chance, is the Depot shown still standing, and does Milissa Gilbert ever come to your celebrations.

  2. Wonderful! I didn’t know you had a blog now. Thanks for posting!

  3. pmaghamfar says:

    I loved this little story. We were fortunate enough to visit De Smit and spent a fun afternoon touring the town and the Laura Ingalls Wilder home, the survey house and the cemetery. It was well worth the effort to drive the extra miles to De Smit, it’s one of my favorite memories.

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