meeme house inn project

In October, 2013 the Manitowoc County Historical Society, a private non-profit organization, purchased the Sessler's Meeme House Inn property to preserve and share the stories of the structures. The Meeme House Inn, and its outbuildings, will be
restored to its glory in 1915, under the ownership of Joe Schwartz. The historic structure will serve as in interactive living history museum, where visitors of all ages can be transported back in time and discover the Meeme House Inn, its livery, and poll house, in operation. 

Meeme House Inn, circa 1914

Meeme House Inn, circa 1914

Meeme house inn (ca 1855)

As immigrants came to Manitowoc County and roads become well traveled, stagecoach stops were built throughout the state. One of these stops, the Meeme House, still stands today.

Built around 1855, the Meeme House Inn was located along the Green Bay Road. It was built by farmer and new immigrant, Michael Herr. The typical rate was around $1 a day, which included supper, lodging, breakfast and feed and stabling for a team of horses. The building had several small overnight rooms, a tavern on the first floor and a large beautiful ballroom on the second. Voting also took place inside until a new poll house was built in 1900.

It has been said that during the Civil War a rally took place in the ballroom and the next day the Civil War volunteers walked to Manitowoc to join the unit. The Meeme House Inn was owned by the Herr family until 1906 when it was purchased by Peter DeGrott. DeGrott operated the Inn until 1909 when it was sold to Joe Schwartz. After Joe's death in 1947, his wife Minnie ran the tavern until 1955. The Meeme House Tavern was then passed on to their daughter Valeria and become well known as Sessler's Meeme House.

The Meeme House is similar to other stagecoach inns across Wisconsin including the Dousman Inn (Brookfield, 1843); the Hawks Inn (Delafield, 1846); the Wade House (Greenbush, 1850); and the Okauchee House (Okauchee, 1850-1851). The Meeme House Inn is the only site to have its original livery stable.

Livery Stable at original site, 2014

Livery Stable at original site, 2014

Poll House at original site, 2013

Poll House at original site, 2013

livery stable (ca 1855)

To the south of the Inn lies the livery barn, a 1 1/2 story, red, wooden building, whose gabled peaks lie parallel with the road. It is believed that this was the Inn's original livery stable and served to house stage teams. Several six-over-six pane windows suggest that several of these were taken from the Inn itself when replacements were made.

 

 

Poll house (1900)

The Town of Meeme polling house lies on the northern edge of the original Meeme property and was constructed by the previous proprietor, Joseph Schwartz, in 1900.

In October, 2013 the Manitowoc County Historical Society, a private non-profit organization, purchased the Sessler's Meeme House Inn property to preserve and share the stories of the structures. 

Preparing for relocation to MCHS, February 2017

Preparing for relocation to MCHS, February 2017

Restoration

The Meeme House Inn will sustain its upkeep and needs with rental income and enhanced programing.  Curriculum plans are developed for youth and family overnight experiences as well as opportunities for formal rentals in the historic tavern and ballroom.

The restoration of the Meeme House Inn will follow 2 phases. The first phase will focus on the exterior. The Inn had 2
additional wings, which were not relocated with the structure. These sections will be added with new construction. One will house a restroom area, while the other will feature a 1900s kitchen and modern day kitchen. Windows will also be installed and siding placed around the structure to ensure its weather-proofing.

The second phase of the Inn’s restoration will focus on interior needs. This will include the tavern, dinning rooms, post office, and boarding rooms. Interior plans for the Meeme House Inn also include restrooms, archival storage space and an
emergency storm shelter.

 

Meeme House Inn_restoration layout.jpg
Meeme House Inn Ballroom Stage, 2013

Meeme House Inn Ballroom Stage, 2013

make a donation

You can bring the Meeme House Inn to new life. 

Download our Meeme House Inn Project brochure to learn how you can make a difference. 

Schwartz Family on Meeme House Inn porch, circa 1914

Schwartz Family on Meeme House Inn porch, circa 1914

True Believers

Please join us in thanking these generous donors who contributed gifts over $1,000 in support of campaign initiatives to purchase and relocate the Meeme House Inn, livery stable and poll house.

 

Leslie Goeke

Dale and Mary Krueger

Ruth St. John and John Dunham West Foundation, Inc.

 

Capt. Al and Diane Nelson      Charlie and Cheryl Bauer     
Dale and Sarah Hynek     David Kueter      Dennis Janda         

Don and Dolores Janda      Grace Peppard      Greg and Judy Goodchild     Greg and Sandy Sutter      Herman Balaban   

Hooper Foundation      Ione Kueter      James and Jane Watermolen     
Jeff and Kim Pahl      John Kumbalek      John Shimon

Lawrence Kueter         Lowe’s Home Improvement     
Mary Jeanne Censky     Michael Fredrich Charitable Foundation

Phyllis Hickmann        Richard and Lyn Hanke      
Richard and Marjorie Stolz      Rieck W. and Sandra L. Beiersdorf

Robert Schuh       Roman and Karyl Rommelfanger      
Romelle Rusch      Roslyn Kueter      Roy Luebke      

Service League of Manitowoc County      Tim and Ann Salutz     
Vernon and Eunice Hansen      William Stiefvater

Volunteers assisting in the Meeme House Inn, summer 2014

Volunteers assisting in the Meeme House Inn, summer 2014

#Meemeonthemove

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