Meeme House Inn History

Meeme House Inn, circa 1930

Meeme House Inn, circa 1930

It all started when...

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 (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.

Polling 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.

n 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. 

 
Meeme House Inn, 2013

Meeme House Inn, 2013