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"History of Eau Claire County Wisconsin, 1914, Past and Present"

Chapter  40 - Hotels of Eau Claire

The Hart House

(-as transcribed from page 551)

The Hart House occupied the property later purchased for the Y. M. C. A. building. In 1857 Shaw and Huntington had a hardware store at this location and later Thomas E. Randall, in partnership with Peter Hart, used the premises for a flour and feed store. In 1869 Mr. Hart turned the store into a boarding house, which was called the American House.

On April 21, 1875, a fire swept away the American House as well as the entire block. Mr. Hart rebuilt and his business prospered. In 1879 he purchased from William Newton a portion of the old Eau Claire House and moved it to his own premises and after remodeling changed the name to the Hart House. The portion of the building standing at the corner of Eau Claire and Farwell streets was a brick with the wooden addition painted white with green blinds extending south along Farwell street. Mr. Hart continued the business until his death and the estate conducted it for several years thereafter. The property was sold in 1911 and the buildings demolished. The Y. M. C. A. building now occupies the premises.

Peter Hart was one of the first aldermen from the Second Ward and a prominent and much respected citizen. His death occurred April 17, 1900.

The American Sketch Book, published in 1874, contains the following statement: "During the summer of 1845, S. S. McCann built a log house on the site where the American House now stands, into which he moved his family." In another article on the history of Eau Claire a statement is made that this house erected by Mr. McCann was the first building in Eau Claire.

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