The Merchant/Pelham Hotel

The Pelham HotelThe railroad was coming to Shakopee in the mid 1860s. Knowing this, Anna Endres bought a lot facing the railroad tracks and had a hotel built to house the many immigrants that were expected to come by rail. The second floor had a dance hall and opera house, as well as a balcony.

In 1872 Jacob Thomas bought the hotel and called it the “Merchants Hotel.” An article stated that all the rooms had new furniture and a fire (stove?) in every room.

Mr. and Mrs. Michael Huss bought the hotel in 1916 and renamed it the Pelham Hotel. Originally the Pelham was in another building, but the business was moved to this building and the name followed.

In 1921 they sold the hotel to their daughter and son-in-law, John J. Cavanaugh. He had Fred Rolfs, a well-known carpenter, build an addition to the side of the hotel in 1924. It was also two stories and had running water, bath, and lights throughout.

There was a telephone booth in the office and the hotel was heated by steam. Mr. Cavanaugh was Mayor of Shakopee and held that office for a long while.

Mr. Cavanaugh sold the Pelham to Alex J. Stang in 1945. The hotel had 30 rooms at this time. Mr. Stang added a dining room and bar area.

In 1957 Ray Siebenaler bought the Pelham hotel. He took out the bar and made the area into an office. He owned a real estate and insurance business that moved into the new office.

The Pelham Hotel closed for business in 1985. It must have ceased hotel operations some years earlier, but until 1985 it served as an emergency shelter for homeless people. It was soon closed for fire code violations. The homeless paid $45.00 a week to live there.

The Pelham was on the National Register of Historic Places, and the owners wanted to fix it up for efficiency apartments, but that never happened and in 1987 it was razed. There is, however, a nice parking lot in place today.

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