Remembering the Archer House

Wondering about the history of the Archer House? You can read all about it in an article written by Susan Hvistendahl,

published by the Entertainment Guide in August 2011.  The Archer House

From the Community

From Barb Budd: 

H.T. (misprint in this article ) and Nellie (Ellen, given name) were my Great-Grandparents.

From Kathie Westlund:

A simple ‘Thank you’ seems to pale in comparison for the heroic efforts of all involved however a heartfelt THANK YOU for your dedication and very hard work!

From Dan Shellfree:

Your community is lucky to have such dedicated people serving the fire service for all these years. Dan Freeman former member!!!

From Ellyn Erickson:
This was in a room on the 3rd floor – on the river side, at the north end. .  I loved this arched window and this bench, when my husband and I stayed there in July, 2010 also!  
The rooms were very nice and clean!

From Carolyn Pierson:

I just felt compelled to snap this photo outside the Archer House during sunset on Wednesday – the evening before the fire. I was downtown for a chiropractor appointment across the street and when I saw the flags there with the sun setting I couldn’t resist taking a quick picture…. it’s more meaningful knowing the day it was taken. 

From Kathy Ness:

Early 1970s or late 1960s above. Early fall 2019 below.

From Michele Rae Thompson:

Was deeply saddened to awake this morning to the news about the Archer House fire. Although I haven’t lived in Northfield for over 40 years, I grew up there from the age of 11-until I went away to college at age 18. My mother still lives in the house we moved into back in 1969 – and where I actually moved back to for a year after college-so we have been back there MANY TIMES!! After 143 years as a strong presence in “downtown Northfield”, it is a GREAT LOSS — for the community and all those who “passed through” and ate/shopped/stayed there!!

The last two years, my cousin and her husband have been driving their daughter back/forth to Macalester College, and always stopped by Northfield to visit my mom – and they always stayed at the Archer House.  When I wrote her today about the fire my cousin Chandra was also deeply saddened….she sent me these two pics of her visit there in May 2019….one of her husband Jeff in front of the Archer House, and the other of my mother-her great aunt Peg in front of the porch…..

From Ellyn Erickson:  (Blaine  resident and Northfield fan! ) 

Picture from 2 weeks ago!   We stayed there Oct. 30-Nov. 1!   We enjoyed it – very comfortable, cozy and quiet!   We always like staying places where we can walk to dinner or shops!


From Kelly (Fast) Gasner:

 A few years back (ok, many years ago) when the hotel was then named the Stewart Hotel, I was able to help out and work the old hotel switchboard which was a great experience. 

I also enjoyed many years of campfires and parties with the members of the Jesse James gang as they met behind the hotel where they could relax and tie up their horses after the re-enactments. In those days we sometimes had local celebrities take part and for a few years “Donuts” from the radio station KS95 came to Northfield to be a member of the James Gang. Donuts had a room in the hotel and he had the tub iced down and well stocked with beer!                   
Those were great days and I cannot imagine not having this hotel in town.

From Makayla Seeley Korbel:

I’ve attached my favorite photo of the Archer House! I captured this on small business Saturday in 2017.

From Jen Rothmeyer:

 In early 2013 when my husband and I were searching for a town to live in, we scoured the metro area. His job was in Bloomington and we wanted to have a 30 minute or less commute that avoided any of the I-35 interchanges. Months went by and we couldn’t find a place that would feel like home. Meanwhile he was working in Bloomington and staying with family while I was living back in Iowa with our then-three children (one of whom was mere months old), going to graduate school full-time, and working as well. I begged him to find a place because I needed help raising our children.

He went for a drive and ended up in Northfield. He drove down the main street, called me, and told me excitedly about the river area and Archer House Inn and the two colleges. He started describing the parks and atmosphere of the town. Before the conversation was over, I told him I wanted to come up and visit and see for myself. He booked us a room at the Archer House Inn because he knew its historic nature would persuade me.                                         
We had a wonderful stay at the Archer House Inn and ate at the Tavern. I walked the halls with my children in tow and the staff were kind and thoughtful. The views of the river were entrancing. We bought a house in town months later and have lived here ever since.                                                   
Over the years I’ve walked the porch numerous times as I traversed downtown, been to visit the model trains during Winter Walk, eaten at the tavern or Smoqehouse, watched the river from its parking lot, or sat near the library and watched people as they walked the porch themselves. I’ll never forget the magic of the Inn when Winter Walk is here and it looms majestically against the dark snow-bitten and star-studded sky.
While the Archer House Inn hasn’t been the center of our life here in Northfield, it has most certainly been a heretofore-understated feature.


Doing Your Own Research? Check Out These Local History Resources


Northfield-Rice County Digital History Collection –

Rice County Historical Society –

Dakota County Historical Society –

Goodhue County Historical Society –

Minnesota Historical Society –

Minnesota Digital Library –

Minnesota Digital Newspaper Hub –

Ancestry –

Dalby Database –

The History of Rice County (1882 Version) –

The History of Rice and Steele Counties (1910 Version) –