Ann Arbor in Washtenaw County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
The Staeblers and the Germania/American Hotel
In 1885 Michael Staebler, a successful farmer from a pioneer German family west of town, constructed this building as the Germania Hotel. Balls, lectures, musical programs, and meetings of the Germania Society were held on the third floor. Staebler later added a fourth story and renamed the building the American Hotel.
He set his sons up in business. Albert managed the hotel and Edward ran a bicycle shop and coal business. The large box shown above in front of the store displayed different grades of coal. A third son, Fred, ran a grocery store across the street. Next door to the hotel, Heinzman and Son offered cash to local farmers for hides and furs.
Top image caption:
German-owned stores, West Washington Street, ca. 1890
Top left inset caption:
The hotel bar was in the middle storefront between the bicycle/coal shop and the corner lobby. Michael Staebler is the man with the beard.
Top right inset caption:
Michael Staebler and son Albert stand behind the desk of the corner lobby. The buggy driver who met passenger trains is seated at right. The hotel's dining
Bottom image captions:
In 1914 Fred Staebler (far left) presides over the Staebler & Co. grocery at 120 West Washington Street, which replaced the family coal yard. The L-shaped store (later the popular Old German restaurant) had a side entrance on Ashley with one of the first gas pumps in town. As the town's first automobile dealers, Staebler & Sons sold Timotos and then Toledo Steamers — first out of the former coal office on Washington and later out of what had been the hotel dining room on Ashley. On the right Edward Staebler drives a Toledo Steamer. Staebler-Kempf Oil Company eventually had a chain of 65 gas stations throughout the county.
Sponsored by Friends of the Ann Arbor German-American Community
Photos courtesy of the Bentley Historical Library
Erected by Ann Arbor Historical Foundation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 42° 16.826′ N, 83° 44.982′ W. Marker is in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in Washtenaw County. Marker is at the intersection of South Ashley Street and West Washington Street, on the left when traveling south on South Ashley Street. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Germans on Ashley Street (here, next to this marker); Three Generations of Metzgers on Washington Street (within shouting distance of this marker); From Horses to Cars: Early Autos, Service and Parts (within shouting distance of this marker); Industry and Recreation on Allen Creek (within shouting distance of this marker); The Ann Arbor Railroad (within shouting distance of this marker); Allen Creek Valley Shapes the Town (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); From Interurbans to Buses (about 400 feet away); Ann Arbor's New "Streamlined" Bus Depot (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Ann Arbor.
Also see . . . Germania Hotel, 1885. More information about the Staeblers, the hotel, and subsequent owners and uses of the building on the Ann Arbor District Library's website. Also includes a photo of the building. (Submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 21, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 69 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on September 20, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.