Blaze engulfs Ortonville hotel built in 1892

  • Article by: PAUL WALSH , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 26, 2012 - 8:35 PM

The fire chief, a longtime resident, said Ortonville will miss the hotel's history.

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rocknrollfarOct. 26, 1212:02 PM

Good Times were had at the old Columbian Hotel on Coyote Thursdays. Put Ortonville on the map, that's for sure.

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openconceptOct. 26, 1212:24 PM

Sad to see this gone...the building was quite stunning in its day

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privateeyeOct. 26, 1212:39 PM

Wonder what the finances of the owners are and how much the building was insured for. We may not be hearing the end of this story.

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leekantenOct. 26, 12 1:57 PM

I grew up in that town and delivered the Minnepolis Star to a man who lived there. It was like walking into a 1940's movie set! And just last Friday night, while in town playing music, I sat on the veranda of the Columbian and watched the end of the day play out. Beautiful!

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openconceptOct. 26, 12 2:58 PM

Great comment leekanten! Never had the chance to go inside but grew up not far (30 miles) from Ortonville. Remember even as a kid I was struck by the beauty of the building. Shame that this is the second major building to burn down in Ortonville in the past year or so.

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tostentwoOct. 26, 12 6:33 PM

There's a story that it was the first hotel built by the Hilton's. I'm not kidding. Can anyone corroborate?

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tsnideOct. 26, 1210:19 PM

I lived in Ortonville for one year; about 5 months of it in a makeshift apartment in the back of the first floor of the Columbian. I wouldn't be typing this had this happened back then. I fell in love with the town in my short time there, and with that great old building. I'm deeply saddened, for the people of the town as well. Goodbye, old friend.

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lcr1955Oct. 27, 1212:41 AM

Is it possible that someone with close connections to the owner of the Columbian intentionally started the fire so they could collect insurance money??? Something to ponder.........

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