Unlike some other Laura homesite towns, Pepin, Wisconsin, can boast two motels and assorted bed and breakfasts, so you may not want to look elsewhere. However, if the Laura stop is just part of your visit and you’re looking for a place to enjoy the views and relax you may consider staying in the next big town to the south, right on the other side of the Mississippi River in Minnesota. There are a variety of places to stay in Wabasha (setting of the movie Grumpy Old Men) including a chain motel with a pool, but if you want something with a little more old world charm Anderson House might be right for you.
Anderson House was built in 1856 as a hotel. It was the kind of hotel that even within living memory had the bathroom down the hall. This was the kind of hotel that Laura and Almanzo on their car trips might have stayed in. It was that kind of place full of period charm. It’s featured in both editions of The Little House Guidebook by William T. Anderson. One feature that it was especially known for was checking out cats for you to have in your room for the duration of your visit. It was even the subject of a picture book. How many places do you stay can say that? I’m glad I got to stay there twice during this period. Sadly it was no longer a sustainable model and with the economic downturn it closed its doors in 2009.
In 2011 the historic hotel was given a fresh start when it was purchased by local business owners, underwent some remodeling and reopened to the public. Sadly the restaurant is no longer part of the business, but an expanded retail space and conference style meeting area is.
Plan Your Visit
Anderson House is now part of a larger conglomeration of various properties to stay in near Lake Pepin.
According to their website: “The Historic Anderson House Hotel is a great place for a large family reunion and/or weddings. The staff has worked with large groups helping them get the right place to stay.” It’s right downtown in Historic Wabasha about a block from the Mississippi River. Even if you don’t plan to stay you can check out their giftshop for unique souvenirs of the area.
It is important to note that the guest rooms are on the second and third floors and an elevator is one update they haven’t made. Be prepared to carry your luggage up steps.
To make a reservation call 800-482-8188 or 651-565-3509 or book your room online.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.