Marshfield, February 1912: Changing hands
The Thomas House’s establishment in Marshfield and shifts in ownership
By Kris Leonhardt
The hotel came to fruition when Joseph Thomas remodeled his Travelers House in July of 1886. Offering a handsome supply of cigars, liquors, and rest for weary travelers and their equine companions, Thomas had found a lucrative business in the busy lumber town.
As the remodeling project came to a close, Marshfield residents watched as the Travelers House sign came down and a new one was raised in its place, christening the hotel as the Thomas House.
When fire destroyed the hotel just one year later, Thomas made plans for something bigger and better. Joining with neighboring businessmen William Noll and Fred Doll, Thomas began work on three lots of brick buildings ranging from two to three stories in size.
The new buildings with white brick edifices would join some 53 brick buildings and 100 residences rising above the landscape in the late months of 1887.
By November furniture was being assembled in the main 40-by-70-foot building. As Marshfield’s first three-story building, the hotel stood in grandeur at the corner of Central and Depot Streets.
The first floor of the building contained an office, saloon, a sample room, parlor, dining room that accommodated 50 diners, kitchen with pantry, laundry facility, and living rooms.
The second floor held 11 bedrooms and servants quarters. Fifteen rooms with two beds were available on the third floor.
The vast supply of lumber available at the time allowed Thomas to furnish the hotel in the finest walnut, ash, and cherry trimmings.
The hotel’s proximity to the Wisconsin Central Depot as well as the main thoroughfare into the city made it a prime location for business.
Thomas ran a successful lodging business, eventually turning it over to his daughter and son-in-law in 1889. The hotel was purchased by Frank Jadack in the summer of 1902, who hired E. Nelson, one of many landlords with the hope of returning the hotel to its former glory.
In February of 1912, the Thomas House would experience what most would see as the end of its presence in Marshfield, when Felix LaPoint purchased the hotel from Jadack’s wife. LaPoint remodeled the hotel in grand style and renamed it the Juneau Hotel.
The story of the Thomas House, however, would not end there. In the late 1990s, during the construction of Veteran’s Parkway, the hotel building would be repositioned to prevent the need for removal of the historic property. With new ownership, the building was restored and renewed. Today the Thomas House sits majestically on the corners of Central Avenue and Veterans Parkway, again welcoming all who enter Marshfield.