Mt. Angel Hotel

History Meets Habitat

Dec. 10, 2018

The ground beneath our current Habitat home build is packed with history and a bit of mystery. Rewind more than a 100 years and the site was home to a bustling hotel, conveniently located near the train tracks that run through the heart of Mt. Angel.

All that’s left of that history, is a story and a half of the hotel expansion. No one knows for certain what happened to the original structure or that half a story that’s missing from the top of the remaining building, which is now a unique, single-family home that sits next to the Habitat construction site.

“I will find out,” said Bill Predeek of the Mt. Angel Historical Society. “It’s my quest. This building has always piqued my interest.”

In the early 1900s, the original four-room hotel was known as Frankfort Hall and it was built in the same spot where Habitat is now constructing a four-bedroom home for a single mother and her three young children. Frankfort Hall was later torn down and a larger structure was built in its place and named Hotel Mt. Angel. Under new ownership, two additions to the hotel were completed by 1918. Historic photographs show Hotel Mt. Angel before and after two substantial additions were built.

In a newspaper clipping from 1927, it’s described as having “25 sleeping rooms, a commodious dining room and other rooms, making it a capacious and well-arranged hotel.”

In the early 1930s, it’s believed to have been a hospital or nursing home, but then the history just disappears. There’s a gap between the 30s and now. Predeek plans to continue combing through old newspaper clippings until he figures out what happened.

“This was a very prominent place,” he said. “There were wedding receptions, everything took place here. You would think someone would remember what happened.”

The remaining portion of the hotel expansion, which is located on the south side of the current construction site, is now home to Amy and David Johnson. The couple purchased the home about 13 years ago. They had recently sold their house and wanted to find a property they could purchase with the cash made from that sale. David was on his way to Scotts Mills to look at a potential property when he got lost and ended up in Mt. Angel, Amy said.

“He calls me and I can still remember his excitement,” she said. “He goes ‘I just came upon this Bavarian village and I’ve seen a house that we need.’ He literally bought it without me seeing it.”

David admits that the home was a mess when they purchased it. They’ve spent the last several years making repairs and turning it into the cozy, one-of-a-kind space that it is today, filled with antiques. Dark wood ceilings and an exposed brick wall show the original character of the building.

“For me, being inside this house is like jumping back 100 years,” Predeek said. “Thinking about who was here and the conversations that took place here, it’s amazing.”

Amy said learning about the history comforted her since she wasn’t immediately sold on the house or its location, but now it’s the only place she wants to live.

“I love this house and it’s my last house,” she said. “I’m never moving from here.”

Both Amy and David said they’re excited about the Habitat house next door and what it will do for the neighborhood.


Story by Danielle Anderson, North Willamette Valley Habitat for Humanity

All historical photos courtesy of Mt. Angel Historical Society