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Out of the attic: The Central Hotel

The Central Hotel was one of many hotels in the town of Cedar Springs during the early days of the village. It stood in the area where the Round Up bar and Gebhardt insurance are now located. It’s not known exactly when it was built, but it was a town landmark, and advertised as early as 1902 in a track and field day program. It was bought in 1905 by the J.M. Hart family, and they ran it for many years.

According to the Cedar Springs Story by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge, people recalled the hey-day of the hotel, “when buggies lined up for blocks, and guests from nearby towns waited to get inside for one of Mother Hart’s famous dinners.”

The hotel was destroyed in a fire on July 23, 1943. The fire burned three businesses and half a block on Main Street. The Central Hotel, Cedar Springs Cleaners and Mulford Lunchroom all perished in the blaze, at an estimated loss of $35,000. The hotel, operated at the time by George Oppenneer, suffered the heaviest loss at $25,000.

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