Nonprofit recognized for their efforts in restoring Winifred Hotel

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(ABC 6 News) – The Winifred hotel is a historic staple in the community of Northwood.

It was built over a century ago and remained in operations up until 2015 and some community members are working together to restore it.

“When you step up to that second and third levels, you are walking into a hotel that looks as it did when it was built in 1913.”

The historic Winifred hotel served as one of Iowa’s longest operating hotels.

As for the name, it’s the middle name of the daughter of the man who built the hotel.

For more than a century it was the only hotel within the city limits of Northwood.

“To be success, you needed to have a place for people to spend the night and stay in your town. That wasn’t just true back in 1913 that is still true over 100 years later today.”

Mary Reyerson-Lau is part of Waking Miss Winifred.

The nonprofit is a subsidiary of the Worth County Historic Society and was created with the goal of restoring and reopening the hotel.

“We have the original cigar case and we also have the original counter that you see in both of these pictures.”

The group purchased the property back in 2015 for $65,000.

To date, they’ve invested a quarter of a million dollars into restoring it.

All the funding came from donations, grants, and fundraising.

For many of those involved, the project felt personal.

“I grew up in this neighborhood and I remember when I was little we used to come for dinners here on Sunday afternoon and it was always a hotel.”

There’s still a lot of work left to do to bring the hotel back to its old glory.

They’re making progress and recently received the 2023 Carol Ahlgren memorial preservation award from the Jefferson Highway Association for their efforts.

They hope it will generate extra attention.

“It just keeps gives us that extra oomph that we need to know that the efforts are appreciated.”

The Waking Miss Winifred board will be presented with the award at the Winifred hotel tomorrow at 12 p.m.

Everyone is invited to attend as there will be free food and you’ll have the opportunity to tour the hotel.

To keep up with updates on the Winifred hotel click HERE.