Saturday, October 10, 2015


The #4 designated historic building featured and marked by The Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society is the Louis Deitrich Saloon which is located at 123 West George Street in Arcanum and was erected in 1894. This is presently the home of our historical society today. Lot 52 in the Gunder addition to Arcanum was originally the site of a crude pioneer dwelling inhabited in 1857-1862 by The Bartling Cabinet Wareroom and Undertaker. From 1862-1875, Christian Good was a cabinetmaker. Per the GJ 4/5/1894 we read “The old Peter Siler property was sold last week to a Mr. Deitrich of New Bremen, who proposed to erect a hotel theron.” “The Deitrich house is now completed and will soon be occupied.” GJ 9/27/1894. In six months’ time the house was completed and was the Deitrich saloon until 6/29/1899.

The building continued to be operational as saloons until 1907. Then it became the Casino Theatre for one months’ time followed by the Electric Theatre for one year. As many of the buildings in Arcanum, you will find that they housed a number of different type businesses. This building was no different as it also housed farm implements, the Arcanum Bottling Company, a City Hotel, Fisher Pianos, and then become the Beck Hotel which the building is known for. This was from 2/20/1919 – 5/27/1947. JoAnne Hill remembers being in the hotel as a young girl and there were movie magazines on the table and pictures of actors and actresses thumb-tacked on the walls. JoAnne added “my mother didn’t approve of the magazines”. According to the newspapers rooms rented for $1.00 and $1.50 in 1924. “Room and Board $8.00 a week” in 1930. The east side was three rooms at one time and now is one large room to accommodate our AWTHS programs and meetings. Hotel patrons were served a home style breakfast for a quarter of ham and eggs and a little trimmings. O. Wade Spangler, Chiropractor was here for two years and rented space in the back of the hotel. Then the Beck Hotel become more of a rooming house. Another guest was Dr. Dan Cox and family in 1947. Daughter Jean remembers staying in the front bedroom and watching people on the street pass by. This continued until 1/4/1963. At that time the Wayne Trail Grange bought the property and moved here in 5/16/1963. Voting was held here in 1966. We have many more stories about the Beck Hotel at the historical society as well as our digital files which contain the newspaper articles researched by Anita Short. These were typed by Nancy Baker and then Bill Gunder put them into digital files on the AWTHS laptop which is available for research by appointment. See our website for details.

The Wayne Trail Historical Society had begun meeting in March 2004. They were looking for a place to call their home. When the Wayne Trail Grange was put up for sale the society bought the property in 2004.

The house needed extensive work to restore it to its Victorian beauty. Members and volunteers spent countless hours working, stripping woodwork, finishing floors, taking down sagging wall paper, plastering and painting. Numerous donations and purchases of antiques, lights, rugs, and furniture pieces and cases have outfitted the rooms to make them attractive as well as functional for programs, touring, and displays. The porch was redone outside as well as point- tucking of the bricks. We also feature a military middle room and Vintage furnished kitchen will is serviceable.

Come visit and see the Louise Deitrich Saloon building, home of the Arcanum Wayne Trail Historical Society. We are open first Saturday of the month and by appointment. Our next program will be November 12 at 7pm. The house features artifacts from Arcanum and Southern Darke County along with a reference library to be used for research featuring two full cabinets and over 50 binders on various topics including newspaper clippings, photos, and family histories. A complete listing is available on our website at as well as news about upcoming events, current collections, contact information, and our AWTHS newsletters.

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