The name "Calumet" is the one French fur traders gave to ceremonial pipes used by American Indians. The stone (pipestone) used to create these pipes is still quarried at the nearby Pipestone National Monument.
The first grand hotel was located one block north of the present structure, where the First National Bank now stands at the corner of 2nd St. N.W. and Hiawatha Avenue. The 60-room facility was built by the Close Brothers, English land agents, at a cost of $25,000. The wood and veneered brick structure was destroyed in two hours Dec. 15, 1886 by fire.
Townspeople wanted a grand hotel to serve the trains which were the lifeblood of the early community. Two bankers announced plans to build a new bank at the corner of Hiawatha Avenue and Main Street, the present Calumet location. It was decided to include the hotel with the bank and east and north doors would be for the hotel.
The new Calumet Hotel would include 50 rooms in three stories and cost $30,000. The Sioux Quartzite, the primary building stone, was taken from quarries at Jasper. Darker stone for trim came from quarries at nearby Pipestone. Construction began in the spring of 1887 on the 50x100-foot building. The grand opening was Thanksgiving Day in 1888.
In 1900 a large addition to the rear of the building was added. A slightly different color of stone shows where the addition starts. In 1913 work began on adding a fourth floor and 30 additional rooms.
In 1979 the hotel was purchased for $60,000 by Greg and Michael Hasara and a $3 million renovation/restoration began. The building was returned as much as possible to the looks of its original construction, but with modern conveniences added, and reopened Feb. 7, 1980.
In addition to the current 36 guest rooms (many furnished with antiques), there is also an elegant dining room, an old world lounge, and a basement pub. The lounge occupies what once was the bank, with the vault as the wine room.