Berne Local

Berne Town Hall

In 1866 the home of James Patten, a merchant stood on this site. Just to the west was the Upper Hotel, built in 1824 by Daniel Simmons for use as a hotel, tavern and store. In the 1850s it was owned by William Reinhart, and was one of Berne’s three hotels.


From Memories of Berne, Days Gone By, by Helen M Lounsbury: “A large trough carved from a pine tree marked it. The trough was kept full of small minnows to be used by parties that went to the lake after pickerel. A huge pump made out of a log supplied the water from a well under the sign. Innkeeper Reinhardt, always red faced, smiled a welcome to the weary passengers as they brushed off the dust of the day’s journey. His son, Little Pete, who weighed in at over 200 lbs., hastily waved his two white shoats out of the hotel yard. There were two good springs in the cellar. The hotel was famous for its buckwheat pancakes sausage and milk crullers. Other favorite foods for evening suppers included hot biscuits, smoked beef, sauerkraut, roulages (pickled tripe and beef), honey and other delicacies.”


Both the Patten home and the hotel, plus several others were destroyed in a spectacular fire in the winter of 1914. Charles Wolford was hired to rebuild the hotel on this site and a barn to the rear. The hotel also had a tavern, and in the 1950´s served as a boarding house for teachers. In 1965 the large hotel barn, which was used to store town equipment, burned mysteriously on Holloween night. About 1960 the Town of Berne purchased the hotel for use as the Berne Town Hall, Library, Berne Museum, and Berne Historical Society Center.