1908 Hotel Hastings in Barnes County getting extreme makeover

For the past seven years, a family has been breathing new life into a Hastings landmark. Now Hotel Hastings is looking more like its original self.

The 1908 Hotel Hastings in Hastings, North Dakota, is getting an extreme makeover. Hastings is now home to about a dozen people. The owners of the hotel hope that once the hotel is renovated, Hotel Hastings will become a center for events and celebrations for families in the area.
Ryan Longnecker / WDAY News

HASTINGS, N.D. — Once a bustling Barnes County farm town, Hastings is now a peaceful place a dozen people call home.

Back in the early 1900s, the Hotel Hastings was a favorite of those taking the train to and from Fargo.

"They (passengers) were told (that) the hotel has good food and you can get a room at the hotel," said owner Will Pieper.

Will and his wife Stephanie have gone room-by-room, floor-by-floor, to begin the renovation and restoration of the 1908 Hotel Hastings. Electrical, plumbing, new roof, new foundation. Bringing this part of the past into a new day.

"Here is the original wiring, we are going to leave it," Will Pieper told us as he walked up a staircase.


"It is fun, it is interesting, it is frustrating, all of the above," owner Stephanie Pieper said.

The work is unending. The Piepers make a daily to-do list with chores; such as removing 100 years worth of wallpaper.

The couple said that some days it is hard to get work done. As word spreads that the couple is working on the hotel, families will stop with scrapbooks and photo albums detailing stories of the landmark.

"You are like, 'What?' and they will say their family lived here and they tell you stories. So obviously this means something to somebody else and we need to keep going," Will Pieper said.

Will Pieper spent decades in the service on multiple deployments. He said that remodeling this hotel is the type of change he needed.

"This is the getaway and the hub-bub of the war, when you sit here, (bird sound) it is quiet," Will Pieper said.

Once the nine hotel rooms are restored, the couple hopes to open and host special events.

"And a lot of people know this is a quiet little town and it is peaceful here," Will Pieper said.

Kevin Wallevand has been a Reporter at WDAY-TV since 1983. He is a native of Vining, Minnesota in Otter Tail County. His series and documentary work have brought him to Africa, Vietnam, Haiti, Kosovo, South America, Mongolia, Juarez,Mexico and the Middle East. He is an multiple Emmy and national Edward R. Murrow award recipient.

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