Historic Cedarburg, WI Inn : Charming with Modern Amenities

Our historic Inn offers luxurious lodging near Milwaukee, WI. The Washington House Inn was Cedarburg, Wisconsin’s first inn, founded in 1846 by Conrad Horneffer. It is now home to 34 incredible guest rooms with beautiful original details, and offers modern luxuries like Whirlpool tubs and fireplaces, perfect for romantic getaways.

 

View of the Inn from the street

The History of Washington House Inn

Washington House Inn was founded in 1846 by Conrad Horneffer. Born in Germany in 1815, Horneffer emigrated to the United States in 1836 after learning the saddler’s trade. According to a book written about the city’s history, Horneffer came to Milwaukee in 1843 and fashioned the first leather trunk ever made there. He later settled in Cedarburg, built the Washington House and opened the first harness shop.

The original wooden structure was later replaced with the current Washington House Inn in 1886. This three story, cream city brick building operated as an inn until the 1920’s, when it was converted to retail stores, apartments and meeting rooms for the Knights of Columbus.

In 1983, the building was purchased and renovation began to convert the building back to an inn. After a complete overhaul, the inn reopened in 1984 with 15 rooms. 14 rooms were later added above the Chocolate Factory restaurant and Amy’s Candy Store. In 1994, the Schroeder House was purchased with five additional rooms added.

The History of Cedarburg, WI

The first recorded settler was Ludwig Groth (Rm 304’s namesake), who made his home on the banks of the creek in 1842. Two years later, Fredrick Hilgen (Rm 305’s namesake) and William Schroeder (Rm 205’s namesake) bought land from Groth and built a grist mill, which remains a prominent fixture of the Cedarburg Wisconsin skyline today. German and Irish immigrants were lured by the power-producing potential of Cedar Creek in the early 1840’s.

As Cedarburg grew and prospered, none of its original charm was lost. Thanks to careful preservation of the city’s original structures, the historic downtown looks much the same as it did a century ago. Cedarburg has two separate districts listed on the National Register of Historic Places, with more than 200 buildings of historical significance. These structures remain in use as shops, homes, museums, and of course our own beautiful, cream city brick Inn.

Almost one hundred and twenty buildings in the quaint downtown of Cedarburg have historic significance and are preserved with a great deal of pride for the community’s heritage. Each building has its own history, and visitors are welcome to explore the many buildings still in use as business establishments.

Fireplace in Room 212

The Namesakes of Our Rooms & Suites

Each room at our Cedarburg Wisconsin Inn is named after a settler. Click below to see the corresponding room of that local native.

Room 101 - Charles Wirth
Charles Wirth, an early Cedarburg merchant who built the Wirth Building. Visit Room...
Room 102 - Theodore Hartwig
Dr. Theodore Hartwig, Cedarburg’s first doctor who lived and practiced in the original Washington House. Visit Room...
Room 104 - Edward Blank
Edward Blank, served as the second postmaster of Cedarburg, in 1853. Visit Room...
Room 106 - Louisa Quade
Louisa Quade born in Cedarburg, opened a dress making establishment in 1866. Visit Room...
Room 108 - Charles Gottschalk
Charles Gottschalk operated the largest livery stable in the country. Visit Room...
Room 200 - William H. Horn
William H. Horn, was an early innkeeper at the Washington House. Visit Room...
Room 201 - F. Jaucke
E. Jaucke, a Washington House proprietor who built the current building in 1886. Visit Room...
Room 202 - Conrad C. Horneffer
Conrad C. Horneffer is recognized for his many contributions to Cedarburg’s early development. Visit Room...
Room 203 - Reuben Wells
Reuben Wells, an early settler who built the saw and grist mill on Cedar Creek. Visit Room...
Room 204 - Frederich Roebken
Frederich Roebken was the operator of the Wittenberg Woolen Mill. Visit Room...
Room 205 - William Schroeder
William Schroeder, the first postmaster and helped Frederich Hilgen build the Cedarburg grist mill. Visit Room...
Room 206 - John Weber
John Weber was the owner of the Cedarburg Brewery. Visit Room...
Room 207 - Henry Hentschel
Henry Hentschel, operated Hentschel & Jochem General Store. Visit Room...
Room 208 - Joseph Carley
Joseph Carley, an early blacksmith in Cedarburg. Visit Room...
Room 209 - Leopold Jochem
Leopold Jochem, operated the general store with Henry Hentschel in 1877. Visit Room...
Room 210 - Gerhard Wurthmann
Gerard Wurthmann, decorator and artist, an early Cedarburg sign painter. Visit Room...
Room 211 - C. W. Lehmann
C.W. Lehmann, operated Lehmann Bros. Hardware Store, now Beyer’s Coast to Coast. Visit Room...
Room 212 - Fred Asche
Fred Asche, stone mason and miller helped to build the only flouring mill powered by wind. Visit Room...
Room 213 - Edward H. Janssen
Edward H. Janssen, built Concordia Grist Mill & Turn Halle in Hamilton, first foreign born state office holder. Visit Room...
Room 214 - Hattie Wiesler
Hattie Wiesler, and her two sisters, were the cooks and bakers for the Wiesler Hotel. Visit Room...
Room 216 - John Roth
John Roth, master carpenter, native of Bavaria, built the first frame building in Cedarburg. Visit Room...
Room 218 - Emil Herziger
Emil Herziger, operated one of Cedarburg’s oldest butcher shops in 1875. Visit Room...
Room 220 - Mary A. Gannon
Mary Gannon, one of Cedarburg’s earliest teachers, was the first president of the Cedarburg Woman’s Club. Visit Room...
Room 222 - Dr. Frederick A. Luening
Dr. Frederick A. Luening, and his brother built the Grist Mill on Cedar Creek. Also practiced as a doctor. Visit Room...
Room 303 - Diedrich Wittenberg
Diedrich Wittenburg, builder and operator of the Wittenburg Woolen Mill. Visit Room...
Room 304 - Ludwig Groth
Ludwig Groth, and early landowner who held the plot for what is now downtown Cedarburg. Visit Room...
Room 305 - Frederich Hilgen
Frederich Hilgen, was the father and founder of Cedarburg. Visit Room...
Room 306 - John Armbruster
John Armbruster, was a Cedarburg jeweler and watchmaker. Visit Room...
Room 308 - C. Friederich Boerner
C Friedrich Boerner, was a pioneer farmer. Visit Room...
Room 1 - Gertrude Schroeder
Gertrude Schroeder, a teacher in Cedarburg, also wrote "Local Happenings" for the Newspaper. Visit Room...
Room 2 - Juergen Schroeder
Juergen Schroeder, built Schroeder House and ran the General Store located to the south of the house. Visit Room...
Room 3 - Adeline Lehman
Adeline Lehman, daughter of William and Agatha Schroeder, married to Conrad Lehman. Visit Room...
Room 4 - Ida Kuether
Ida Kuether, daughter of William and Agatha Schroeder, married to Mr. Kuether. Visit Room...
Room 5 - Norma Schliefer
Norma, daughter of William and Agatha Schroeder, lived in Victorian house North of Schroeder House. Visit Room...

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