Henry Fallert, Harrington businessman, built early hotel which is now city's Food Mart

 
Series: Harrington News | Story 45

September 5, 2019

Archival photo

The photo did not identify the two gentlemen pictured, but the sign in it reads "Dutch Henry's Place, Henry Fallert, proprietor." One could assume the gentlemen are Henry Fallert and his bartender, left, George Woods. Could any of our readers confirm that?

Little Brown Jug

"Ha, ha, ha, you and me, Little brown jug, don't I love thee." A local memorabilia collector brought a little brown jug into city hall last week which had the following words of advertisement on it, "Dutch Henry's Place. Harrington, Wash. Henry Fallert Proprietor." The tan/brown jug stood about 8 inches tall and its base was 6 inches in diameter.

Henry Fallert was born in Zell, Missouri in 1863 and came west as a young man of 24, working for others in various places in Lincoln County. In 1899, Fallert began settling down in Harrington where he was both a lodger and employee of VanNatter and Pelky, a large and spacious saloon on Third Street. By May, Fallert was recognized in local news as the owner of a busy little restaurant, the Up-To-Date, which he had hired Contractor Chisholm to paint in preparation for the summer season of business. When winter rolled in to the Harrington Wheat Belt in December, Fallert decided that he would go "back home" to Zell, Mo., for several months, as he had not been back there for 10 years. In March when he returned, he acknowledged the pleasant visits that he had with people in Missouri with connection in the Harrington area. He met Mr. Whiteman, a former carpenter of Harrington who plans to return to Harrington. He also met a brother of Jake Smith, the prosperous rancher living south of town and uncle of Mrs. Ollie Dobson. The winter in Missouri was mild this year. In 1902 Fallert was on the census, single, 39 and a bar tender.


Henry Fallert married the widow, Mrs. Mary Huber, in June 1904 who with her young son Ed came from Missouri. They were the parents of eight children: Eleanora, Charles, Rosella, Francis (died age 2 years), Katherine, Margaret, Emma and Francis. Most of the baptisms of their children were recorded locally in the St. Francis of Assisi ledgers. May 1904 is when George Wilson began hiring the contractor to build a saloon on the corner of Main and Third streets.

The business directory for Harrington in 1908 showed Henry Fallert as the proprietor of The Turf Exchange, recognized for its choice wines, liquors and cigars. The establishment necessitated having a full-time bartender, who in 1908 was George E. Woods. However, when Fallert took possession of Dutch Henry's Place, Woods continued in his employ, which occurred prior to the publication of the 1910 business directory. The record for the construction of Dutch Henry's Place has not been located. The 1905 fire map shows a structure (labeled saloon) on that corner of Third and Main, but did not disclose the name of the business. Just north of this saloon was a bandstand which was shown on the 1902 fire map without the building later identified as Dutch Henry's Place. Since the Turf Exchange was in the 1899 news, it is not likely that the two buildings were the same.

A search of the city records might identify which business the license was for: "At the council meeting held Tuesday evening Councilmen Gunning, Ochs and Talkington were present. The bond of Henry Fallert for a liquor license was accepted and the license granted. The Marshall was hired for another month. Billed on the water and general funds, to the amount of $686.67 were allowed." (Citizen: 11-08-1907)

"George Young and Kitt Brothers, who are harvesting the 'cold necessities' for summer time, have already delivered over 200 tons of ice to Henry Fallert, R. Brenchley & Co. and Geo. R. Wilson, and are now busy filling the ice house of Weisgerber & Long, and have others yet to supply. They are hauling the ice on bob sleds and the product of these freezing nights is from 6 to 11 inches in thickness and clear." (Citizen: 1-12-1912) "The cash register at Fallerts was looted Monday night and $167.30 was taken." (Citizen reprint: 3-08-1912)

"Sometime Monday night a runaway team and buggy made a bull's eye of Henry Fallert's saloon sign, which was completely demolished." (Citizen: 9-20-1912)

Fallert was subject to the same ailments as his peers, and Soap Lake was his medicine of choice. "Saloons Close. The two Harrington saloons closed their doors as saloons the first of the year in accordance with the state prohibition law. Mr. Henry Fallert is not in town at present, but has been at Soap Lake for some time trying to leave an attack of rheumatism in that vicinity. He has Mr. J.J. Schmitz in charge of his old saloon property and intends to conduct it as a pool room and sell soft drinks, cigars, tobaccos, etc. The saloon signs are to be taken down, the blinds lowered, and generally fitted to conform to the new business. Mr. George R. Wilson closed his saloon in accordance with the new law, but at present has not decided just what he will do. He owns a farm in this vicinity, but his future course is as yet undetermined." (Citizen: 1-07-1916)

Later that month Dutch Henry's Place was destroyed by fire in an inferno that destroyed the OK Barn owned by McInnis Bros., Public Service Station owned by W.H. Hart, the Quick Lunch owned by Lundquist along with Dutch Henry's Place. The fire raged and continued to threaten homes and the lumber company, but the Harrington Volunteer Fire Department was credited with saving the home of Prof. J.Q. Thomas and the lumber company. Valiant efforts were directed at containing the fire, and the firemen were thankful that the lumber company's snow-covered inventory saved their lot. Since the OK Barn was a functioning business, they lost a total of seven horses: A fancy driving team belonging to Will J. Green, a stallion belonging to Alex McInnis, a team belonging to Floyd Sirginson, and two horses that were boarded there while they were being treated by the veterinarian, Dr. H. Mawhinney.

Fallert's loss was estimated at $4,000 with $1,000 insurance on the building. No comments were reported regarding the contents. In April of 1916, Fallert let the contract for a new two-story building, the cost of which was estimated to be $9,000. That building stands today, Fallert's Hotel is now the home of Harrington Food Market. Henry died in 1925 at the age of 62, having faithfully served his family, church, and business. His widow managed the hotel and then sold it to Bart Schmitz.

Archival photo

An assortment of gentlemen march in the Fourth of July parade on Third Street.

 

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