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Item or Series Title Hotel Kerns Fire Collection
Catalog Number 2015-05-005
Description The Hotel Kerns Fire collection contains materials from both before and after the fire. Business papers include a variety of documents from 1904 to 1947 relating to the running of the hotel and the management of the corporations assets after its destruction. A limited number of documents in the collection deal with the Kerns family's legal matters. Notes and a fire report map are included, as are images of the hotel before the fire. Initial correspondence regarding claims against the hotel and request
for the payment of medical bills are included. Information on inquests and lawsuits makes up a large portion of the collection and primarily consists of court transcripts and witness testimony from legal actions taken after the hotel fire. Finally, a small number of booklets containing information hotel law and hotel fires are included.

The Hotel Kerns was built in 1909 by William G. Kerns. The hotel cost $50,000 to build and was the first hotel in the state of Michigan that had running ice water in every one of its 162 rooms. Located in the 100 block of N. Grand Ave., the hotel’s location and amenities made the Kerns popular with legislators
and community groups. In January of 1922 the women’s club Zonta held their first meeting at the Kerns. The Kerns also served as the bus station for the city of Lansing until 1932. Known not only as a ‘fun place to stay’ because of the rollicking bar that was at the hotel, the Kerns also had a popular cafeteria
where busy workers and travelers could stop by for a quick meal. The hotel caught fire just after 5am on December 11, 1934 and by 7:30 that morning the outer walls of the Hotel Kerns had collapsed and the fire was contained. The cause of the fire was identified as a discarded cigarette. Numerous people were
injured in the fire and thirty-four people were killed. Five of the bodies were never identified.
Old ID Number 20502
Collection Title Hotel Kerns Fire Collection
Creator Unknown
Dates of Creation 1904-1947
Year Range from 1904
Year Range to 1947
Object Name Fonds
Copyright Information Capital Area District Libraries makes no representation that it is the owner of the copyright in any published material. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain permission to publish from the owner of the copyright.
People and Organizations Kerns Family
Kerns, Willliam G.
Kerns Hotel
Search Terms Fire
Hotels
Lansing (Mich.)
Legal proceedings
Containers Articles of Incorporation
Hotel Kerns Stock Certificates
Auto Body Company Stock Certificates
Board and Stock Holder Meeting Minutes
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers
Business Papers (1 of 2)
Business Papers (2 of 2)
Business Papers
Business Papers
Photographs
Kerns Family Legal Documents
Notes
Fire Report Map
Statement at Hospitals (1 of 2)
Statement at Hospitals (2 of 2)
Claims Correspondence
Transcripts H. Kerns and R. Dibble
Transcripts (1 of 2)
Transcripts (2 of 2)
Transcripts (1 of 2)
Transcripts (2 of 2)
Transcripts (1 of 2)
Transcripts (2 of 2)
Transcripts (1 of 2)
Transcripts (2 of 2)
Minnie Armier versus
Harriet Byrnes versus
William Glover versus
Della Gunn versus
Oren Leidlein versus
Harry Levine versus
Besie Millard versus
Norman Pearlstein versus
Elroy Sias versus
Trust Company of Chicago versus
Meta Wooden versus (1 of 2)
Meta Wooden versus (2 of 2)
Harriet Goodwine versus
Goodwine versus Hotel Kerns
Goodwine versus Hotel Kerns
Silverberg versus Hotel Kerns
Silverberg versus Hotel Kerns
Silverberg versus Hotel Kerns
Silverberg versus Hotel Kerns
Shepherd versus Hotel Kerns
Shepherd versus Hotel Kerns
Shepherd versus Hotel Kerns
Shepherd versus Hotel Kerns
Hotel Law and Hotel Fires