A listener recently left a voicemail asking, "Was Rochester's Kahler Hotel also a hospital?" The topic had been discussed on Spotted In Rochester and no firm conclusion had been reached. So what's the fact check say, Jack!?

Troy Dunken
Troy Dunken
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Was the Kahler Hotel A Hospital for Mayo Clinic?

The short answer is yes. There are many sources, but why not take the Kahler Hotel's word for it. From their website -

"In 1921, Kahler Grand Hotel started as...The Kahler Hotel. This unusual building was a hybrid, one of its kind. The eleven-floor structure not only offered services of an upscale hotel but also was the beginnings of the Mayo Clinic Hospital, originally called "The Sanatorium."

Six floors of the building were used for the hotel, and five floors for hospital services, including three operating rooms and laboratories.

Kahler Hotel Lobby - 1940 (MNHS)
Kahler Hotel Lobby- 1940 (MNHS)
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The Kahler Hotel was designed following John H. Kahler's unique way of providing hospitality. It was a triple plan: a 210-bed hospital with operating suites for oral, plastic, and general surgery; a 150-bed convalescent unit; and a 220-room hotel.

In 1953, hospital functions were phased out of The Kahler Hotel. The Kahler Corporation sold its hospital holdings, including Colonial Hospital, The Worrall, and Kahler Hall nurses' home, to the newly expanded Methodist Hospital."

By the way, the original cost of the Kahler Hotel? Over $1.75 million dollars. And those were 1921 dollars! That'd be $27,486,536.31 in 2022 dollars. According to this site, where I did the calculations, $1 dollar in 1921 is worth $15.71 dollars today. No wonder the Dollar Store raised their prices by 25 cents.

Brother's Mayo probably talking about the good old days, where they'd do surgery, and then sit in front of the Elizabethan Room's huge fireplace. Rabe
Brother's Mayo probably talking about the good old days, when they'd do surgery, and then sit in front of the Elizabethan Room's huge fireplace. Rabe
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There are stories of a morgue in the Kahler basement, but I could find nothing to back up that claim. And no pics of the hospital part of the Kahler.

Great So Kahler Was A Hospital, but Is It Haunted?

A few years ago we published this story...

Who is the spirit that haunts the Kahler Hotel in Rochester?

Her name is Hellen Voorhesse. She was originally from Chicago and came to the Mayo Clinic for a checkup in 1977, according to HauntedHouses.com. She was a wealthy lady who lost her husband. At this time, horse races were a huge deal and she spent a lot of her wealth on horses.

Kahler Hotel Haunted Rochester
Looking Very Haunted - Kahler Hotel Rochester (Aaron Galloway/Townsquare Media)
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So why is Hellen Voorhesse haunting the Kahler Hotel?

Well, she was murdered, but that wasn't found out until years after she disappeared. The website said she was last seen buying stuff at the Kahler gift shop after her check-up. As the story goes, she was going to turn in a gang for some illegal activity and they didn't want to get caught. Helen vanished and was never seen again.

Authorities were never able to find her body or any evidence that she was murdered. Keep reading The Story Behind Rochester's Kahler Hotel Ghost Haunting is Something Out of the Movies 

As always, if you have a comment, complaint, or concern about something I wrote here, please let me know: james.rabe@townsquaremedia.com

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Speaking of Haunted Places

Scroll as slowly as you dare! Bwahhahaaaaaa...

SCARY: 10 of The Most Haunted Places In Minnesota

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