Our building has had a long and varied history. Built around the turn of the century by C.A. Lundstrom, it originally housed grain and feeds, extending back 3/4 of a block. There was an alfalfa seed business; later, it was the home of a dealership in Studebaker cars and Banner buggies. Then Mr. Lundstrom decided to convert the building to a hotel.
The architect planned thirty-two rooms, and a front facade of Spanish style stucco. This facade was not quite what the Lundstroms had in mind, but very much in step with the style of the day. In the course of construction, the 32 rooms were cut down to 16, to reduce expenditures, but provision was made for the addition of a third story if business warranted it. The eight rooms on the north were each equipped with a half-bath; the eight on the south had full baths.
Downstairs there was a coffee shop and a barber shop. Dr. W.W. Peterson had his dental office in the hotel. There was a shoe shining parlor (Harold Patrick managed this as a high school student) and a recreation room. This recreation room was at first somewhat controversial… it contained pool tables! Some religious people in town were dubious about the advisability of a pool hall, but Mr. Lundstrom at first kept control of it by asking a membership fee of $1.00 from each user. Later, the pool hall situation was reviewed and a city vote was held, and by a large margin it was decided to allow everyone over a certain age to use it.
Easter week was the busiest time in the early years. The soloists for the Messiah Festival at Bethany College came to stay, as well as audience members. This time was always very special in the life of Lindsborg and the Carlton Hotel. A local historian recalls a soprano soloist who walked into the recreation room and astounded everyone by not only playing pool, but winning every game she played! She was the envy of the whole town.
Later the hotel passed on to the ownership of Mr. and Mrs. Harry Carbiener, and subsequently was sold to Bethany College, which used it for many years as off-campus housing for Bethany College students.
The Inn was purchased in 1986 by Mr. and Mrs. Quintin Applequist and was completely restored and named the Swedish Country Inn. So the grand old building has come full circle. Today it again houses guests for the Messiah Festial as well as the many tourists who come to see the charming community of Lindsborg, Kansas. Current owner is Becky Anderson of Lindsborg.