The first structure built on this site was the Minnesota Haus, the first hotel in New Ulm, built in 1856 by Phillipp H. Gross. That early structure was destroyed and in 1860, on the same sight, Gross built the Union Hotel, a two and a half story frame building. The upper floor was used as a hall for dances and theatricals.
During the Dakota Conflict, the hotel was used as a hospital. The bodies of those who succumbed to wounds and disease were temporarily buried in the nearby dirt street. One of the attending physicians at the hotel site was William Mayo, father of William and Charles Mayo, who founded the Mayo Clinic.
In 1875 the Union Hotel was destroyed by fire. Again Gross rebuilt. This time he built a two story brick structure which, in subsequent years, was remodeled and expanded several times. The name of the hotel was changed to the "Grand" in 1899 and it continued in use as a hotel until 1970.
This plaque was placed here by the great-great-grandson of Phillipp H. Gross, Phillipp W. Gross, Jr.,1998.