160 Years of Local History
The Olde Heidelberg Restaurant & Tavern was built in 1860 by Heinrich Adam Müller, also known as Henry Miller. It was originally called 'The Great Western Hotel'. In its 160 years of history, it has served as a stagecoach stop, been affected by Prohibition, two world wars, and the introduction of the automobile, and welcomed guests from all over the world. Below are a few photos with stories from The Heidelberg's history.
Have an old photo of the Heidelberg that you would like to share with us? Give us a call or message us on Facebook! We always love to see old photos of the restaurant and hear stories from our patrons!
Click on each photo to see the full image and learn more.
This drawing depicts what the Heidelberg looked like in the 1880s. The right side of the image shows the large windows of the general store, which is where our main dining room stands today.
This photograph shows what the Heidelberg exterior looked like in the early 1900s.
This photo shows the Heidelberg in the 1990s. The Heidelberg Restaurant is in the heart of Mennonite country.
The Heidelberg Restaurant and Tavern began as a stage coach stop in 1860. This stage coach replica was modelled after the stage coach that resided in our parking lot for many years. It can be viewed in the dining room of the restaurant.
This wallpaper mural depicting a mountain scene was discovered behind the mirrors on the walls of the Heidelberg dining room in 2021. It had been covered by the mirrors for over 40 years. Unfortunately the wallpaper was too degraded to restore, but it remains an exciting glimpse into the past decoration of the interior of the building.
This mural, painted in 1983, spans one of the walls in the Heidelberg Restaurant dining room. It depicts the history of the Waterloo region, including a conestoga wagon and the Waterloo Pioneer Memorial Tower.
Heinrich Adam Müller built the Heidelberg in 1860. He called it "The Great Western Hotel." Photo from ancestry.com.
According to records, Heinrich Adam Mueller and his wife, Eva Marie Steiss, had 14 children. Photo from ancestry.com.
This document describes Heidelberg and lists the professions and businesses that existed at that time. The original builder, Heinrich Adam Müller, is listed as Henry Miller. Photo from ancestry.com.
In days long gone, men and women socialized in separate rooms at The Heidelberg.
Ozzie played piano at the Heidelberg Restaurant on Friday and Saturday nights for over 20 years, just a small fraction of the over 70 years he's been playing piano.
This postcard from the mid-1900s includes photos of what the Heidelberg Restaurant exterior and interior used to look like before the addition of the brewery in the 1980s.