Herman “Herm” and his wife, Elizabeth “Lizzy,” Johnson built Herm’s Inn in the early 1900’s. They lived upstairs, even after the inn transitioned to a gas station and general store with its well-known grill and diner. During this time, Herm’s Inn was surrounded by empty fields and farmland, so it was a person’s last, or first, chance to gas up before going through the canyon.
These were the days of the 1¢ candy bar and the 45¢ steak. Other items sold here were cigarettes, cigars, and Wyoming whiskey. However, it was during the time of Prohibition, so they had to keep this particular item secret. Herm was lucky to have a brother in the police department who would give the heads-up if the police were coming by to check for booze. Herm’s staff would simply take the whiskey over to the river bank, throw a tarp over it, and proceed to fish…at least that is how the story goes. They found old whiskey bottles in the basement during the renovation, so perhaps there is some truth to this legend. Herm’s closed its doors around 1948.
Now Herm’s Inn is located in the same building—one of Logan’s oldest—having been restored by Jim Laub. If you look around you will find the original “first chance” and “last chance” signs. The old gas pump by the entrance, while not the original, is believed to have come from the old gas station located next to the salt flats. Where you enter the restaurant today is where the people of a bygone era used to fill up their cars with 15¢ a gallon gasoline and stop in to enjoy great people and an even better meal.
Enjoy the rich history of Herm’s Inn as you “top off the tank” with your last chance for great food.