Jacob Weinhard came to Dayton in 1880 after an apprenticeship with his uncle, Henry Weinhard at the Weinhard Brewery in Portland. Establishing the Jacob Weinhard Brewery in Dayton, he bought a partnership in a small existing brewery. By 1883, he was sole owner and began building his local empire. During the next decade he expanded the existing brewery and built a malt house with an outdoor German beer garden for the summer.
In 1890, he constructed the Weinhard Hotel building to house the Weinhard Lodge Hall & Saloon. When the saloon opened, the newspaper called it "perhaps the finest in the State of Washington, and we doubt if there is anything of the kind to surpass it on the Pacific Coast". The interior was covered with murals of scenes depicting the Northwest.
In 1904, Jacob built an Opera House on Main Street in Dayton which operated as the Weinhard Theater until 1916 when it burned. In 1907, he built a large Victorian house overlooking Dayton which he called "Hohenstaufen". This home has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Over the years many changes came to the Weinhard Building. The Weinhard Lodge Hall remained, but use was discontinued in 1963. When the Weinhard Hotel was created in 1994, the elements of the lodge hall were used throughout, thus retaining the architectural heritage of the building. The wainscoting, doors, moldings and hardware were all recycled from the lodge hall creating the Weinhard Hotel. Great care has been taken so that each guest has the comforts of the twenty-first century while at the same time experiencing the flavors of the past.