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A hotel and a bank

At the turn of the 19th and 20th century Antoni Koliński, the owner, sold an empty area in Leszczyńska Street (later – The Holy Spirit Street, now – 1st May Street) to Edmund Czabajski. The latter one in 1908 built a stylish corner tenement house for his eldest son, Thomas, who opened The Czabajski Hotel with a tavern. The place soon became a meeting place for non-residents, and for local salesmen and traders it was a place of settling businesses. With time, it was nicknamed “a morning exchange place”. It is uncertain how long Tomasz Czabajski ran his business. It is known, however, that before the Great War the building was rented by Władysław Jezierski, the later owner of The Polonia Hotel. It operated, most probably, till 1918.

In 1919, Władysław Stachowski, the son-in-law of Tomasz Czabajski, a well-known collector, social activist and a regional enthusiast, moved in there with his wife. He almost immediately joined the management of the Loan Bank with the seat in the 1st May Street, No. 1. As a qualified banker he was one of the first experts in this institution. He held the position of the president, the director and a member of the management till 1955, and was regarded an excellent professional and a skilled organizer.

He carried on social activity in Gostyń on a vast scale. For instance, he was the chairman of the Gostyń unit of the “Sokół” (Eng. “Falcon”) organization, and an active member of the Association of People’s Reading Rooms. He belonged to the initiators of building The Gostyń Gimnasium (i.e. a lower secondary school in Gostyń), and he was the treasurer in the building committee. He was one of the founders of the Polish Drama Association of Aleksander Fredro’s Memorial “Fredreum” – soon renamed into the Polish Culture and Arts Association of A. Fredro’s Memorial. This association played an important role in the cultural life of Gostyń between the wars, conducting an amateur theatre, a rich library, and a successful lecturing and publishing activity. He was the initiator and an editor of a popular magazine “Kronika Gostyńska” (Eng. “The Chronicle of Gostyń”) for years, which was issued as an organ of “Fredreum” between 1928 – 1939. Thanks to the endeavors of W. Stachowski, this publishing house cooperated with numerous young regionalists and renown scholars. Stachowski himself was the author of multiple historical publications, based on source materials and iconographic materials.

In 1925 he opened a bookshop in that building, ran by his wife Lubomira, maiden name Czabajska. While living in his tenement house he organized a great museum there, putting a lot of effort into purchasing valuable exhibits, but also obtaining them thanks to donations and gifts. Władysław Stachowski’s collection was known all over Poland – almost all museum exhibit guides mentioned it. In 1945 the building became the seat of the Powiatowy Bank Spółdzielczy (Eng. District Cooperative Bank), but Władysław Stachowski lived there till the 60s of the 20th century. Today, the bank is the continuator of the Loan Society, set up in 1865.