Grand Hotels & Resorts

grand hotels header

For generations, the Alexandria lakes area served as a summer retreat for some of America’s most wealthy families including the Felders and Prathers of Texas, the Everetts, Jourdans and Cabanos of Missouri, the Speers and Powells of Illinois, and of course Minnesota’s own Mayo brothers of Rochester. Each June they would arrive via the Great Northern and Minneapolis St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie railroads, bringing with them luggage and trunks filled with silks and linens, formal dinner wear and European hats.

The trains stopped in Alexandria and their passengers were transported to the luxurious resort-hotels where they would be greeted with wide-eyed wonder and world-class service. Coming to Alexandria was a summer tradition, and arriving by rail was part of the allure.

For the next half-century, the Alexandria lakes area was defined by elegant resort-hotels featuring chauffeur quarters, American-plan meals, lawn tennis tournaments and lazy days at the lakes.

Generous support for this exhibit was provided by: 

Letson House
Virgil and Jeanne Batesole – current owners of the  Alexson Apartments, formerly the Letson House

Geneva Beach Hotel/Dickinson Inn
Carolyn and Tim Aarsvold – current owners of Geneva Beach Resort

Hotel Blake
Arrowwood Resort & Conference Center on Lake Darling 

Peters Sunset Beach Resort
The Peters’ Family – original owners of the resort, now in its fifth generation.