Placeography:Featured place/2013-07

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Geneva Beach Resort, 105 Linden Avenue, Alexandria Minnesota

On July 20, 1883, the “Hotel Alexandria” opened on the south shore of Lake Geneva. The grand opening included a grand banquet and formal dance. The Alexandria Cornet Band furnished the music. A fine, new steamer carried excursion parties around the chain of lakes for 25 cents a round trip. A description of Lake Geneva from the Moorhead News in 1883: “We can leave our fruitful prairie valley and in a few hours’ time, at a small cost, go to one of the finest resorts that is afforded to any people. There we will find lakes of clear, blue, deep water, the banks of which are clothed with the timber of the primeval forest. These lakes afford as fine an opportunity for anglers as the most inveterate disciple of Isaak Walton need wish for. Pike, pickerel, bass, white and other fish await the opportunity of being caught. The bathing is good, the beaches are white, clear sand, and resemble the Atlantic beach. “This is a charming spot. The business man, whose system has become debilitated by close application and confinement, and whose tired brain that is ringing and buzzing with a sea of figures – discount, interests, profit and loss, margins, etc., - can here find a blissful peace, and free from care.” The hotel was sold in 1896 and renamed “Geneva Beach Hotel”. Daily rates were $2.00, but weekly rates were much less. Unfortunately, it was destroyed by fire in 1911, the day after the last of the summer guests had left. It was insured for $9,000. Two other resort hotels were built to replace the original building. A resort is still in business at this location.

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