The Resort Years
Pieper's Farm Resort
Pieper’s Farm Resort (pronounced “Peeper’s) was located approximately where Lakeshore Park is today. In 1880 Carl and Caroline Pieper, who had emigrated from Germany in the mid-1860’s, purchased a large piece of farm property from Adolphus Hamisch.
When the Piepers became owners, the only structure on the farm was a log cabin, but at some point (unknown) they built sleeping cottages along the lakeshore and started to take in “summer boarders”. All meals were eaten at the farm house. In addition to boarders from Minneapolis, many visitors came from Nebraska, and one of the cottages was named “Nebraska”.
In 1898, the Piepers transferred title of the property to their sons, Charles and Philip. Charles and Philip sold their property to James Nelson and William Evans in 1919. They mortgaged the property to Charles Smith, who foreclosed on the property in 1920. In 1921, J. E. Edwards, Joseph Kolesky and D. E. LaBell incorporated the business as Pieper’s Rustic Lodge but apparently Charles Smith continued to hold the mortgage. Smith sold the property to First Investment Company in 1924.
In 1924, Mr and Mrs H.C. Wilson purchased Pieper’s Rustic Lodge from the First Investment Company. The portion of the property they purchased consisted of the hotel, some of the cottages, and lakeshore. The hotel had 10 guest rooms, a large dining room, and rooms for the hired help. There was a large porch that was used by guests, a large living room, and living quarters for the Wilson family.
(continued Wilson's Independence Beach Resort)
Classified ad, Star-Tribune, July 5, 1912
Piepers staff in front of the farmhouse.
Credit: Maple Plain Museum
Cottages at Pieper's Farm Resort, 1909
Credit: Minnesota Historical Society
From society news, Minneapolis Journal, August 14, 1905