“Cabin One again, please.”

Bedman’s Beach, 1908

When tourist families returned each year, close friendships developed with resort owners and their families.  Other returning vacationers would often reserve the same dates and resorts became the site for reunions as well as a vacations. One family probably holds the record for continued returns to the same resort. In 1932 Walt Anderson began coming to Bedman’s Beach Resort on Lake Ida, near Alexandria. He returned each year for at least 63 years. For over 40 years, he and his family stayed in the same cabin, Cabin One.

Bedman’s Beach was one of the state’s oldest resorts under continuous ownership. It dated back to when James and Elizabeth Bedman homesteaded the land. In 1880 they opened a camp, similar to a bed-and-breakfast, for fishermen arriving by train. After roads reached the Alexandria area it became Bedman’s Beach Resort, with C. J. C. Bedman and Son as proprietors. Harry Bedman, a great-grandson of James and Elizabeth Bedman, later operated the resort with his wife, Hilda. Mr. Bedman died in 1958. Mrs. Bedman passed away in 1973. Their son, Harry Jr., and Marylyn Bedman were the last to operate the resort. It closed in 1998.


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9 Responses to “Cabin One again, please.”

  1. Paula Tigerman says:

    Our family went to Bedman’s Beach with Kathleen Wilson Kelley’s family. Going through family pictures, after my mother’s death this June, brought back happy memories and stories about this special place in our lives!

    My husband and I have retired to Minnesota and are driving to Alexandria today.

  2. Kathleen Wilson Kelley says:

    My family (Joe & Margaret Wilson) and aunt/uncle (Grace & Jim Wilson) came to Bedman’s Beach every year for vacation when I was growing up. We also stayed in Cabin One, as well as the “big” cabin further down the lake. My Dad and Uncle Jim even considered buying a cabin at the far end of the resort at one time, they loved it there so much! My folks have been gone a long time now but I still have fond memories of vacations at Bedman’s Beach in Alexandria, MN.

  3. Walt Anderson Jr. says:

    Hi Jackie,
    I’m very happy to hear your father and Marilyn are still at Lake Ida and the Bedman family maintains their ties to the lake. Also, Cabin 1 is still standing. I am retiring from work end of this year and one item on my bucket list is to make a trip to Lake Ida and fish from a small boat with a 5 horse motor. Many thanks to your father and family for making Lake Ida a special place for our family and many others.
    Walt Jr.

  4. Walt Anderson Jr. says:

    I have many fond memories of Lake Ida as a young boy going there every summer for our family vacation, during which all activities revolved around the daily fishing schedule. I frequently google Bedman’s Beach and was surprised to find mention of my father and Cabin One. Do you have any information on Harry Bedman and what became of the resort? thanks.

    • admin says:

      Hello Walt,
      Nice to hear from someone who can relate to one of the resorts. You have probably found on my blog most of the information that I have on Bedman’s Beach. I have an early lakeside photo in the book and some other short descriptions for each decade from 1915 to the 1950s. Do you have any unique stories from your dad’s and family’s 60+ visits that might be passed on? Thanks for your interest.

      Ren Holland

      • Walt Anderson says:

        Hello Ren,

        I would like a copy of your book so will be looking forward to reading it some day.

        Your paragraphs for “Cabin One again, please”, are accurate. Returning families often picked the same week or so during the summer each year for vacation, made friends with other families, and especially the Bedman family. The vacation was a reunion of friends and family.

        I have many memories of Bedman’s Beach, Lake Ida, that are unique to my family and I, whether or not they are worth repeating as stories depends, I guess, on the storyteller. I will pass on one recollection of my father. His family in the early years of going to Lake Ida to fish, camped in tents on the north end of the Bedman property. Harry Bedman Jr, known to my family as “Bud”, frequented the campsite in the morning because he liked my grandmother’s pancakes, or so the story was told to me.

        63 years would be about right for my father’s time spent at Bedman’s Beach and during my lifetime, we stayed in Cabin One. He missed a couple of years during the war while stationed on the USS Haggard in the south pacific.

        I’ll stay in touch if you want.
        walt jr.

        • admin says:

          Hi Walt,
          Thanks for the story. Returning families had an impact on the resort owners, as well as vacationers. My parents named my youngest brother after a favorite guest from Iowa who returned to our resort each year for several years (not quite 63 though!)

    • Jackie (Bedman) Warfield says:

      Dad & Marilyn are still at the lake. Us kids and grandkids now use cabin one as the guest cottage. Most of the cabins are gone but the memories of everyone who was such a big part of our lives growing up at the resort remains. It is so fun to hear from old friends that we have lost touch with since the resort closed.

      • admin says:

        Nice to hear from you. I would sure like to see a photo of Cabin One. It must contain a lot of hidden memories of big fish, small children, and laughter.
        Ren Holland

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