In search of a better life for her family, a widow by the name of Anna Kurtz moved her family of eleven (a twelfth child had died) from Fingal, North Dakota to Richmond, Minnesota in October of 1926. The following spring the entrepreneurial spirit of the older Kurtz brothers put RIVERSIDE RESORT on the map as one of Minnesota’s earliest family vacation destinations.
In 1927 when the Kurtz brothers began the operation of RIVERSIDE RESORT, the resort’s rustic cottages offered no indoor plumbing, and furnishings were simple. Kerosene stoves we used for cooking and heating, and ice boxes provided the only means of refrigeration. Although accommodations were primitive, resort guests consistently found the trademarks of the family-oriented fishing and vacationing resort to be cleanliness and friendliness.
Because of other business ventures the operation and ownership of RIVERSIDE RESORT eventually fell into the capable hands of one particular Kurtz brother name Art. Art poured his heart and soul into the resort business, building and remodeling cottages until he could proudly advertise eight housekeeping rental cottages in 1940.
In November of 1943, a courageous young Montana school teacher named Evelyn Bell joined the resort partnership. This partnership not only managed a successful business together for twenty-five years, but also lovingly raised four children; Glenn, Elaine, Jeanette, and Florence. As Art’s wife, Evelyn became an integral part of the operation of RIVERSIDE RESORT, working alongside her husband until his death in April of 1969.
Evelyn was a deep woman of faith. Upon the realization that the only way she could continue the operation of the resort was to rely on the Lord’s guidance, she and her children dedicated RIVERSIDE RESORT to the Lord. In 1970, Evelyn began to offer interdenominational outdoor church services on Sunday’s, a God-honoring summer tradition which has continued into the twenty-first century.