The house was originally owned and built by Colonel R.H. Hankinson in 1884. The house was then purchased by Max Wipperman after the death of R.H. Hankinson around 1929. After a few more owners, the house came under the ownership of husband and wife Marshall and Sandy Meyer.
The two have worked tirelessly to renovate the building and transform it into the bed and breakfast it is today, while keeping its history intact. Little bits of history can be found dotted around the bed and breakfast. Inside the dining room, an original safe has been left intact in the wall for curious travelers to view.
“I’ve thought about painting a brick gold and putting it in there,” Marshall Meyer joked.
Some pieces of furniture, such as a rocking chair in the expansive lounge space, were originally owned by the Wipperman family and restored for use. For those pieces of furniture not owned by the Wipperman family or previous tenants, the Meyers have meticulously selected each piece.
“I always get two questions when people first come here: ‘Did it come with the furniture and do you live here?’” Marshall Meyer said.
While the bed and breakfast did not come furnished, the couple do live there. They’ve also added to the property over the years, including a patio on the lake fitted with a fireplace and outdoor kitchen. A deck off the sunroom features a hot tub with lake views.
If you want to get out on the lake, there’s ample opportunity as the bed and breakfast has kayaks and canoes free of charge that patrons can utilize at any time. For those more inclined to stay on land, bikes are also available.
The Lady on the Lakes’ expansive lounge space encourages guests from any of its four rooms to relax and meet new people. Oftentimes, breakfasts will last hours as the Meyers and patrons chat about life and their travels.
Meeting new people has been one of the highlights for the Meyers over their decade of ownership. One of their favorite parts of owning the bed and breakfast has been watching strangers from all walks of life connect with each other at the bed and breakfast, swapping numbers and making plans to meet up in the future.
“We’ve stopped keeping track of states and started keeping track of countries,” Marshall Meyer said.
At one point the bed and breakfast was even featured in a German magazine by a traveling journalist. The bed and breakfast welcomes travelers from all over the world including Bolivia, England, Switzerland and New Zealand.
“Why travel anywhere when everyone comes to us?” Sandy Meyer said.
During COVID-19, the Meyers saw a number of visitors coming from Fargo to get away for the weekend. The bed and breakfast did have to shut down for a while, but now business is booming again and travelers from all over are making the journey to the bed and breakfast.
For the couple, it still amazes them to see travelers from all over the world coming to visit.
“To me it’s the highest honor to make us a part of their annual travel plans,” Sandy Meyer said.
For the 10th anniversary of the Lady on the Lake Bed & Breakfast, the Meyers are having a celebration from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 3. There will be tours of the bed and breakfast along with free snacks, and beer and drunken watermelon for those aged 21 and older. All are welcome to attend.