Contributed photo
Bell’s Resort, formerly the Galaxy Resort at Star Lake, has 10 rental cabins available during the summer months.

By Tom Hintgen

Otter Tail County Correspondent

Resorts in Otter Tail County are popular with both locals and visitors. Such was the case Friday evening, May 31, when this writer traveled with family members from Fergus Falls to Bell’s Resort on the northwest side of Star Lake to enjoy the resort’s popular chicken dinners.

The restaurant and bar, formerly known as the Galaxy to many county residents, is open Tuesday through Friday from 4 p.m. to 1 a.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. There is music on Thursdays from 6 to 8 p.m.

Nearby are 10 cabins enjoyed by summer tourists. Special features are dock space, a fire pit and a charcoal grille. 

A list of all resorts in Otter Tail County is available by logging onto the Otter Tail Lakes Country website. There you will also be able to access county dining establishments and other information.

Resorts exhibit

at county museum

An exhibit of Otter Tail County resorts, with wonderful photos from previous decades, is on display through the end of the year at the county museum on the west side of Fergus Falls. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday with Saturday hours June through August.

For exact weekend hours call the museum in advance at 218-736-6038.

“Many resorts in Otter Tail County started out as places for tent camping when fishing and hunting were the primary draw,” said County Museum Executive Director Chris Schuelke. “Resorts have changed and adapted over time.”

The county museum falls under the banner of the Otter Tail County Historical Society. “Our staff and volunteers have put together another outstanding exhibit that explores the impact of resorts throughout the county,” Schuelke said.

One of the displays includes Dunn’s Lodge which was a popular destination for tourists north of Pelican Rapids. The resort was owned by Roy Dunn who also served in the Minnesota State Legislature.

Dunn and his staff lured guests with advertisements which said, “We will leave nothing undone to provide each of our guests with a cordial welcome. We will provide courteous service and pay attention to every detail to help make your stay with us pleasant to the fullest extent possible.”

During most of the years in the 20th century Minnesota was mostly a vacation destination during the summer months. In recent years resorts in Otter Tail County and other areas of Minnesota have worked to attract visitors all four seasons of the year.

“The goal of resort owners was to encourage people to escape the every day routine of work and home life and to celebrate here in Otter Tail County,” Schuelke added.