Lafayette Club's roots go back to the original hotel which was built by railroad magnate James J Hill and opened on July 4, 1882. It was a grand opening, indeed. Billed as "the finest hotel west of New York City", its hallways were 10 feet wide, there were three grand staircases, 300 guest rooms, and a staff of 150 people. It hosted General Ulysses S. Grant, Vice President Adlai Stevenson, President Chester Arthur, President William Howard Taft, and many governors of the State of Minnesota. Adlai Stevenson lived in one of our cottages on the grounds. Chester Arthur used the Lafayette Club for a summer White House. In 1897 the Hotel Lafayette was destroyed by fire and Mr. Hill deeded the land to the founders of Lafayette Club. For more than 20 years, Lafayette's facilities were again the center of social activities on Lake Minnetonka. That clubhouse, another wooden structure, was visited by members and guests for two decades before it, too, burned down in 1922. But this beautiful hilltop was never destined to remain empty for long.
Lafayette's current clubhouse was built in 1925 and over the past century, has evolved from a majestic hotel to a distinguished gathering place for families and friends to enjoy the rewards of life. Today, we continue to preserve its long-standing history while providing a comfortable atmosphere where our members and guests can savor the timeless beauty that surrounds them. Lafayette Club is still grand in every respect.