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Our History

In the early 1930's, Fisherman's Inn was a small building, built by Herman Wanke, which sold beer and sandwiches. In the 1940's the building was raised and living quarters were built underneath. Richerts ran it under the name of O'Malley's until Mr/Mrs Don Schmidt bought it and renamed it Fisherman's Inn Supper Club. In 1974, the Bowlus Family bought it and added an addition which included a new banquet room and restrooms. In 1987, Ralph/Esther Peterson, Jim/Theresa Peterson and Don/Nancy Klassen purchased it and continued the fine dining. Business was good and they added another addition and and large deck space.

The team began in the middle of the 1950's and put on one weekend show for the entire year. Much practice was required and new acts were invented! By 1974, weekly shows began on Lake Zumbro and a partnership with Fisherman's Inn was born! In the beginning, private boats and equipment were used and so donations were collected at each show to raise money for much-needed equipment, costumes and boat gas. Acts were also being perfected to the point that the team was able to travel to different areas to perform and compete in tournaments.

A few especially proud moments in our history: our team was the first club in the world to pull off a 4-tier pre-fabricated pyramid and then "nailed" it at National tournament in 1995. Our best finish in National Tournaments was 6th place in 1976. The Ballet Line has won #1 ballet in the Region numerous times and has had 26 in the line. Doubles acts have always been award-winning performances and have earned as high as 1st place at Regionals!


In 2022 we celebrated 100 years of waterskiing!! In 1922 Ralph Samuelson made several attempts to get on the water on Lake Pepin in Lake City, Minnesota behind different fishing boats (and an airplane)! He finally tried a pair of boards as skis and a clothesline as a tow rope with several attempts in different positions until July 2, 1922 when he discovered the optimal method and positioning and skimmed across the water for the first time! Ralph is noted as the first water-skier, ski racer, slalom skier and first organizer of a water ski show. The sport has changed much over the years thanks to the regional and national attention received from innovators like Ralph and other contemporaries who help develop the many facets of this sport we love to do and see! We celebrate the occasion!

Thousands of spectators and fans have come from miles around (as well as other countries) to see the feats performed by our team and enjoy fun, interesting performances of grace, beauty, daring and skill!  The team is like many athletic organizations in that it tries to develop individuals, promote competition and teamwork, and create lasting friendships.  We hope for your inquiry into the Club!!

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