Only memories remain.

The Inn at Maple Crossing is gone. For decades in years long ago, it was the place to go for Sunday dinners of fried chicken and pie.

Long-time residents of Grand Forks would say you needed to know the Buhn sisters, if you wanted to go there. Dora and Clarice Buhn weren’t comfortable serving strangers. In their later years, they were happy with only a few renters.

They were distressed when a story about them once appeared in the Grand Forks Herald and another later in the St. Paul newspaper. They weren’t looking for more customers. They were swamped with Sunday business, and they were uncomfortable about more customers showing up.

There are many still around Maple Lake with memories of the Buhn sisters. The two of them cooked and rented boats in the summer. They held jobs during the winter in Minneapolis. Summers were for working with their family running the Inn at Maple Crossing from 1898 to 1974. Then it sat empty for 18 years until 1992.

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That’s when Jim and Nancy Maves Thomasson bought the old hotel. And after more than three years of refurbishing, it was open for rooms and diners. It was another era.

In recent years, many area residents chose the Inn at Maple Crossing as a place for lunch or fine dinners. The kitchen was operated by Jim Thomasson who had been a professor at Baylor University in Washington, D.C. He also encouraged group and study meetings at the hotel.

The gift shop with unique, fine items was a shopping place for many who came for meals.

A visit to the Inn at Maple Crossing was an outing for area people. And Nancy provided an adventure in shopping and friendship with customers.

Now it is gone. Various people around Maple Lake harbor special memories of the big white wooden Inn. The Thomassons are living in Crookston and had hoped for buyers.

The historical old inn ended up with 16 guest rooms, two dining rooms, a conference center and the gift shop. Along with memories of chicken dinners from long ago, there are visions of the old-fashioned swings on the porch. And memories of the days when people would stay all summer at the big, white hotel.

.“We kept it 20 years and loved every minute,” Thomasson said recently.

Only memories remain.

Reach Marilyn Hagerty at mhagerty@gra.midco.com or by telephone at (701) 772-1055.