The cities around Lake Winnebago emerged as centers of commerce and population because of good water transportation, add to that the introduction of the railroads and the area flourished. By the late 1800's the communities near the lake began to exploit the lake as an attraction for summer tourists. Fishing and sailing lured many to the lake. In May of 1877 John Roberts was about to open his new resort hotel on Neenahs' Doty Island, so stated a feature in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern of the 21st of that month. The reporter paid a visit to the hotel and gave it a glowing review "The hotel is a building of the latest architectural design, and does great credit to the architect, Wm. Waters of Oshkosh." The resort occupied the former farm of Governor Doty, on the island near the mouth of the Fox River; and commanded a view of the lake, Riverside Park and Neenah harbor. The hotel was a two story wooden structure, 43' x 68' of 35 rooms, with a veranda across the front and one side and a balcony above the front entry. On the first floor was an office, parlor, dinning room and several bedrooms. Upstairs were suites and bedrooms with hot and cold baths and modern sanitary arrangements. The interior was said to be well finished and elegantly furnished. The hotel was erected adjacent to Governor Doty's log cabin which was to be used as servants quarters or a rainy day place, billiard hall and gentleman's smoking room.