Ida is a great name for a lake (unless it is a hurricane) but if the timing had been a little different the name could’ve been different. Lake Ida was named by Myron Colony, one of the first people to settle at the lake. Myron had an east coast girlfriend named Ida and but he ended up marrying a girl named Josephine. But, it was while dating Ida that the name was applied to the 4,426 body of water in Alexandria.
This information is courtesy of the Douglas County Historical Society. Another interesting piece of history I found is that there was a woman that cleaned houses at the Betsy Ross Resort whose name was Ida Lake.
Update: Note the information provided below via comment by the publisher of Uffda : Idle thoughts from Lake Ida. At her blog, a few of Myron Colony’s relatives read a post about Lake Ida history and added comments. They said Mr. Colony had a family friend named Ida DeSollay that was a performer. After reading this I recalled information I added to craigmische.com (now shuttered after beginning alexmn.com…I lost a lot of content but never liked a site named after myself as that wasn’t what it was about) years ago after research at the Douglas County Historical Society. Myron Colony was said to have been the first person in Alexandria to have a piano. He had it delivered by a boat that traveled up the Mississippi River to St. Paul and then was brought by an ox team to Alexandria. Maybe he enjoyed playing or had it brought for his friend, Ida, to perform for everyone at the lake?