The original Riverside Inn was built, practically single-handedly, by Jacob Schwarz, and was completed in 1902. He had come to the county from Indianapolis several years before and had been working with his portable saw-mill. The saw mill was erected on a scow and could be moved from place to place around the lake for custom milling. The summer tourist population from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois was steadily growing, and Jacob realized there was need for inns and hotels in Leland.
In 1917 Jacob Schwarz died, to be followed by his wife the next year. The Inn continued in operation, managed by his two daughters, Blanche and Anna. Catastrophe struck the Inn in the fall of 1924 when fire broke out on the third floor and completely destroyed the building. There was no fire department at that time. All that could be done by the men of the village was to form a bucket brigade which extended from the bank of the river to the very peak of the building. They managed to remove practically all of the furniture and to protect the neighboring buildings, but the Inn itself was a total loss.
Faced with this situation, the family decided to carry on without constructing a new building. Instead they took over the dance hall that Jacob Schwarz had built on the banks of the Leland River. They turned it around to parallel the river, raised the roof to make it a two story structure, and converted it into the second Riverside Inn. This was accomplished in 1925 and the Inn was operated under the same management until 1957.
Barb and Kate Vilter, a mother-daughter team took over the operation of the inn during the Spring of 1997. Since that time, the Vilter's have been slowly adding their unique touch to a landmark of Leland.