Oden was considered a resort center. Year round residents were clustered along main street. In 1882 Oden became a station on the G.R.&I. Railroad, the depot was located on the north side of Main St. There were also flag stops to the north and south of town. The flag stop on the south side was known as Oden Oden, here tourists would leave the morning train and embark on steamer excursions to begin their tour of the Inland Water Route.
One of the early attractions in Oden, was its 200 foot deep, 6″ flowing artesian well. The well was located across the street from the depot. Here the trains filled up with water. Over the years the pond filled with rubble and the well removed.
There were three grocery stores located on Main Street. The A&P operated a summer store. Adjacent to the A&P was a automobile service garage, and gas station selling Red Crown gasoline. There were two bowling alleys on Main Street one across from the Post Office known as the Oden Casino, It had slot machines, an ice cream parlor and a dance hall upstairs which was also used as a roller skating rink. The population of Oden in 1895 was 20.
By the early 1900’s, many cottages had been built along the waterfront.
Oden has had many thriving businesses. In 1910 Joseph Magnus built the Oden Boat House and created a golf course.. He promoted them as The Oden Boat and Golf Club. The golf course was laid out along the lake in front of the present day fish hatchery which is located to the south of Oden. The original boathouse was very attractive with a rustic arched bridge for pedestrians to use to access several docks located lakeside.
Another historically significant business was the Oden Hotel had a hotel which was later named the Rawdon Hotel and the Inn was named the Atherton Inn.
The Oden Hotel was built in 1895 to resemble the shape of a steamer, and was located on the lakefront south of Main Street, it was sold shortly afterwards to J. D. Rawdon, and was renamed the Rawdon Hotel .
The Rawdon Hotel projected into the water, so that boats could land at covered walks on the south and east fronts. On the south front were terraced gardens and a fountain. In the gardens was a Pagoda for “lounging and flirtation”. On the north side were double tennis courts and beyond them a four lane bowling alley. East of the tennis courts was the hotel power plant which provided steam heat to the thermal baths in the basement. In front was a circular track for riding horses and within this a cinder track for bicyclists and “sprinters”. To the east was a swimming pool which had been formerly operated by the G.R.&I. Railroad. The hotel was 60 by 147 feet and being built on the hillside, created a four story lakeside, and three story street side exposure.
The interior featured an Atrium design, thus the ceiling was the roof height. A portion of the roof/ceiling of the atrium was made from stained glass. Daylight poured down from the stained glass transoms, creating unique visual effects thought the interior. At one end a grand staircase led to the upper stories. Balconies surrounded the areas of the dinning room with each guest room opening onto the balcony and looking down to the atrium area. The rooms were named after various species of fish, each guest room having a ceramic plaque denoting the species. At the south end of the first floor was a stage, concerts and readings were held three times a week. The dinning room seated 250 guests, and provided a means for banquets. The lobby desk area featured piano and several items for purchase, and general information was posted. In 1898 the rates were $1.50-$2.00 per night.