Lake Minnetonka (Images of America)
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Known to native peoples for centuries as a sacred place and hunting ground, the ninth largest of Minnesotas 10,000 lakes remained unchanged until its shores were opened to settlement in 1851. The following year, New York promoter George Bertram wrote, For healthfulness of climate, fertility of soil, beauty of scenery and nearness to markets [it] cannot be surpassed by any other locality in the country, being within twelve or fifteen miles of two of the most important towns in the territory . . . navigable for steam and other boats over forty-one miles, its waters clear as crystal and abounding with fish. Settlers began to flock to Lake Minnetonkas 120 miles of shoreline, clearing the Big Woods and building new lives in the wilderness. Soon, the lake became a tourist destination; thousands traveled across the country to stay in its lavish hotels, ride in massive steamboats, and enjoy the lakes beauty.
car and motorcycle clubs, bicycling, yachting, and ice boating became popular pastimes for both tourists and residents. 55 Early Excelsior, c. 1864. This is believed to be one of the earliest known views of Water Street, thought to have been taken from today’s Lake and Water Streets looking southwest. The prominent structures pictured here are, from left to right, Horatio L. Beeman’s house, Morris H. Pease’s barn, David F. Henry’s store, and Morris H. Pease’s store. Water Street was named for
2,500 passengers with several dining rooms, 40 sleeping berths, two orchestras, and electric lights. She was used infrequently after 1885 and scrapped in 1897. Her whistle was installed in the City of Saint Louis, and her bell is still in Excelsior. (ELMHS.) Wayzata Waterfront, 1881. At this busy port at the foot of Broadway Avenue South are passenger boats Hattie May, City of Minneapolis, Lotus, and City of Saint Louis. The small building on the dock rented boats and fishing gear to tourists.
important animals, they were depended upon for plowing, planting, and harvesting, plus hauling and transportation. (WTHS.) 121 Spruce Grove Farm, Plymouth. Alexander and Mary Winnen Frick both had long family histories in the Lake Minnetonka area. Their farm was located at the corner of Vicksburg Lane and County Road 15, and they sold produce from a booth at the Central Market in Minneapolis. The farm was demolished, and the new Wayzata High School was built on the site in 1961. (WZHS.)
MN: Self-published, 2011. Westonka Historical Society. Mound, One Hundred Years, A monthly look into history. Westonka, MN: Westonka Historical Society, 2012. 126 About the Organizations Excelsior–Lake Minnetonka Historical Society. Founded in 1972, the society collects the history of Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood, and Tonka Bay, as well as parts of Deephaven and Orono. Its mission is to preserve, document, and classify the physical history of the Lake Minnetonka area; to provide a means
Minnetonka Boulevard in 1915, Groveland included two classrooms on the first floor and a large room used as a gymnasium, lunchroom, and community meeting space on the second level. The basement contained lockers, bathrooms, showers, and an industrial arts classroom. A new elementary school was built west of this building in 1958, and the old school was razed in 1976. (ELMHS.) 50 Minnewashta School, Shorewood. Built on Smithtown Road in 1917, Minnewashta housed kindergarten through eighth grade