history

In 1909, Thousands Watched a Fiery Funeral for Lake Minnetonka's Largest Boat

An advertisement for the Big Boat Burning, when the ship Excelsior was lit on fire on Lake Minnetonka.

In 1901, Dr. George LaPaul had a stern-wheel steamboat built bearing his name at a cost of $10,000.

The George launched from the Excelsior docks with a large crowd of over 1,000 spectators. The boat held 800 passengers and was the largest boat on Lake Minnetonka at the time.

In 1908, after various owners and re-namings, the Excelsior was considered antiquated, was decommissioned, and shortly afterward had her engines, boilers and other valuable equipment removed.

Why Does the Easter Bunny Bring Eggs?

A bowl of eggs for Easter

As a child, I thought the Easter bunny laid eggs, usually in the form of chocolate or pink plastic. Only some three decades later, when I started keeping a flock of backyard chickens, did I understand the biological basis for the thrill of spring eggs.

Unusual Feasts of Lake Minnetonka Past

While we’re sitting down to our carefully decorated tables, carving our delicately baked holiday ham, it’s unlikely that we’re considering how far we’ve come from the first families to settle in the lake area. We’ve heard the story of the first Thanksgiving in Massachusetts, but what about the first holidays of the Lake Minnetonka settlers of yore?
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