A Shared View

by | Jun 2023

Grays Bay Marina

Photo: The City of Minnetonka Historical Society

In the early 1900s, Grays Bay, with its outlet into Minnehaha Creek, was used by duck hunters in rowboats and canoers, paddling through the wild rice. Sailboats floated across Wayzata Bay on the other side of the Bushaway Road (Highway 101) bridge.

The first cottage was built on the southwest shore of Grays Bay in 1902. Over the decades, the most noticeable landmark for many was the Grays Bay Marina and Resort, located on the southwest shore of the bay, just east of the bridge. Since it was the closest Lake Minnetonka marina to the Twin Cities, it enjoyed a booming business as an access for boating. There also were many popular shops and restaurants in nearby Wayzata and Excelsior that boaters could visit.

Paul Pedersen owned the marina from 1978 until 2000, when he sold it to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The marina had 120 boat slips, a bait shop, a fuel station and a repair shop. Pedersen said he could have made more money selling it to private condominium developers, but he believed, “The public had a right to enjoy the lake, not just an exclusive few.”

Today, the landmark marina still stands with 133 public parking spaces and three launch lanes for boaters, who want to enjoy the beautiful lake and its amenities.

Jan Cook serves as president of the City of Minnetonka Historical Society. Discover more at minnetonka-history.org.


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