Coffee Grounds

by | Mar 2024

Charles Curtis Coffee

Photo: Lake Minnetonka Historical Society

How did Charles Curtis Coffee, D.D.S., a fifth-generation Irish American with a rich singing voice and a successful dental practice in Minneapolis, have a Lake Minnetonka channel bridge named after his family? The patriarch of the Minneapolis Coffee family has his wife’s good fortune to thank.

Ginny Coffee, daughter of pioneers Lydia and Isaac Webb, inherited prime acreage purchased in the 1860s, straddling the western shores of Crystal Bay and the northeasterly side of West Arm. It was Ginny who introduced the Coffee family to the summer splendors of lake life and where she and Charles built their Crystal Bay retreat they named the Coffee Grounds.

While Charles tended to his patients and performed with his church’s men’s quartet and the Apollo Club of Minneapolis, Ginny polished her social skills with gatherings at their lake home. In 1903, when the wooden bridge, spanning between the Coffee property and the channel connecting Crystal Bay and the West Arm, needed replacement, Charles and Ginny financially supported adjusting the Coffee Bridge’s northern approach on Shadywood Road that is familiar today.

Liz Vandam is a member of the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society, which tells the story of Lake Minnetonka by collecting, preserving and sharing its history. Discover more at


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