Local historian Paul Maravelas is doing more than just writing a book based on Lake Minnetonka’s Big Island. He is opening his own press dedicated to publishing works about the history of Minnetonka.
“I think I can make a contribution by offering a place that’s a center for publications of that subject,” Maravelas says. His book The History of Big Island is set to be the first book published (November 1) by Minnetonka Press.
“I think Lake Minnetonka has a really rich history,” Maravelas says. “It includes the [arrival] of Anglo-American settlers and the displacement of the Dakota. There’s also a lost opportunity, I think, to preserve the lake in a more pristine state, and, instead, we kind of suburbanized it and made it into just a common more private resource.”
Maravelas utilized diary manuscripts, newspaper archives, interviews with older residents and more to conduct his research. “There are some interesting, iconic things that happened on Big Island …” he says, including an amusement park in the early 1900s, a game farm that was established on the island that introduced pheasants into Minnesota and the operation of a veterans’ camp, which are included in Maravelas’ book.
The History of Big Island will be available at Excelsior Bay Books, 36 Water St., Excelsior, and minnetonkapress.com.