Travel is one of the themes for this month’s issue, and I was delighted when Barbara Sykora of the Deephaven Historical Society reached out with news about a small facelift to one of the oldest structures in Deephaven. Read along to discover one of the many reasons folks traveled back in the day to the area for much-needed summer respite.
Last fall, the Northome Stone Arch (now owned by the City of Deephaven) on Northome Road received a new plaque—the original’s notation was 30 years off of the correct build date. “The error was not intentional by those who put up the incorrect plaque,” Sykora says. “Researching takes a lot of time, but it is now easier with computers and searching online … so it is an easier task to do that it once was.” Residents near the arch donated funds for the updated project.
The arch’s history begins with Charles and Virginia Gibson, of St. Louis, Mo., who purchased all 130 acres of the Northome peninsula on Lake Minnetonka in 1875 for $2,680 and built a home there the following year. The couple and their six children relished being in this area to escape St. Louis’ oppressively hot and stifling humid summers. Sadly, the home burned down in 1895.
The Gibsons clearly loved to travel to this area and also owned the land on which the Hotel St. Louis (one of Lake Minnetonka’s grand hotels) was built and sat on just over 108 acres. It opened in 1882 and overlooked Carson’s and St. Louis bays.
Before his 1899 death, Gibson platted out much of which is now Deephaven Park for lots for cottages and estates. “One of the landmarks used in platting out these new lots for homes was the Northome Stone Arch, which was referred as The Big Stone Gate,” Sykora notes. “At one time, the stone arch had a gate attached to it. If you look today, the bolts to the gates are still there.”
Until next time,