Hospital History

by | Jan 2024

Minnetonka Hospital

Photo: Lake Minnetonka Historical Society

Change is inevitable. With history, it is no different. Today, health care now includes telemedicine, minute clinics, urgent care facilities, life flights and more to offer instant access to specialized medicine. Imagine if none of this existed—that takes us back to 1932 and the Minnetonka Hospital, located along Lake Street in Wayzata in the former family home of James I. Tibbetts, M.D.

The hospital was started and run by Wayzata’s Carl J. Martinson, M.D., and Mound’s Edward Mitchell, M.D. At that time, the house was an ideal facility. The hospital tended to broken bones, simple surgeries and the deliveries of 1,545 babies, some of whom still live in Wayzata.

Surgery and obstetrics were located on either side of the front door, and the central staircase, not an elevator, took patients up to the patients’ rooms, which once served as the family bedrooms. (The third floor of the house served as living quarters for the nurses and staff.)

The hospital had charm. The rooms, some with a lake view, were wallpapered in gentle floral patterns, the beds were white wrought iron and the homecooked meals were said to be delicious.

The hospital stood at this location from 1932 to 1964 when it was razed to accommodate the next and latest change of the time—Wayzata’s first drive-thru bank.

Joanie Holst serves as a board member of the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society. Discover more at lakeminnetonkahistory.org.

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