excelsior-lake minnetonka historical society
In 1901, Dr. George LaPaul had a stern-wheel steamboat built bearing his name at a cost of $10,000.
The George launched from the Excelsior docks with a large crowd of over 1,000 spectators. The boat held 800 passengers and was the largest boat on Lake Minnetonka at the time.
In 1908, after various owners and re-namings, the Excelsior was considered antiquated, was decommissioned, and shortly afterward had her engines, boilers and other valuable equipment removed. Read more about In 1909, Thousands Watched a Fiery Funeral for Lake Minnetonka's Largest Boat
Many have driven past and visited Oak Hill Cemetery, located along Excelsior Boulevard and Highway 7 near Excelsior, where more than a thousand local residents have been buried since the 1800s. Read more about The History of Oak Hill Cemetery Holds Lessons for the Present
In the fall of 1853, Peter Gideon came to Minnesota with his wife, Wealthy Hull, and their children. He planted a bushel of apple seeds and some other fruit-bearing tree seeds that he had brought with him on a 160-acre parcel of land next to what is now known as Gideon’s Bay. Gideon’s main goal was to develop an apple tree hardy enough to withstand Minnesota winters. After ten years of hardship and disappointment, Gideon was determined. He purchased seeds and scion (shoots) from an apple grower in Bangor, Maine and grafted a scion onto his lone crab apple tree that had survived a freeze. Read more about The History of Minnesota's Second Most Famous Apple, the Wealthy