The “Minnehaha” Steamboat Rehabilitation is Full Speed Ahead

by | Feb 2024

Minnehaha Steamboat

Photo: Lake Minnetonka Historical Society

Lake Minnetonka Historical Society’s efforts to preserve the historic steamboat have been bolstered by a grant from the Minnesota Historical Society.

From 1906 to 1926, the Minnehaha sailed across Lake Minnetonka. Between 1996 and 2021, the steamboat once again took to the water before its most recent retirement. Now, the Minnehaha may get the chance to return to the water for a third time thanks to a Minnesota Historical and Cultural Heritage Grant. This $104,669 grant will allow for the replacement of frames and planks and other necessary projects to get the boat lake-worthy once again. 

The next step after restoration to get the Minnehaha back on the lake is to create a new launch site although this has been another challenge. “There is no other boat that has this type of unique need … We can’t just go to any other launch site on the lake that currently exists,” says Tom McCarthy,  president of the Museum of Lake Minnetonka, during our interview with him for the March 2023 Steamboat Minnehaha Returns to the Water story. 

The Minnehaha was originally a part of the Twin Cities Rapid Transit Company’s six Express Boats. In 2021, it was added to the National Register of Historic Places. It’s an important part of local history, which is why so many volunteers have worked to restore and maintain it over the course of its storied life. Volunteers from the community continue to be a vital part of preserving this piece of history. McCarthy believes in his community, “We need the community to come together to vocally and financially support this project. If any community can do this, we know the Lake Minnetonka community can, and I hope they will respond to this challenge,” he says. 

Though there may be more challenges to face, the future looks hopeful for the Minnehaha. This grant was a big step toward getting it back where it belongs, setting course across Lake Minnetonka.

Steamboat Minnehaha

Lake Minnetonka Historical Society
952.474.2115; P.O. Box 672, Wayzata
Facebook: Lake Minnetonka Historical Society
Instagram: @lakeminnetonkahistory


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