The Minnetonka Record: Then and Now

by | Dec 2023

The Minnetonka Record

Photo: Lake Minnetonka Historical Society

One might think the holidays were celebrated very differently 100 years ago, but a look through the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society’s archives found fewer differences than expected.

Lake Minnetonka newspaper articles from December 1923 announced holiday music programs, school and charity bazaars, caroling and religious pageants, much like today. And they were filled with helpful gift suggestions.

Wistrand Motor Co. in Excelsior advertised a Ford Tudor Sedan ($590), suggesting readers, “The Tudor Sedan is a gift every member of the family will share. It adds to daily happiness.” The Minnetonka Electric Construction Co. encouraged shoppers to, “Make this an electrical Christmas,” with electric percolators, curling irons and Christmas tree sets with eight lights ($2.25). Like today, the Minnetonka Record urged readers to “shop local” at Excelsior stores, saying, “It is not necessary to go away from our hometown to secure any ordinary requirement in the way of Christmas gifts this year. The shopper avoids the discomforts of department store crowding, saves transportation, buys at reasonable prices, deals with people who are his friends and neighbors and knows that the profits the merchant earns will be spent directly or indirectly in the building up of his hometown …”

Contributed by Kirsten Pardoe of the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society. Discover more at


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