Read the lesser known history of one of Lake Minnetonka's most prominent landmarks.
Then & Now
Ice boating came to Lake Minnetonka in the 1880s, and is still popular to this day.
The motto for the trail was “A Good Road from Plymouth Rock to Puget Sound.”
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.
Built in 1893 by “Minnetonka’s Boat Builder” Arthur Dyer for Hazen and Ward Burton, the boat was conceived with the idea that greater speed could be attained by sailing over the water, rather than through it.
The history of the business also serves as a family history.
With all the transformations to downtown Wayzata, one place has remained the same: the Wayzata Depot and the trains rumbling along the shore of the lake.
The 100th year of St. Bartholomew Catholic Faith Community’s history in Wayzata is drawing to a close.
Father Colman Barry, left, and Bill Kling at the first MPR station in Collegeville, Minn.
The Cottagewood Store in Deephaven opens each spring for the season and closes again on the evening of Halloween, with special events in the fall and winter like a chili cook-off and a Christmas festival.
Even in the depths of winter, the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society is busy cataloguing the area’s past. Deep in the basement of the old Excelsior School House, the curators open the archives on Wednesdays and the second Saturday of the month to history buffs.