Minnetonka



About Minnetonka

The name Minne-tonka meant water-big to the Dakotah. The warring Dakotah and the Chippewa often traveled through Minnetonka. The present area of Minnetonka Mills provided a convenient crossing of Minnehaha Creek. The area now know as Wayzata was a part of Minnetonka Township until 1883 and was an occasional campsite for the Dakotah until the Sioux Uprising in 1862.

The Dakotah sold the area including Minnetonka to the United States at Traverse des Sioux in 1852. In 1853 a dam was completed in the vicinity of McGinty Road and a saw mill was constructed on the present Burwell School property. The timbers used in the construction of the first suspension bridge across the Missisippi were sawed at this sawmill.

In 1869 a 3 1/2 story flour mill was constructed and was managed by Charles Burwell. The house he lived in still stands today and is owned by the City of Minnetonka. In the late 1800's many immigrants from Bohemia, Germany, and the Scandinavian countries settled in this area. Train service from Minneapolis began in the 1880's and streetcar service in 1905.

In 1956 residents voted to establish the Village of Minnetonka and a city charter was approved in 1969.

* from the Minnetonka Historical Society. minnetonka-history.org

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