South Lake Minnetonka
South Lake Minnetonka is a community that consists of Excelsior, Greenwood, Shorewood and Tonka Bay.
Excelsior was founded in 1853 by George Bertram and the Excelsior Pioneer Association. It was the first community established on Lake Minnetonka. Many of the original settlers in Excelsior came from the New England area, particularly upstate New York and Massachusetts. Some eastern-like features can be found in the layout of the town, which is organized as a grid with a public Commons along the lake shore.
Throughout the years, Excelsior's Water Street has been the home to many businesses including hotels, restaurants, and merchants. Excelsior works hard to maintain its historical identity while renewing various elements of the downtown area; the community is known for its abundance of Victorian housing stock and masonry-clad commercial district.
Excelsior was also home to the Excelsior Amusement Park, which operated from 1925 to 1973. Today the site is occupied by a condominium complex and two restaurants.
Ray Colihan owned a ballroom called '"Big Reggie's Danceland" in Excelsior during the 1950s and 1960s. Colihan is speculated as the only man to lose money on both The Beatles, who he booked at Met Stadium in 1965, and The Rolling Stones, who played Danceland in 1964 for an audience of approximately 300. Legend has it, since debunked online, that an Excelsior resident named Jimmy Hutmaker was the inspiration behind the Rolling Stones song You Can't Always Get What You Want after an encounter with singer Mick Jagger at the local drug store prior to the 1964 concert. "Mr. Jimmy", as he was known, died on October 3, 2007.
President Gerald Ford's golden retriever, Liberty, was purchased in 1974 from Avis Friberg, a resident of Excelsior.
The streetcar boat Minnehaha, a steamboat used for passenger travel on Lake Minnetonka during the turn of the Twentieth Century, was raised from the bottom of Lake Minnetonka in 1980, restored, and put back into passenger service in 1996. Now operated by the Museum of Lake Minnetonka, it again carries passengers between the communities of Excelsior and Wayzata as it did over a century ago.
The Minnesota Streetcar Museum, a local transportation museum, also operates two heritage streetcar lines in Minneapolis and Excelsior. Two streetcars are currently operated on the Excelsior line: Twin City Lines No. 1239 and Duluth Street Railway No. 78
Horticulturist Peter Gideon claimed 160 acres (0.65 km2) in what would become Tonka Bay. Here he propagated the "Wealthy" apple, named for his wife Wealthy Hull. Another early settler of the area was Stephen Hull. He made the first channel connecting the lower and upper lakes of Lake Minnetonka, named Hull's Narrows. It was located south of the present-day narrows, along the present day West Point Road.
Founded in 1956, Greenwood located on the East part of the community is a total of .61 Square miles is the smallest of the 4 communities that make up the South Lake area.
Shorewood is a city on Lake Minnetonka in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 7,307 at the 2010 census. The city was incorporated in 1956. Its area was originally part of the former Excelsior Township as were the nearby cities of Excelsior, Tonka Bay and Deephaven. State Highway 7 serves as a main route.
Shorewood is the largest of the 4 townships that consist of a total 13.33 Square Miles.
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