Welcome to the Minnetonka Historical Society! 

For those of you that are missing our wonderful Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social at the Burwell House this summer, here is a nostalgic video of the festivities in the year 2000! Hopefully we will have it again next year.

Burwell House Ice Cream Social 2000.jpg

We have a new project during this historic pandemic, which is to document with pictures and stories, our experience in Minnetonka as we self quarantine and as our businesses cope with customers having to stay at home. Please send us your pictures and stories if you would like to share them in an email or posting to our facebook page. Thank you, and stay safe!

The Unmapped Brewery in Glen Lake offers drive up sales of their beer.

Trader Joes let's in 10 shoppers at a time, seen here as they cue up 6 feet apart outside.

Ridgedale Mall totally empty on a spring time Friday afternoon. Resturants offer take out though.

MHS Speakers Bureau 2020!

This year we started an exciting new series of presentations at the Senior Center at Minnetonka City Hall covering various topics about Minnetonka History.In January we started with two presentations by our President Bill Jepson. One about the History of 19th Century Milling in Minnetonka, and the other about Minnetonka through the last 60 years when they became a Village and a City.   (CLICK on the Title Page below to play a video of the presentation. )


In February, Lorena Hooyman spoke about the Evolution of Transportation in Minnetonka with the help of
Lisa Fowler. All three presentations so far were very well attended and we fielded many interesting questions afterwards.


In March, Lorraine Kretchman spoke about the Glen Lake Sanitorium

Glen Lake Sanitorium - Hear the story of the Glen Lake sanitorium and
groundbreaking clinical strategies to treat TB


Speaker: Lorraine Kretchman
Date/Time: Monday March 9, 10:30 – 11:30am
Location: Minnetonka Community Center (check at the front desk for any
change in room assignment)
Contact Kaylee Wallins -952-939-8369
Audience: Seniors
Length: One hour

Due to the C Virus we had to cancel our last two presentations on April 6th and May 4th.

All on Mondays at about 10:30 at the City Hall. Details are here below. Please join us later!

Historic Landmarks - Investigate the past and present cemeteries, locations
and buildings of Minnetonka


Speaker: Jan Cook
Date/Time: PENDING, 10:30 – 11:30am
Location: Minnetonka Community Center
(check at the front desk for any
change in room assignment)
Contact Kaylee Wallins
Audience: Seniors
Length: One hour

Shady Oak Beach: From Bloomers to Bikinis - A history of the development
of the Shady Oak Beach area, from farmland to present day beach front.


Speaker: Petey Ellis
Date/Time: PENDING, 10:30 – 11:30am

Location: Minnetonka Community Center (check at the front desk for any
change in room assignment)
Contact Kaylee Wallins
Audience: Seniors
Length: One hour

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Recent MHS Events in 2019

Annual MHS Holiday Open House 

About 200 people attended the Burwell House tours this year over a succesion of four Sunday afternoons in November and December. 
They enjoyed touring the 1883 house while it was decorated in traditional Holiday trimmings which were put up by local High School student volunteers. Afterwards they warmed up in the cottage with some hot tea and cookies. Click here to see a gallery of photos from the event.


Minnetonka Halloween Spooktacular

The first annual Spooktacular was held at the Burwell House this October. It was a huge success with 1200 people attending; mostly children in costumes playing games, making arts and crafts, and roasting marshmallows.
Click here for a gallery of photographs of the event!


Antiques Appraisal Event!
Tuesday October 29th at 7:00PM


Have you discovered a possible treasure in your grandmother’s attic?  Do you have an heirloom that you wonder about? To find out, come to the Minnetonka Historical Society Antiques Appraisal Event on Tuesday, October 29 at 7:00 p.m. in the Minnetonka Community Room.

A team of local experts will review your item and provide you with a verbal appraisal. Modeled after the popular “Antiques Roadshow” program, each exhibitor will be able to tell their story and the items will be projected on the big screen for all to view.
The fee was $12.00 per item with a limit of 2 items per person. 


Take a historic walking tour of Minnetonka Mills

You can walk the tour anytime on your own with an Iphone or Ipad connected to our website. Start at the Burwell House and walk for an hour in a big circle through the business district of Minnetonka Boulevard and back across Minnehaha Creek on the new walking bridge. It includes 200 photos and maps with captions describing the story of Minnetonka's History. Highlights include the early flour mill days from 1852 until the 1890s, the Minnetonka School which is St Davids today, the railroads, and the businesses along Minnetonka Boulevard. Click here to start!

Take a tour of Minnetonka's
1883 Burwell House, which is
on the National Historical Register

The Charles H. Burwell House, located at 13209 E. McGinty Road, Minnetonka, will open for the 2020 tour season from June through September on Saturdays and Tuesdays. Every first Sunday in December is the Victorian Holiday Open House when we invite the public to tour the house with Holiday decorations throughout. And then you can socialize afterwards in the cottage with tea and bakery treats.

Minnetonka Historical Society Membership

Please consider becoming a member and you will get the tri-annual newsletter and also now a complimentary copy of the Minnetonka Historical Society book about the history of Minnetonka Mills written by our past historian Betty Johnson with our best historic photographs and maps.
Click here for more.

Attend our Minnetonka History presentations. Five new ones at the Minnetonka City Hall this year!

The Minnetonka Historical Society sponsors presentations every Spring and Fall about different topics in Minnetonka History. We have many more topics to hear about every month in early 2020. Watch here for details.  You can also watch past presentations in our 'presentation' page here where most of the videos are streamed by the city.  Some of the topics include Grays Bay Marina,Oak Knoll,  the last dairy farm, horses, railroads, schools, parks, and the Glen Lake Sanitorium.
Click here to see our Glen Lake History slidshow.

Be a part of history, before it becomes... HISTORY!

You can browse some of our best historical photographs here.

1015 Burwell House with side buildings and windmill.jpg
Flour mill of Mtka Mill Company
Minnetonka Mill
Kokesch Family Reunion.jpg
Newark House
Blacksmith Torleif Larson 1855
Glen Lake Kraemers.jpg
Malm-Hossfeld log barn.jpg
Ice Cream Social at Burwell House.JPG
bestICS08 (30).JPG
bestICS08 (8).JPG
Gray family with house.jpg
Grays Bay Marina.jpg

Minnetonka Historical Society
C/O City of Minnetonka
14600 Minnetonka Blvd, Minnetonka, MN 55345


© 2014 Minnetonka Historical Society