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Programs & Events

Streetcar Boats

Yellow Jackets: The Story of Lake Minnetonka’s Streetcar Boats

Thursday, April 27, 2023
7:00 p.m.
Wayzata Community Room
600 Rice Street, Wayzata, MN 55391

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Join us on Thursday, April 27, as we celebrate Minnehaha and her sister streetcar boats!

The streetcar steamboat Minnehaha is one of the most iconic symbols of Lake Minnetonka’s heritage – indeed, she is one of only a few vessels listed in the National Register of Historic Places in Minnesota.

Designed by Wayzata boat builder Royal Moore, Minnehaha and her five identical sisters acted as an extension of the Twin City Rapid Transit (TCRT) streetcar system between 1906 and 1926. Together, they provided fast and reliable transportation for the residents of Lake Minnetonka. Then, in 1926, improved roads and better access to automobiles rendered the boats obsolete. Three of the boats, including Minnehaha, were scuttled (purposely sunk) north of Big Island that summer.

The wreck of Minnehaha was located by a local diver in 1979 and raised to the surface after a massive salvage effort in August 1980. When resources became available for her restoration, approximately $500,000 and 80,000 volunteer hours were spent bringing Minnehaha back to her former glory. Finally, on May 25, 1996, she triumphantly re-entered passenger service to begin her second life.

Minnehaha operated on Lake Minnetonka continuously until 2019, when she lost access to the only launch ramp capable of getting her back in the water. Since then, she has been stored in a maintenance facility, continuing to receive care while she awaits her fate. We hope you will join us on Thursday, April 27 as we provide an update on Minnehaha’s status and celebrate the incredible history of the sister streetcar boats!

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