Thursday, May 20, 2021
Venue: Google Meets
(No registration required.)
The streetcar steamboat Minnehaha is one of the most iconic symbols of Lake Minnetonka’s heritage. When she was originally launched in May 1906, Minnehaha and her five identical sisters acted as an extension of the Twin City Rapid Transit (TCRT) streetcar system, providing fast and reliable transportation for the residents of Lake Minnetonka for twenty years. The “streetcar boats,” as they came to be known, made scheduled stops at twenty-six landings around the lake and would even stop at private docks when hailed.
Then, in 1926, improved roads and better automobile accessibility rendered the boats obsolete. Three of the boats, including Minnehaha, were scuttled (purposely sunk) north of Big Island that summer. Most of the others were scrapped shortly thereafter.
The wreck of Minnehaha was located by divers in 1979 and raised to the surface after a massive salvage effort in August 1980. When funds and organization became available for her restoration, approximately $500,000 and 80,000 volunteer man-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 on Lake Minnetonka.
This year marks Minnehaha’s 115th birthday and 25th anniversary of her return to passenger service. We hope you will join us on Thursday, May 20 as we celebrate the incredible history of Minnehaha and her sister streetcar boats!