Welcome to Excelsior
Nestled along the southern shores of Lake Minnetonka, the City of Excelsior is located about 20 minutes west of Minneapolis in Hennepin County. Excelsior means onward, upward, higher in Latin. The city was founded in 1853 by George Bertram of New York City. The railroad came to Excelsior in 1881. Six steamboats also transported people to 27 different destinations on Lake Minnetonka, including Big Island Park. It had a dance pavilion, a music casino, an aquarium, a roller coaster and a carousel. Excelsior was home to the Excelsior Amusement Park from 1925-1974. The one-square-mile town offers a blend of old and new. Excelsior has unique shops, a bed and breakfast inn, restaurants and a movie theater that originally opened in 1940 as the Tonka Theater.
Greenwood is located between Excelsior and Deephaven. Don Stolz opened the Old Log Theater opened in Greenwood in 1940. Over six million people have attended shows at the quaint theater. Many famous actors, including Nick Nolte and Loni Anderson, performed at The Old Log Theater early in their careers.
Deephaven is named after the train depot that was built near Chimo. In 1876, Sir Charles Gibson, an attorney from St. Louis, Missouri, settled in the area known as Northome. He built the three-story Hotel St. Louis on St. Louis Bay in 1879. It boasted 200 rooms and fresh lake air from its many verandas. Guests arrived by the Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Louis Railways. The hotel was demolished in 1907. In 1882, one of the oldest yacht clubs in America was organized in 1882 on Lighthouse Island. The original structure burned down in 1943. The rebuilt structure still stands on the same site today and weekly sailing regattas continue to be held. The historic Cottagewood General Store was founded in 1895 and continues to be the center point of the small community.
Woodland is made up of the two areas of Maplewood and the Groveland Assembly Grounds. In 1867, Moses and Sara Guild of Massachusetts settled in Greenwood. It was platted in 1882. The two areas were incorporated into the City of Woodland (“Wood” from “Maplewood” and “land” from “Groveland”) in 1948.
The Minnetonka School District is made up of six elementary schools, two middle schools, and one high school.