We’re all on board! As of October 1, 2023, The Museum of Lake Minnetonka (Steamboat Minnehaha) has consolidated with the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society, Wayzata Historical Society, and Westonka Historical Society to form the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society!


Lake Minnetonka, Minnesota, May 30, 2023 – The members of the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society, Museum of Lake Minnetonka (steamboat Minnehaha), Wayzata Historical Society and Westonka Historical Society have voted to approve a Plan of Consolidation which will allow these four nonprofits to join together to form a new historical organization – the “Lake Minnetonka Historical Society” (LMHS). The consolidation will become effective on October 1, 2023, at which time the four historical societies will dissolve and the newly formed Lake Minnetonka Historical Society will carry forward their shared mission of telling the story of Lake Minnetonka by collecting, preserving and sharing its history.

The four organizations have collaborated successfully in the past and share similar missions, collection areas, members, funders, volunteers, and audiences. Each of the organizations is in good fiscal health, but all face similar challenges including attracting and sustaining volunteer leadership.

In 2019 the organizations received a $52,000 Heritage Partnership Grant funded by an appropriation to the Minnesota Historical Society from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. This enabled a Joint Committee established by the four organizations to hire Arts Consulting Group to analyze all aspects of each organization including their missions, programs, and constituents, and to study various models across the strategic alliance spectrum. It was determined that consolidation into one organization would best address their challenges and allow them to better serve the history of the Lake Minnetonka community.

The Lake Minnetonka area is comprised of the communities of Deephaven, Excelsior, Greenwood, Minnetonka, Minnetonka Beach, Minnetrista, Mound, Orono, Shorewood, Spring Park, Tonka Bay, Victoria, Wayzata and Woodland. The Lake Minnetonka Historical Society will have one of the largest archival and three-dimensional collections of Lake Minnetonka history available in-person and online. Working together to combine the strengths of each organization and with the eventual addition of professional staff, the new organization plans to expand their mission and tell the story of Lake Minnetonka in new and innovative ways to new audiences. 

Future plans for LMHS include housing their consolidated archives in one location to allow for best preservation practices and convenient public access; sharing the lake’s history through expanded public programs and experiences around the lake as well as in their current museums in Excelsior, Mound and Wayzata; and returning – the historic 1906 streetcar boat Minnehaha – to active operation on Lake Minnetonka.


Important Consolidation Information Links


Simply email your questions to: info@lakeminnetonkahistory.org