The name Medicine Lake came from the Native American word “Mdewakan”, meaning “Lake of the Spirit.” The reason the lake was called “Lake of the Spirit” was because the tribe had evidently lost one of its most famous warriors when his canoe capsized in the lake and his body was never found. However, the Indians eventually left the area after a treaty, allowing the settlers to make a home for themselves.
The city of Medicine Lake, Minnesota is a peninsula of land that juts out into Medicine Lake. This small, neighboring city of Plymouth was surveyed and owned by the state government in 1855. In 1858, the land was bought from the government. Through the years, the land went through many owners until 1887 when Jacob Barge bought the land, plotted it into lots, and opened it to the public that same year.
The area was named Medicine Park, and it had only one main dirt road that went from the north to the south ends. At first, the area was only used as a summer home spot for wealthier residents, as they enjoyed living next to the large lake.
1944 was a year of change and transition in the community. The locals had a desire for a self-governing and corporate village structure. In the same year, a meeting was called to discuss separation from Plymouth Township. Eventually, the Village of Medicine Lake Park was born and incorporated. This caused an end to the summer vacationing days as residents settled the area year round. This allowed several small businesses to spring up, as the city made due on its own. Today, this peninsula community enjoys private, residential living, as they appreciate being in one of the most beautiful spots in Minnesota.
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