Tonka Bay, Minnesota did not become officially incorporated until 1901. However, it had been settled long before then. The cities geographical region covers only 1-square mile. With its location within both the upper and lower parts of Lake Minnetonka, Tonka Bay has more shoreline on the iconic lake than any other city its size. In order to appreciate life and community in this gorgeous city, you will want to have a better understanding of its rich history.
The first claim in the area was 160 acres of land, which was staked in 1853. Soon, the town attracted more tourism than any of the buildings could accommodate. Therefore, in 1879 on Echo Bay, the very first hotel in the Minnetonka area was built. It was named the Lake Park Hotel, and eventually changed to the Tonka Bay Hotel. The town also received transportational access by a railroad system, which brought more tourism during the busy summer months. The village developed into a tourist location mixed with residential life. One of the most famous historical real estate spots in the city is “Old Orchard”, which stretches 28 acres, and was built in 1890 by one of the city’s first mayors.
Eventually, the amount of tourists declined because of a national financial depression. As a result, the town became more peaceful and primarily residential. The residential lifestyle still exists today, as the families in Tonka Bay enjoy their town’s prime location next to Lake Minnetonka.