For much of its history, Waconia, Minnesota was a big tourist destination. It since then has become more residential. This city’s history is valuable to the locals, and can be highly appreciated by anyone.
The main inhabitants of the area were the Dakota Indians. They named the local lake “Meday Wa Ko Ni Ya,” which means “lake of the fountain.” When the first non-Indian settlers moved into the area, they took on the name of the lake, Lake Waconia, for their newly established town.
The reason that Waconia, as well as other areas in the western portion of the state, were flooded with so many settlers was because of a treaty. The Mendota treaty was an agreement between the government and the Indians. The Indians moved out of the land which allowed the settlers to develop separate townships There were immigrants of many different heritages that made their homes in Waconia, but the majority of them were German. By the year of 1858, most of the land near the lake had been turned into a residential village.
The earliest businesses in the town were a steam saw, flouring mill, and the Waconia Brewery. Because of Lake Waconia, the town created a successful ice business as well. Ice was harvested by cutting blocks of ice out of the lake when it froze over, and packing them in sawdust to keep them from melting as quickly. Eventually, they were shipped out to be sold.
In 1880, Waconia grew large enough to be incorporated as a village. Most people came to visit Lake Minnetonka to the east, but some were drawn to Lake Waconia as well. With access by railroad, the town had several years of heavy tourism. A local favorite in the area was an island on the lake that the residents called Paradise Island. It was a very popular recreational spot for them. Much to their dismay, new owners turned the island into a resort for tourists, as they built hotels and restaurants on it.
As time went on, the Lake Minnetonka area became to full of vacationers, and even more began to spill over to Lake Waconia. The town and island resort became the “Paradise of the Northwest.” Unfortunately, a national depression caused the tourism business to die out, and Waconia went back to its simple residential development.
In the early twenty-first century, the city continued to grow. The population increased by almost 4,000 in-between the years of 2000 and 2010. Today, Waconia is one of the larger cities in Carver County and the nearby Lake Waconia, and what is known today as Coney Island, still play an important role in the lives of the residents.
If you have any questions regarding the city of Waconia, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit TwinCitiesPropertyFinder.com or call 1-800-909-1953.