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Fun & Historical Facts About Waconia

  • Emile Amblard, a French wine merchant, built 3 chateaus on Coney island; 1 for himself, 1 for his wife, and 1 for his mother-in-law.
  • The Yellowstone Trail went from Plymouth Rock Mass. to Puget Sound. It ran along the east side of Lake Waconia & down Main Street.
  • Waconia was the nation’s largest manufacturer of sorghum molasses
  • In 1864, possibly earlier, the lumber mill was located where Lola’s landing is now.
  • The Waconia County fair was first located on the shores of the lake near Bayview Elementary.
  • By the year 1907 Lake Waconia (then called Clearwater Lake) was well known for its bass.
  • In 1907 Lake Waconia (then called Clearwater Lake) had several launches, 1 steamboat, and 110 boats on the lake.
  • In 1921, Camp Manakiki opened and welcomed campers to the eastern shore of Lake Waconia.
  • In 1882, the Valley Herald reported that the 4th of July celebration began at 3 am with men marching and firing their guns.
  • The first hotel in Waconia was called the Lake House, built in the early 1860’s on the corner of Main and Vine Street.
  • The Paradise Nite Club (now known as the Lake Waconia Event Center) opened on July 29, 1933.
  • Island View Golf Club was officially incorporated on December 18, 1958.
  • In 1917 Arthur Mackenthun opened a meat market in Waconia. Today, Mackenthun’s is Minnesota’s longest running family grocery.
  • In 1872, 10,000 salmon were stocked in Lake Waconia.
  • From 1903–1905, the U of M Varsity football team used Coney Island as a training facility, under Doc Williams.
  • The town site of Waconia was platted in 1857 by R.P. Russell.
  • In 1884, Lambert Naegle purchased Coney Island for $5,200.
  • The first Waconia Brewery, located on Oak St N on the lake, was built in 1875.
  • The Sioux called Lake Waconia “Meday Wa Ko Ni Ya.” This spelling evolved to Waconia.
  • By 1913 there were 3 daily passenger trains going in each direction from the Twin Cities area to/from Waconia.
  • The Coney Island Hotel, est. 1888, advertised Amusement, Dancing, Boating, Fishing, Croquet and Tennis.
  • Room and board at the Coney Island Hotel was $3 and $3.50 per day.
  • In 1885, the steamship Niagra was launched and served tourists on Lake Waconia until it was demolished by the tornado of 1904.
  • The Boston Ice Company built their first icehouse on the east shore of Lake Waconia in 1902, harvesting 40,000 tons of ice in 1908.
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