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Minnetonka ( / /) is a suburban city in Hennepin Countymarker, Minnesotamarker, United Statesmarker, eight miles (13 km) west of Minneapolismarker. Its 2000 population of 51,480 makes it the fourteenth largest city in Minnesota. The word "Minnetonka" comes from the Dakota Indian mni tanka meaning "great water". The city is home to Cargill, a large privately held, multinational corporation.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 28.2 square miles (73.1 km²)—27.1 square miles (70.3 km²) of it is land and 1.1 square miles (2.87 km²) of it (3.83%) is water. Part of the city includes the Eastern tip of Lake Minnetonkamarker, one of the largest lakes in Minnesota. The outlet of Lake Minnetonkamarker is Minnehaha Creekmarker, which winds through South Minneapolismarker before ending at Minnehaha Fallsmarker and flowing into the Mississippi River. Minnetonka is located west of Minneapolismarker in Hennepin County. Interstates 394 and 494marker are two of the main routes in the city.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 51,301 people, 21,393 households, and 14,097 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,893.0 persons per square miles (729.7/km²). There were 22,228 housing units at an average density of 818.9 per square mile (316.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.40% White, 1.50% African American, 0.20% Native American, 2.29% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.57% from other races, and 1.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.28% of the population. 24.7% were of German, 13.8% Norwegian, 9.1% Irish, 8.2% Swedish and 6.7% English ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 21,393 households out of which 29.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.1% were non-families. 27.3% of all households are made up of single individuals and 9.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.92.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 6.0% from 18 to 24, 28.5% from 25 to 44, 28.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.7 males.

According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the city was $78,840, and the median income for a family was $101,793. Males had a median income of $57,439 versus $38,605 for females. The per capita income for the city was $40,410. About 1.5% of families and 2.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.3% of those under age 18 and 4.1% of those age 65 or over.

History

Since the mid-1800s Minnetonka has evolved from heavily wooded wilderness through extensive farming and thriving industrialization to its present primarily residential suburban character.The Dakota and Ojibway Indians were the first people to settle in the area. They believed the land around Lake Minnetonkamarker (minne meaning water and tonka meaning big) was the legendary home of an extinct race. The first recorded exploration of the area by European settlers was in 1822, when a group from newly constructed Fort Snellingmarker made its way up Minnehaha Creekmarker (then known as Brown's Creek or Falls Creek) to the lake. In 1851 the Dakotah sold the area including Minnetonka to the United States with the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. The first census, the Territorial Census of 1857, lists 41 households. Twenty-nine of the heads of households are listed as farmers. The occupations of the remaining twelve are associated with the operations of Minnetonka Mill and a nearby hotel.

In 1852 a claim was staked on Minnehaha Creek near McGinty Road. The sawmill that was constructed in the thick woods of maple, oak, elm, red cedar and basswood was the first privately-operated mill in Minnesota west of the Mississippi River. Oak timbers from this mill were used to build the first suspension bridge across the Mississippi River at St. Anthony Falls in 1853. The settlement of Minnetonka Mills that grew up around the mill was the first permanent European-American settlement west of Minneapolis in Hennepin County. In 1855 a two-story sawmill was constructed with a furniture factory on the second floor. A building for varnishing furniture was built on the south side of the creek, at the present Bridge Street. Production consisted mainly of chairs and bedsteads. The Minnetonka Republican at St. Anthony published a short article describing the area. The February 12, 1857 issue said:

But competition from the mills at St. Anthony, the drowning of the mill's manager in 1857 and a fire in 1860 dashed the lofty hopes. From 1860 to 1869 the mill area had no active mill. In 1869, Thomas Perkins constructed a 3½ story flour mill and an ad joining cooper shop. At the peak of its production, around 1880, the mill ground about 400 barrels of flour daily and employed 18 men. One of its brands, "Snow Ball," was priced at $3.00 per hundred pound, and local farmers were paid $1.00 per bushel of wheat. From 1874 to the mid-1880s, Charles Burwell managed the Minnetonka Mill Company's operations.

Milling played a major role in the development of Minnetonka and Minnehaha Creek provided power to operate these mills. Most of the earliest settlers were from New Englandmarker and other eastern and central states, with Irish people settling in northern Minnetonka later. In the 1860s Scandinavians came where the climate and terrain reminded them of their native land. Immigrants from Czechoslovakia settled in the southern part of Minnetonka from 1854 to 1871. They contributed greatly to the professional, business and agricultural segments of the population. The raspberries they grew in Minnetonka for sale in Hopkinsmarker prompted Hopkins to call itself "The Raspberry Capital of the World."



In 1860, after only 8 years of operation, the sawmill closed. In 1869 a flour and grist mill were constructed and operated until the late 1880s. In 1874 Charles H. Burwell came to manage the Minnetonka Mill Company, and he built a Victorian home on the north bank of Minnehaha Creek (Minnetonka Boulevard at McGinty Road East) for his family. The Charles H.marker Burwell Housemarker is now on the National Register of Historic Places and is owned by the city. There were two other mills in Minnetonka. The St. Alban's Mill, which was less than a mile downstream from Minnetonka Mills on Minnehaha Creek, operated as a flour mill from 1874 to 1881. A grist mill built on Purgatory Creek was washed out in a flood shortly after construction. Minnetonka Mills, with its post office and port for Lake Minnetonka, was the principal business and trading center for a large area until the 1870s.

Between 1883 and 1956 the area within the original township grew smaller as Wayzatamarker, Hopkinsmarker, Deephavenmarker, Woodlandmarker and St. Louis Parkmarker incorporated or annexed portions of Minnetonka. Excellent transportation facilities to Hopkins and Minneapolismarker began to transform Minnetonka township's economy. Train service to Minneapolis had been available since the 1880s and in 1905 streetcar service began. The attraction to become a city wage earner was great and rapid transit made it possible. In 1956, as a maneuver to prevent neighboring villages from continuing to annex portions of Minnetonka township, residents in 1956 voted to establish a village out of the remaining twenty-eight square miles and the area was incorporated as Minnetonka Village. However, Minnetonka Village lasted only thirteen years. The complexities and the heavy demands of administering a rapidly developing community required professional management and larger representation. In 1969 a city charter was approved to serve the 35,000 residents.Ridgedale Center is located in Minnetonka.

Education

Public schools

The city of Minnetonka is covered by three independent school districts. The Hopkins School District, which encompasses the central and eastern part of Minnetonka; the Minnetonka School District, in the western part of city south of Lake Minnetonka; and the Wayzata School District, which covers an area along the northern boundary of the city.

Public Schools in Minnetonka (Minnetonka School District)
Elementary School Junior High School Senior High School
Clear Springs Elementary Minnetonka Middle School East Minnetonka High School
Groveland Elementary
Scenic Heights Elementary


Public Schools in Minnetonka (Hopkins School District)
Elementary Schools Junior High School Senior High School
Gatewood Elementary Hopkins West Junior High Hopkins High School
Glen Lake Elementary Hopkins North Junior High
L.H. Tanglen Elementary


Private schools

There are three private and parochial schools within Minnetonka's city limits:

Government

Minnetonka Police Department and City Hall
The City Council of Minnetonka consists of the mayor and six council members. Of the six council members, two are elected at large and the remaining four are elected from wards. The council exercises the legislative power of the city and determines all matters of policy. It has the responsibility of basic decisions for the community, including appointment of the city manager. The city manager is responsible for putting council policies into effect and administering affairs of city government.

Politics

Minnetonka is located in Minnesota's 3rd congressional district, represented by Republican Erik Paulsen.

References



External links




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