With Lake Minnetonka currently frozen over, it is hard to believe that another beautiful season of steamboating has already come and gone. 2018 proved to be a strong year for Minnehaha as 10,500 passengers sailed aboard her between early June and mid-October. This would not have been possible without the persistent support received from the community and the dedication of our 75+ volunteers. The following is a recap of just some of the highlights from the past year.
May 5, 2018 was one of the
latest ice-out dates ever recorded for Lake Minnetonka. This pushed back the
start of Minnehaha’s season by a
week, but the extra time was used to finish various winter maintenance
projects. The annual meeting was held only a few days later on May 9. At the
meeting, Jeff Schott was elected as the MLM’s new president. Mr. Schott
replaces Jeff Lambert, who served as president since 2013.
On July 12, 2018, the Museum of Lake Minnetonka lost one of its dearest friends. Jim Ogland was an integral force during Minnehaha’s restoration and served as the restored vessel’s first captain during her lake trials in 1995. A dedicated Lake Minnetonka historian, he passed away peacefully at the age of 87. His full obituary can be viewed here.
MLM Vice President Jim Zimmerman spoke at Jim’s funeral. The following is a transcript of his speech.
“It’s a great personal honor to be able to speak at Jim Ogland’s celebration of life. And what a life we’re celebrating! His was an extraordinary life, exceptionally well lived.
“If you knew Jim well, you know he wore a lot of hats. You will hear a lot about his hats and roles, but I’m here to talk about this hat. It’s a captain’s hat from the steamboat Minnehaha, which was one of Jim’s passions. And he was the very first person to wear this hat.
“Jim became a leader and integral part of the group of volunteers that spent years faithfully restoring the Minnehaha. He worked in all facets of the restoration, even going so far as to get a steam boiler license when he learned we needed steam engineers. Jim was also instrumental in organizing fundraisers at the Lafayette Club that helped generate the funds necessary for the restoration. He was a true leader of the early volunteers who saved, restored, and successfully launched the Minnehaha.
This article originally appeared in the Wayzata Historical Society newsletter The Telegraph. It has been republished here with permission from the Wayzata Historical Society.
Like many other spots on Lake Minnetonka, the peninsula we know today as Bracketts Point has gone by many different names in its long history. Also known as Promontory Point, Starvation Point, Printers Point, and Orono Point, to name just a few, it was eventually named after its most well-known settler George A. Brackett and his wife Annie Hoit Brackett.
George and Annie Brackett first visited Lake Minnetonka on August
18, 1858 for a picnic and day of fishing and camping with friends. It wasn’t
until 1880 that the Bracketts returned to Lake Minnetonka to purchase the
peninsula between Browns Bay and Smiths Bay. Mr. and Mrs. Brackett gave it the
name Orono Point and built a modest cottage at the site. The name Orono was
important to George Brackett, as he had left his home of Orono, Maine to come
to Minnesota in 1857. It wasn’t until 1930 that it was renamed Bracketts Point
in his honor.