Shorewood history

Shorewood 2020 Census Snapshot

Although incorporated in 1956, Shorewood area history dates back to the last Ice Age, when glacial melting created the Lake Minnetonka area. Situated on one of the largest lakes in Minnesota, Shorewood was incorporated from an area previously known as Excelsior Township.

In the centuries following the Ice Age, the Lake area was inhabited by various Native American tribes. The name, Lake Minnetonka means “Big Waters” in native Dakota language. In 1853, a group from New York founded the town of Excelsior out of the property formerly referred to as Excelsior Township. The remaining property, including what is now Shorewood, remained part of the Township.

Over the next century, other townships and municipalities were founded including Tonka Bay and Deephaven. Finally, in order to prevent the property remaining in Excelsior Township from being “lost” in annexation, a group of residents gathered together and formed what is now Shorewood.

Shorewood was primarily a rural community. It included the shores of Lake Minnetonka and Christmas Lake. It was part of the bigger Lake Minnetonka area which was a major tourist destination during the late 19th century. Luxurious hotels and inns dotted the landscape around us, and the railroad and State Highway 7 made for convenient access.

Find out more about Shorewood's history at Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society