Museum of Lake Minnetonka

A nonprofit organization

The Museum of Lake Minnetonka is actively working to bring Steamboat Minnehaha back to active operation once again:

Current Status:

At the end of the 2019 season, Minnehaha lost access to the only boat ramp on Lake Minnetonka capable of launching & hauling-out this community treasure.  The Museum of Lake Minnetonka (MLM) - the all-volunteer, nonprofit organization which owns and operates the steamboat - was forced to suspend Minnehaha's history cruises until a new launch site could enable the boat to return to service.

A site has now been identified and currently engineering/design plans are under development.   Permits will need to be approved and funds raised before construction can begin.  Meanwhile, the energy costs to keep the boat heated during the winter have risen significantly in the past year, as have insurance premiums.  MLM is currently working to explore all fundraising and grant opportunities, but your support is needed now.

How YOU Can Help:

Help us Get Minnehaha out of her storage barn and Back On The Water Again!

A new launch ramp will secure Minnehaha's future for the long-term - but it will require the support of the entire Lake Minnetonka community to make it a reality.  Minnehaha's story is unlike that of any other vessel on the lake or in Minnesota.  We are committed to making this happen...but we need your support too.  Please considering donating to the Museum of Lake Minnetonka!


Built in 1906 as an extension of the Twin Cities’ streetcar system, Minnehaha provided fast and reliable transportation for the tourists and residents of Lake Minnetonka for twenty years. At 70 feet long and nearly 15 feet wide, she operated on scheduled routes alongside five identical sister vessels called the Express Boats. Since they closely resembled the Twin City Rapid Transit Company’s trollies, residents often referred to these boats as “the streetcar boats.”

The popularity of automobiles and improved roads in the area ended the streetcar boats’ viability in the 1920s. With no further use in sight, Minnehaha and some of her sister boats were scuttled in 1926 and lay forgotten at the bottom of Lake Minnetonka for more than five decades.  In 1980, a salvage team located the wreck of Minnehaha and raised her back to the surface.  Following a $500,000, volunteer-driven restoration, Minnehaha returned to passenger service in 1996 and operated continuously on Lake Minnetonka until 2019.  Minnehaha was officially listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2021!

For more information about Minnehaha and how to help return her to the waters of Lake Minnetonka, visit!

Organization Data


Organization name

Museum of Lake Minnetonka

other names

Steamboat Minnehaha

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education Volunteer


P.O. Box 178
Excelsior, MN 55331


952 474 2115

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