In 1876, Cottagewood in Deephaven was platted by Susan and Samuel Gale. Gale was a Minneapolis real estate agent and civic leader. Today, Cottagewood remains a vibrant small community tucked along the shore of Lake Minnetonka.
During Lake Minnetonka’s heyday (1880s to 1890s), Cottagewood welcomed tourists to its quaint community. In 1885, the 40-room Cottagewood Club House was built. It was later renamed Hotel Keewaydin.
The was founded in 1895. Ralph and Stella Chapman operated it as a small grocery store. Throughout its history, The Cottagewood General Store has offered groceries, gasoline, fine dining, catering, lake-related gifts and Cottagewood-themed merchandise.
This small community has had its share of challenges. Hotel Keewaydin burned down in 1924. In 1965, Cottagewood was hit by a tornado and many homes in the neighborhood were destroyed. During the storm, water was sucked out of St. Louis Bay and yards were littered with weeds from the bottom of the lake.
In 1995, The Cottagewood General Store closed. Fearful of what the building might become if purchased by someone else, a meeting was called and ultimately 135 neighbors united to save The Cottagewood General Store. In 1998, the Cottagewood Community Foundation (CCF) was established. With over 206 member families to date, it continues to operate as a 501c3 non-profit organization.
The Cottagewood General Store is open daily and hosts many fun events, including an Easter egg hunt, lawn sales, a July 4th celebration, an Oktoberfest party, Halloween trick or treating and a visit from Santa.
During the summer, The Cottagewood General Store has Grill Nights on Fridays. All events are open to the community.
Visit The Cottagewood General Store to take a step back in time. Enjoy a cup of coffee or an ice cream cone inside the historic building or outside on the beautiful patio. There is also a children’s park across the street. The Cottagewood General Store is a perfect destination to take a break while biking or walking on the nearby Lake Minnetonka LRT Regional Trail.
The Cottagewood General Store will re-open for the 2011 season on Saturday, April 30. It will close on October 31. For more information, visit www.cottagewoodusa.com.
Stephanie Larsen grew up in Minnetonka and now lives on Lake Minnetonka with her husband and two children. She loves sharing information about the rich history of the Lake Minnetonka area with others. In 2009, Stephanie co-authored “Historic Lake Minnetonka,” which provides an overview of how Lake Minnetonka was discovered, developed, and settled.