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City of Deephaven

Deephaven is a small city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States. The community is located on Lake Minnetonka. The community’s center is the historic Cottagewood General Store, which has been serving the Lake Minnetonka area since 1895. It is located 14 miles (23 km) west-southwest of downtown Minneapolis. The population was 3,642 as of the 2010 Census, down from 3,853 as of the 2000 census.

Deephaven was settled in 1876 by Saint Louis attorney Charles Gibson. Gibson built a summer house in an area known as “Northome” and began promoting the area as a vacation destination for Southerners. In 1879 he advocated for the construction of the 150-room Hotel Saint Louis, the area’s first grand hotel. The community was connected to the Minneapolis and Saint Louis Railway to serve both the hotel and local cottagers.

The Minnetonka Yacht Club was founded in Deephaven in 1882 and incorporated in 1889. One of the club’s co-founders, Hazen Burton, built a home named “Chimo” in Deephaven in 1890. A train depot was built near the property so that the Burtons could commute to their department store in Minneapolis. The name “Deephaven” can be traced back to the name of this depot.

In 1893 Burton commissioned local boat builder Arthur Dyer to develop a new kind of sailboat called a racing scow. When the Onawa debuted in 1893, it was disqualified for winning nearly every regatta it entered. The rules were eventually modified, however, and racing scows became popular within the sailing community worldwide. The Onawa is currently displayed at the Excelsior-Lake Minnetonka Historical Society Museum in nearby Excelsior.

Lake Minnetonka fell out of favor as a vacation destination in the 1890s. The Hotel Saint Louis suffered financially and was eventually demolished in 1907. In its place, Walter Donald Douglas of the Quaker Oats fortune and his wife Mahala built a twenty-seven room estate named “Walden.” Walter Douglas perished in the Titanic disaster in 1912, however, Mahala and her French maid Berthe Leroy were survivors. Mahala returned to Deephaven as a widow and lived there until her death in 1945.

Deephaven’s historic Cottagewood General Store, opened in 1895 by Ralph M. Chapman, served as a grocer to tourists along the shores of Lake Minnetonka.[15] The store is one of Deephaven’s most notable attractions today.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.43 square miles (6.29 km2), of which 2.37 square miles (6.14 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.[16] Minnetonka Boulevard serves as a main route.

Notable People

  • Walter Donald Douglas, Titanic disaster victim
  • Dean Phillips, U.S. Representative, resident from 2011 until 2021
  • Max McGee, Green Bay Packers football player
  • Mike Plant, yachtsman
  • Tim Herron, professional golfer
  • Marisa Coughlan, actress
  • Jeffrey Hatcher, playwright and screenwriter
  • Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs defenceman

The City of Deephaven is located in Hennepin County and is approximately 20 miles west of Minneapolis, on Lake Minnetonka. The City has 89 acres of parkland – several parks, ice rinks, tennis courts, soccer fields and ball diamonds. Deephaven has six beaches (three with lifeguards).

The City of Deephaven was incorporated in 1900. It is a western suburb of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, located in Western Hennepin County. Deephaven covers an area of 2.3 square miles (or 1,440 acres) with an estimated population of 3,677. It is essentially a residential city, with a small commercial area that primarily serves the local community.

One of Deephaven’ s chief attractions is Lake Minnetonka with its three deep-cut bays bordering the city. The points and peninsulas overlooking the lake provide some of the City’s most beautiful home sites, and the lake furnishes endless opportunities for year‐round recreational activities.

Summer fun is provided at six public beaches and two city marinas, which accommodates approximately 312 boats ranging in size from slender canoes to luxurious powerboats and sailboats.

Deephaven’s recreational areas include public parks, which contain tennis courts, baseball fields, platform courts, playground equipment, basketball courts and walking trails. Hiking trails and bike paths connect many recreational areas. During the winter, the trails are utilized for cross‐country skiing.

Deephaven is truly a haven when it comes to peaceful living and active recreation.


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