So Minnesota: Historic Wayzata train depot

So Minnesota: Historic Wayzata train depot

So Minnesota: Historic Wayzata train depot

There are several train stations around the state but one was built after a long dispute.

In the late 1800s, the village of Wayzata asked railroad baron James J. Hill to move tracks along Lake Minnetonka.

“The thought was the train is really dirty and kind of noisy, messy; maybe the tracks could be moved, maybe things can be cleaned up,” Sue Sorrentino with the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society said.

After Hill denied the request, Wayzata leaders filed a lawsuit, which went to the Minnesota Supreme Court and the village won.  

“He didn’t have to move the tracks, but he did have to move the train station,” Sorrentino said.

Hill tore down the old train station and built a new one called Holdridge a mile away. Wayzata was literally taken off the map.

“13 years later, things cooled down and the decision was made for this depot,” Sorrentino said.

More than a decade later, the village council voted for a reconciliation ordinance with Hill. In 1906, Hill built a state-of-the-art train depot that still stands today. It was considered the “handsomest” on the Great Northern Line.

“Steam heat, electricity, and then bathrooms, which were not common in the houses being built in the early 1900s around here,” Sorrentino said.

In 1972 after the station stopped being used, the railroad donated the depot to the city of Wayzata. It’s now home to the Lake Minnetonka Historical Society and Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce.

In 1981, the building was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.