History of Medicine Lake
The United States government surveyed the peninsula in 1855, and in 1858 a Mr. Weyandt bought the land from the government. There were several other owners through the years, but in 1887 a Mr. Jacob Barge bought the land, plotted it into lots, and opened it to the public in July of that year.
The peninsula was plotted as Medicine Lake Park, First Division. A road ran down the center from north to south, called Central Avenue, now Peninsula Road. It was a dirt road, rutty and muddy when it rained. There were several roads going east and west. Most of these have been vacated and the property added to the adjoining owners.
Lincoln Park was also plotted. The main road leading to the Peninsula was around the south shore, not where the road is now, but closer to the lakeshore, in front of the homes that are now there. This road was called “Lovers Lane” by most as both sides of the road were wooded. There were many skunks in these woods and woe to our dogs as they went through them. It was a very wet road in the spring and at that time we most always rode in water. Of course our only mode of transportation was the horse and buggy.
Mr. Barge had hoped that the Minneapolis Rapid Transit Co. would come out to the lake. This never came to pass, but we did get some service from the Luce Line, starting on January 18, 1914.
Most of the people who lived on the peninsula in the early days lived there only in the summer months. To name a few, the Jevenes who lived on the tip end; the Heckricks, Hahns, Mayer and Schramm and my family, the Naumanns, Huxmanns, Maurers, Thiesens, Tisdale and Jessups, Valarias, Bretz, and Kidal, Taubert, Hoben, Bye, Brudigan, Schwarz, Crume, later Meyer and Ertl, Siverts, Boeners and maybe others I have forgotten. Many of these people are gone, but all did their bit for the good of the peninsula.
Everything had to be worked for; roads, electricity and telephone. The roads were hard to get fixed as the farmers who lived around the lake did the fixing and thought that “we city people” wanted too much. Maybe I’m digressing a bit, but I can remember my father driving a horse and buggy to see a certain man or to a township meeting, trying to get them to do something about the roads. After years of work he got them to put through the road, which until a few years ago was called Naumann’s Cartway and which is now County Road #73.
I would like to thank the telephone company and Northern States Power company for their cooperation in looking up their records. It was about 1910 that we got our first telephone. The Orchard exchange building was built in 1917. It was in May or June 1926, that electricity was brought to the peninsula. A guarantee of a certain number of stoves to be bought had to be given before the electric company would come in–or out. The above was extracted from a great book written by… Mrs.Kuehn…titled … Medicine Lake Village , Its’ History and Its’ People …1858-1968… Thank you Mrs.Kuehn
1944 was a year of change and transition in the peninsula community. With growing desire among the populace for a self governing, corporate village structure, action was necessary. Spearheaded by Mr. Les Johantgen, Mr. Charles Brudigan and Mr. Ernest Ertl, to mention a few, a meeting was called for April 14, 1944 to discuss separation from Plymouth Township. The first referendum on this separation were duly recorded on April 24th of the same year. And so it was, after many weeks and months of discussion, argument and finally achievement, the Village of Medicine Lake Park came into being.
Medicine Lake Village is a far cry from the community prior to 1944. It has experienced the transition from a “summer resort” status to a year-round residential community. Its population is cosmopolitan, its needs are great, its desire for progress is tenacious and its pride in achievement is boundless. Perhaps the outstanding quality of this community, now and in the past are recorded in village history, is that prevailing quality of cooperation, neighborliness, the willingness to help your fellow-man and the ability of a group of people with varying backgrounds to work together in a common cause. The community of today, admitting its weaknesses but proud of its achievements, is living proof of the fulfillment of the dreams and hopes fostered by its founders. Many of the “pioneers” of our village are gone but their names, their deeds and their devotion to a cause are recorded for posterity in the annals of village history.
And still today, unchanged from many years ago before you and I were born, there is a piece of land jutting out into a lake.
The Lake – Medicine,
The Land – our peninsula.