Groveland has a rich history going back to its beginning in 1902. This twelve-acre parcel of land on the shores of Lake Minnetonka's Wayzata Bay was originally owned by Samuel Bartow, a farmer who was deeded the property from the U.S. Government in 1857. In 1902, articles of incorporation record this land deeded to the Methodist Lakeside Assembly (MLA) with a real estate valuation of $15,000. From 1902-1941, MLA offered up to 70 lots for cottages and tents, and a main assembly hall. Drinking water was available only from a lakefront hand pump well and lake water was piped into each site for other household needs. Refrigeration was possible with the delivery of ice blocks for the iceboxes in each cottage. Local farmers sold fruit and vegetables providing residents with fresh produce.
A Heritage of Faith
Rental of cottages or tents for short periods or for the entire summer was originally available only to members of the Methodist Church. A caretaker helped maintain the neighborhood and made repairs with the assistance of volunteers. In those days, there was no swimming on Sundays, no alcohol allowed on the premises, and campers were requested to attend Sunday Church services.
The Big Fire
A few cottages were heated with wood-burning stoves which served as protection from the cold but, as the community was to learn, the heating sources occasionally proved tragic. On October 15, 1919, a fire started in one of the lakefront cottages and spread along the north end of the neighborhood destroying 21 homes and the assembly hall. Muddy roads made it impossible for firefighters to arrive in time from the Wayzata Fire Department. Many of the cottages and the assembly hall were completely destroyed. They were rebuilt in 1920.
Transition to Home Ownership
By 1941, the temporary rental sites began to be leased as permanent parcels to residents on an annual basis. Later, as property values rapidly appreciated, transfers of ownership of houses became difficult because the parcels were leased and not owned. In 1984, the ownership of each parcel was transferred to the current resident. Surveys had been undertaken to define lot lines around the existing sites, occasionally resulting in irregular lot lines that survive today. Currently, the Groveland Homeowners Association (GHA) is home to 42 residences.
The Modern Era
In 1997 saw a major modernization of the association when all historical water wells and septic tanks were replaced by a municipal water and sewer system provided by the city of Minnetonka.
The Groveland Homeowners Association is governed by a Board of Directors elected annually by the residents. But as in its beginning, Groveland is supported by a high level of volunteerism. Many Groveland residents are active in their respective churches, but attend the non-denominational summer church with guest speakers on Sundays at the lakefront assembly hall. A variety of talents among the residents manifests itself in a community newsletter, neighborhood clean-up days, painting, repairing, swimming beach and boat dock upkeep, street light maintenance, flag raising, church services and neighborhood socials, to name only a few. What began as a summer retreat is now a community of neighbors who cherish the open green spaces, the beautiful lake and a special fellowship.
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"Our lakeside neighborhood on the the shores of Wayzata Bay since 1902"
Groveland Homeowners Association, 17700 Front Street, Woodland, MN 55391