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Wayzata is a premier suburb located 11 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. With a population of 4,500 people, Wayzata is a tight-knit community which is known for its vibrant downtown and picturesque setting on Lake Minnetonka. A popular destination for visitors, Wayzata’s downtown is home to a number of specialty shops, boutiques, professional services, and restaurants.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Wayzata History: American Legion Post 118

 The Wayzata American Legion Post 118 is named after Ernest Aselton.

Wayzata American Legion Post 118, Wayzata
The Wayzata local joined the U.S. Marine Corps in August of 1918 and was killed in action in France during World War I.

Ernest Aselton, Photo Courtesy Wayzata American Legion

The Wayzata Legion was granted its charter on September 3, 1919. Arthur H. Quay was the first Commander.

The Post originally held meetings above the city hall on the corner of Manitoba and Lake Street.

The group began meeting at Hart’s Café in the 1940s. In 1948, the Post got its own building which still stands today.

World War I vets had purchased a piece of land where Wayzata West Middle School is located.

That land was traded for land along Wayzata Boulevard where the Legion stands today.

Wayzata American Legion Post 118, Wayzata

The construction of the building was a team effort with Legion members spending evenings, days off and weekends to build the club.

There were many young World War II veterans who were willing to volunteer their time to make it happen.

But it wasn’t just Legion members who got involved.

The community came out in full force to help the cause.

Local businesses donated building material, hardware, plumbing, a furnace and food for the men working on the weekend.

The original building was 30 feet wide and 75 feet wide and consisted of a small bar, kitchen and meeting room. The construction of the new Legion building was a passing of the torch of sorts.

While the World War I veterans created the Post, World War II vets made their mark by creating a community hub from the ground up.

Wayzata American Legion Post 118, Wayzata

In 1963, an addition was made to giving the Legion its current size. In 1990, the Club was remodeled in 1990 adding a kitchen in the back of the building.

Of course, the Legion isn’t just a place for Post members to hold meetings - it has been a constant community gathering place through the years.

It has hosted countless wedding receptions, wedding anniversaries and class reunions. It’s a place where old friends can catch up with one another.

Fundraising is a big function of the Legion.

These campaigns allow the Post to make donations to local charities – toy drives, schools and hospitals all benefit from the Legion’s year-round fundraising efforts.

The next time you’re driving down Wayzata Boulevard and pass the little building with the big American flag, the stone façade and the blue sign, know that it was built on weekends, evenings and days off by people who wanted Wayzata to have a place to meet.

It was organized by members of the Legion but truly constructed by the entire community – footing by footing, block by block, frame by frame.

That building represents pride in the community. It helped form the foundation of what Wayzata is today.

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