Feb. 11, 2021

Wayzata Historical Society: Wayzata + The Modern Movement

Recently, the Wayzata Historical Society produced this program entitled Wayzata + The Modern Movement. It was presented by Aaron Person and includes information on the Dayton-Burnet house on Ferndale Road and also features well known architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, Ralph Rapson and more.

Feb. 8, 2021

Trappers Cabin, Relic of Pioneer Era

Irene Stemmer was a force to be reckoned with when it came to the preservation of some of Wayzata’s most historic and treasured connections to the past.

Irene Stemmer & Ken Willcox stand in front of the Wayzata Trappers Cabin

Stemmer arrived in Wayzata in 1945 as the new administrative secretary of the Wayzata School District. She married Lew Stemmer, Jr. in 1949, part of the Wayzata Insurance Agency for over 25 years in the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.

Irene also served on the Wayzata City Council in the early 1980’s, and was a charter member of the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board, serving for more than a decade.

Her preservation efforts over the years included leading a petition to Save the Wayzata Post Office from being sold, and writing the Preliminary History of Bushaway Road in collaboration with and in support of the Bushaway Road Task Force. The group worked with Hennepin County for years to preserve the two lane county road.

The preservation project Stemmer worked on most recently prior to her recent passing was the relocation of the Trappers Cabin, a one story tamarack log cabin and relic of the Pioneer era.

Stemmer championed repair and movement of the structure from the original location on Bushaway Road to Shaver Park, located at 220 Grove Lane East.

The cabin measures approximately 12’ x 16’, and is believed to be from the mid 19th century. The oldest photograph of the structure is believed to be from 1889. The origins of the structure are cloaked in a bit of mystery.
In January, the Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board made an application to have the historic structure be designated a Heritage Preservation Site.

A historical planning report from Robert Vogel, a well known historical, archeological, and preservation planner was submitted to meet the requirements of the designation.

A Heritage Preservation Site designation recognizes the importance of a structure in Wayzata’s history, and places restrictions on remodeling, demolition, or moving the structure. The designation impacts only the structure, and does not place any limitations on the rest of the property at Shaver Park.

At the January 25th Planning Commission meeting, Commissioner Peggy Douglas shared her thoughts on Irene Stemmer, “In honor of Irene, I just want to say she was one of the first people I met when I moved to Wayzata in the mid 70’s. She was the most welcoming person, and over the years she did many things to establish our history in Wayzata and she worked very hard at it. She was just a delightful lady, and in her honor I am so glad we are doing this.”

The recommendation passed unanimously. Watch for the Trappers Cabin to appear on the City Council agenda shortly.

Publisher Dan Gustafson is Chair of the HPB.

Feb. 5, 2021

Wayzata Gymnastics Edges Hopkins

Feb. 5, 2021

Highlands Neighborhood Salutes Mayor Willcox with thank you signs

If you have driven along the west side of Wayzata, it's very possible you have noticed a number of thank you signs along Ferndale and in the Wayzata Highlands Neighborhood.

Several readers inquired to Wayzata.com about the signs, and after a bit of digging we found that one of the primary organizers of the effort was resident Chris Plantan.

Wayzata.com asked Mrs. Plantan about how the signs came to be, and this is what she had to say:

The Highlands neighborhood is a typical small town neighborhood with both established (older :)) households and young families. We have always had neighbors active in the governance of the town, from Mayoral, City Council, Planning Commission, Historical, Parks and Trails and other commissions. Participation in neighborhood events and city activities has never been a problem for the Highlands. We even have a neighborhood map and paper directory that is routed every year to keep everyone informed. There are 46 homes and almost all participated.

Ken Willcox has served the City for over 20 years and we thought it was an appropriate time to say thank you. Usually this is done at a reception in City Hall for the entire community but that was not possible this year. While we wanted to thank him for his service to the City, we also wanted to recognize them as good neighbors. Ken, and his wife Winnie, have lived in the neighborhood for 20 years and greet everyone with a smile, generous wave and enthusiastically support all events and small neighbor moments.

The Highlands has an unspoken rule of no political signs. We want to enter our neighborhood after a day at work or a day at school and have a visual reprieve from the noise of the world. It is a way to stay united in community even though we might be divided in other areas. So, we broke the rule in honor of the Mayor. I sent a note around to all the neighbors, asking them if they wanted to participate and was met with a resounding yes. Signs were ordered and delivered to each house. Those with children asked for more and each child was able to say thank you in their special way. We decided to put the signs up on Sunday, Jan 24, National Compliment Day. They went up first thing in the morning and were ready for their daily walk. You can imagine the surprise....tears!

Not only was it an appropriate way to say thank you, it demonstrated to others who may consider service in the future, that it is appreciated. We need to continue to have people want to serve and volunteer. Selfishly, it was a way for me to see all the creative talent in the neighborhood! 😊 One neighbor said he was so pleased to see everyone coming together during these times. Winter, and the pandemic, can be dark for some. This simple expression of gratitude was a light for many.

What a great way to express the gratitude of many! Well done!

Posted in Wayzata Residents
Feb. 5, 2021

Chamber event features Infinity Skating Rink, Movies, Fireworks, Miracle on Ice Olympian Rob McClanahan

The Wayzata Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a two day event titled Cinema & Skates on Friday, February 19 & Saturday February 20th on Wayzata Bay / Lake Minnetonka.

Billed as a great opportunity and excuse to get out of the house, organizers invite the public to a unique and charming experience over Valentine's Day weekend.

The event is a bit of a change for the Chamber, as the non-profit recently announced the cancellation of the annual Chilly Open event due to logistical concerns. Wayzata Chamber President Becky Pierson stated, "We were bummed to make the call on the golfing portion of the event, but we were determined and inspired to pivot like so many other businesses and organizations."

Pierson also continued, "We're excited about how we've been able to enhance Cinema & Skates. We are also appreciative of the partnerships and businesses that are helping to make our dream a reality."

Participants can enjoy a number of attractions and events including:

  • An infinity ice skating loop inspired by Two Harbors based Superior Shores Resort
  • An appearance by Olaf on Friday from 4:30 - 6:30pm
  • Friday fireworks at 7:00pm
  • Saturday evening skate with Rob McClanahan, member of the Miracle on Ice 1980 Olympic gold medal team

The cinema schedule is as follows:

  • Friday, February 12 | 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm featuring FROZEN 2
  • Friday, February 12 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm featuring THE MIGHTY DUCKS
  • Saturday, February 13 | 4:30 pm - 6:30 pm featuring THE CALL OF THE WILD
  • Saturday, February 13 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm featuring MIRACLE
Capacity at the event is limited to 250 people at any given time, and tickets are required for each guest. Tickets are available here for $10 each.
Seize your opportunity to join your fellow hearty Minnesotans, while supporting the local community and enjoying a unique, charming experience in downtown Wayzata!

If you go:

Check-in at the Wayzata Depot, located at 402 East Lake Street in Wayzata. Access to the ice with be through Depot Park.
Parking is in the Wayzata Boatworks parking lot located at 294 Grove Lane East.


Jan. 31, 2021

Pizza, Anyone? Josefina / Pizza Fina to occupy former Bellecour space

Wayzata.com was first to report that an Italian restaurant was being planned for the former Bellecour space shortly after Chef Gavin Keysen announced he would close the critically acclaimed french bistro last July.

Josefina / Pizza Fina

A number of reports have surfaced indicating that Argentinian born Chef Daniel del Prado is part of a team that is launching Roman inspired Josefina / Pizza Fina in the legendary spot on Wayzata's Lake Street that has housed such restaurants as Chouette in the late 1970's and Blue Point in more modern times.

Wood fired pizza file photo. Photo Vinicius Benedit.

del Prado's credentials are impressive including Linden Hills based Martina, an "amalgamation of Argentianian-Italian influences", Colita, an "Oaxacan Mexican-influenced menu of carefully crafted barbequed meats and creative tacos," and Rosalia, "a pizza spot featuring wood-fired Sicilian-style pizzas and full of unique co-stars of Mediterranian-inspired side dishes," according to Martina Restaurant.com.

Wayzata Bar & Grill announces new pizza program

Wayzata Mayor Johanna Mouton and Wayzata Bar & Grill General Manager Jeff Pietrini recently announced that the Muni would be offering pizza as part of their menu.

Wayzata Mayor Johanna Mouton serves up a slice of pizza during a recent video.

According to Pietrini, "We wanted to have some new menu items in 2021 and really maintain our identity as a bar and grill so we felt like pizza was the perfect opportunity."

"It's delicious," remarked Mayor Mouton as part of her February Mayor Minutes video program.

The pizza offerings are expected to launch as of February 1st.

Other restaurants that currently serve pizza in Wayzata include but are not limited to: Maggie’s, Punch PizzaD’Amico & Sons, nine twenty five and the Wayzata Legion.

Stay tuned to Wayzata.com for more restaurant news.

Jan. 21, 2021

Molly MacDonald appointed to City Council

Wayzata resident and business owner Molly MacDonald has been appointed to the Wayzata City Council. Submitted photo.

The Wayzata City Council Appointed Molly MacDonald at last Tuesday night’s Council Meeting. After what staff described as "an expedited but thorough interview process and discussion," the Council made the appointment unanimously.

10 applicants interviewed for the one open position left by Johanna McCarthy's move from Councilwoman to Mayor. McCarthy ran unopposed for Mayor in November of 2020 after Ken Willcox announced he would not seek the position again.

Interviews with the candidates were conducted via Zoom as part of the City's workshop agenda earlier in the evening.

Other finalists for the position included Jeff Parkhill and Lindsay Bashioum.

"The Wayzata City Council is excited to welcome it’s newest City Council member, Molly MacDonald, after considering a number of exceptionally committed, qualified and passionate members of the community, " stated Mayor Johanna McCarthy after the appointment.

McCarthy continued, "As a life long member of the community and small business owner, Mrs. MacDonald will bring a fresh perspective and new insights to council deliberations.  We look forward to her upcoming swearing in and the many contributions she will make to the council and community."

City Manager Jeff Dahl also echoed similar comments in a statement, "In their discussions, the City Council highlighted Mrs. MacDonald’s lifelong commitment to the community, understanding of the community’s vision and values, her value of perspective as a small business owner, and her obvious overall passion to make the community even better. Staff and the Council are thrilled to have Mrs. MacDonald as a part of Wayzata’s leadership team!"

MacDonald answered several questions posed by Wayzata.com after the appointment:

WDC: What made you run for the open council seat?

MM: "The support and encouragement from family, friends and my network in the community gave me the confidence to apply for the City Council position.  I was and am reminded daily that my core values for Wayzata align with a most engaged public."

WDC: What stands out to you about growing up here?

MM: "How many of us are still here! Wayzata is idyllic. As I grew and expanded my world that became clear to me."

WDC: How will growing up here guide your decision making in the future?

MM: "Our values are rooted in our past.  My memories of the Wayzata 25 years ago will guide me when making decisions for its future."

WDC: What is your vision for the future of Wayzata?

MM: "What I’ve learned from living though last year is hindsight truly is 20/20.  It’s even more apparent to me that Wayzata needs to progress forward steadily and thoughtfully.  I don’t want to see the city make regretful decisions.  I hope to be a thoughtful, forward looking councilor with a clear memory of the past.  Those two ideals need to work harmoniously.  The community speaks about charm.  It’s the word most people use when they talk about what they value in Wayzata.  Charm is earned and cannot be replicated and manufactured.  Charm is authentic and I believe that is what the residents, the business owners and all of our visitors want to see.  It’s the core value that I want to represent in the City Council."

MacDonald will be sworn in at the February 2nd City Council meeting.

Posted in Uncategorized
Jan. 16, 2021

Applicants for open City Council seat announced

The following persons have filed an application seeking appointment for the open City Council seat which was vacated by newly elected Mayor Johanna McCarthy.

  • Greg Flannigan
  • Adam Eig
  • Jeff Parkhill
  • Nate Leding
  • Lindsay Bashioum
  • Terri Fox
  • Margaret Runyon
  • Daniel Drotning
  • Jennifer Severson
  • Molly MacDonald

Interviews will be held via Zoom video conferencing from 4:00 - 6:30 pm during a Council Workshop scheduled for January 19th.

Stay tuned to Wayzata.com, your Wayzata City Council news leader.

Posted in Uncategorized
Jan. 15, 2021

2021 Chilly Open Cancelled

The Greater Wayzata Community Chamber of Commerce announced that the 2021 Chilly Open has been cancelled.

Below is the statement:

To our amazing Golfers and Community, 

The Chilly Open is such an incredible community event and something that has morphed into a must-do event for people here in MN and across the country!

It’s been a rollercoaster of planning and emotions these past couple of months.  We were hopeful and started preparing for a modified golf tournament, and had a recent call with the Assistant Attorney General, and heads of the Dept. of Health, Dept. of Labor and several others this past week.  In this call we were advised of the new guidelines and requirements we would have to enforce.

This beloved event presents challenges every year as a very unique event. From needing a specific uniform thickness of ice (per Hennepin County Water Patrol), enough snow to identify the course, lack of any pressure ridges that block access to Wayzata Bay and an annual permit approval from both Water Patrol and the City of Wayzata. Add to this - every year’s approval is based on how the previous year’s event was handled according to the rules and permit requirements.

Then we rely on our amazing sponsors like Porsche of Minneapolis, and many others that have returned for over 30 years! With their support we are able to create an incredible experience for the best followers and participants of any golf tournament ever!  And of course the epic chili from all our amazing restaurants.

This year we ALL have faced more challenges than we’ve ever seen with Covid-19. Pivot, pirouette, adapt, shift, whatever move you can think of, we’ve tried. As mentioned, in our call with the State of MN, our event was categorized and specific restrictions identified including numbers of people allowed, health screening, social distance, beverage consumption rules, and more.

Because of this, it’s time to rip off the band aid. Please trust, we waited for things to change and explored every possible option to continue the 36 year tradition of golfing on frozen Wayzata Bay. We feel the challenge to enforce all golfers adhering to the restrictions is too large a risk of losing the ability to have Chilly Open next year and the decades to follow.  We can’t confidently hold true to our event that bears the name of Chilly Open. We are bummed beyond belief, but we know brighter days are ahead.  We look forward to breaking attendance records in a healthy and safe 2022.

Posted in Uncategorized
Jan. 14, 2021

Wayzata Public Schools Offers Early Kindergarten Entrance

Children who are five years old by September 1 are eligible to begin kindergarten. 

Wayzata Public Schools offers early kindergarten entrance for children who turn five between September 2 and October 15 and reside in Wayzata Public Schools at the time of application. 

Children who demonstrate superior intellectual ability, high levels of academic achievement, and social/emotional development well-advanced for their age may be considered for early kindergarten entrance. 

Applications will be accepted through May 1. 

District staff will evaluate eligible students from mid-May through June and will make a decision by June 30. 

Visit www.wayzataschools.org/district/teaching-learning/gifted-talented to view the early kindergarten entrance criteria and complete the application.

Posted in Uncategorized