Tapping History will take to Lake Minnetonka on the historic steamboat "Minnehaha" in June, July and August. Boat boards at 6:45 pm and sails at 7:00 pm. Boarding at 687 Excelsior Boulevard at former Bayside Grille docks. Access the dock by walking down the bike trail and turning left toward the dock just past the restaurant building. Member tickets: $20.00 Non-member tickets: $35.00 Purchase tickets at: elmhs1.eventbrite.com.
"Volante," August 24, 1888
Monday, June 26 (rescheduled from June 12 due to weather)
Volante - Minnetonka’s Oldest Surviving Sailboat with Alan Lizee
Before there was Onawa, there was Volante. In 1886, Hazen Burton commissioned Boston boat designer Edward Burgess to design the fastest boat possible to sail on Lake Minnetonka. Described as shallow draft, gaff rigged, “sandbagger” sloop, boats of its kind rarely survived long. Most were raced hard and sunk when no longer useful. While Volantewas successful in many races, the Dyer Boatworks of Excelsior was already working on a lighter and faster boat for the Burtons, the Onawa. Eclipsed by faster designs, Volantewas soon retired from racing and was used as a pleasure boat until the 1930s when it was left to rest next to the Burton's boathouse in Deephaven.
Alan Lizee will share stories about Volante’s racing history as well has how his father and partner Jim MacRae gave Volantea second life and sailed her another 40 years. Today, she is the oldest boat on Lake Minnetonka, and according to the Mystic Seaport Museum, the last remaining sandbagger in the country still being sailed.
Joni Scheftel with her pet goat Bridget on Big Island, 1973.
The Scheftel family moved from Minneapolis to Big Island in 1971, where they lived year-round on a four-acre hobby farm and raised goats, sheep, poultry and other animals.
Marge, Zane and their three children crossed the lake to work and school nearly every day, rain or shine, water or ice. Joni will share her memories of island life, eccentric neighbors, and her mother, Marge Scheftel, who remained year-round on the island until her death in 2008.