Woodland History

The Rich History of Woodland

Woodland is approximately .8 square miles, with 3.6 miles of public roads and 5.9 miles of shoreline on Lake Minnetonka. Our resident population in the City of Woodland is 462, as reported from the 2017 Metropolitan Council estimate. The City is one of the smallest suburbs in Hennepin County.

Records tell of visitors in 1853, with the first home built in 1857, and a summer cottage was built in the 1870’s on the shores of Lake Minnetonka, which was later enlarged to become a hotel. A small boat works was located on the Wayzata Bay shore where steamboats stopped to load and unload passengers at various docks. The Milwaukee Railroad, and later the streetcar line, ran through the southern part of the City. The streetcar depot still stands at Maplewood Road. Many modest summer cottages lined the shores and larger summer homes began to appear after 1890. In the 20’s and 30’s the transition to year-round residences took place, either through winterizing the cottages or new construction.

The History of Woodland is largely the history of two old and important areas of the City; the area known as Maplewoods and the Groveland Homeowners Association.

In the latter part of the Nineteenth Century, Maplewoods came to be used as a summer residence for a number of Minneapolis families. It was first platted in 1882. By 1889, nearly all the shoreline was developed by summer residences of various sizes. The interior was slower to develop. Starting about 1935, the character of the Maplewoods area gradually changed from one of summer residents to one in which the residents lived year-round.

The second old area of Woodland is the Methodist Lakeside Assembly, known today as the “Groveland Homeowners Association”. In 1902 a small group of dedicated Methodist people formed the Methodist Lakeside Assembly. According to the founders, the general purpose and plan of operation for the Groveland Homeowners Association is to be the mutual improvement in religion, moral, literary, and social culture.

In 1948, residents of Maplewoods, the Groveland Homeowners Association, and certain adjoining lands joined together to incorporate what is now the City of Woodland. Their primary purpose was to preserve the unusual and attractive quiet residential character of their respective areas. The initial name was the Village of Maplewoods. In 1949 the name was changed to the Village of Woodland and later changed to the City of Woodland. The compound word was comprised of the “wood” from Maplewoods plus the “land” from Groveland. The union of the two old established areas and of the people nearby has been most harmonious and beneficial for all.