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The Museum and Archives are now open

by appointment only for the safety

of our visitors and volunteer staff

Please make appointments at least 48 hours in advance by
calling (952) 473-6557 and leaving a message.
Please limit your group to 4 people or less.

Covid-19 Required Saftey Precautions

  • Please stay home if you are feeling sick.
  • A MASK is required for the safety of all visitors and volunteer staff.
  • Please use hand sanitirzer when entering the building.
  • Social Distance yourself during your visit.
  • Please adhere to volunteer staff guidance.
  • THANK YOU for your assistance in helping to keep everyone safe while enjoying the museum.

Limited research may be conducted via email to
museum@whcpa-museum.org or
webmaster@whcpa-museum.org


White Swan Shipwreck

October 1859

First Shipwreck on Lake Minnetonka

Route map of the White Swan 1859

In October of 1859 Norman Stone hired the sailing ship 'White Swan' to move his family (wife and children) from their land near West Arm to Minnetonka Mills. Ship owner Mr. Loveland, Nathan Butterfield and Stone's hired hand, Robert McKenzie, who was then 17 years old, loaded the ship, but found themselves in a fall storm. They waited in North Arm until the weather calmed. It cleared up at midnight and Mr. Stone wished to proceed. They rowed across a calm North Arm into Crystal Bay where they found some wind. They hoisted the sails and made good time and entered the main lake. They sailed past Starvation Point (Orono Point) and found quite a gale. Before they could loosen the sails, the boat listed to the starboard and took in water. Mrs. Stone and the children slid off the boat on the mattress they were on and Mr. Stone attempted to save them and lost his grip. He slipped under the water and the rest of the family slipped one after the other under the water. It was one and a half hours before sunrise. The boat drifted east and then was blown southeast. Mr. Loveland and then Nathan Butterfield lost their grips on the boat and slipped under the water. Robert McKenzie walked back and forth along the hull of the boat until it grounded in St. Louis Bay. Robert wandered along a cattle path until he found a pioneer cabin. Robert McKenzie survived and lived near the east end of the lake for many years.




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Open Saturdays 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Museum in winter


Ancient Canoe in New Display

Discovery of ancient canoe

Nearly 1,000 Year Old Dugout Canoe
G. A. and Helmer Gunnarson moving canoe. In 1934 the Gunnarson family discovered a dugout canoe as they were extending their dock on North Arm Bay. The canoe was recently dated to 1025 - 1165 A.D. making it the oldest dugout canoe found in Minnesota. It is going on display at the WHCPA Museum in Long Lake, Minnesota. See the full report at the Maritime Heritage Minnesota website. A print of this photo is available here.


New Feature! Search our Index of over 29,000 Family File images!


Now you can search our Index of over 29,000 Family File images. These images have been scanned from our family files and tagged by volunteers so they are computer searchable.

Example Image Index with TAGS



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