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Lake Harriet Steetcar and Lake Minnetonka streetcar boat

Posted August 5, 2019 @ 11:15am | by Doug

As with many American cities, enjoyable and colorful steetcars, tracks and overhead electric wires were disappeared in the 1950s, when they were replaced by buses. 

      (Photo credit Rails and Trails)

Fortunately, a few are still maintained and offer nostalgic rides.  One is at Minneapolis’ Lake Harriet.  In the restored original station, you purchase a token which you then drop into the farebox.

The ride is only about a mile, but the more impressive measurement is time, as in back-in-time.  This particular route, which was called the Como-Harriet Line, once began at a zoo on Saint Paul’s northside, then passed through the campus of the University of Minnesota, then downtown Minneapolis, before continuing on to this location by Lake Harriet, and ultimately to Lake Minnetonka where it met up with a streetcar BOAT, of matching decor, which delivered patrons out onto the Lake where there was an amusement park.

In the 1920’s, the boat part of the business was no longer viable, what with the long winter season during which they sat idle.  So the six boats were brought out to the middle of the lake where they were scuttled in 1926.  But then 1980, divers found and examined them.  They determined which one was still in the best shape, The “Minnehaha”, and brought it to the surface.

It took until 1996 for skilled workers to restore it.  Today, you can go for a ride on it!  It is called the Minnehaha.  Very dramatic to consider it was under the water some sixty years.

For more information: 

Como - Harriet Streetcar

Steamboat Minnehaha 


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