Minnetonka MN 55305
United States
44° 57' 28.5804" N, 93° 25' 50.7324" W
Map Group: 

Minnetonka is in Hennepin County Minne (also spelled mini) is the common Dakota word for water, and tonka (also spelled tanka) is likewise their common word meaning big or great, but the name thus compounded seems not to have been used by the Dakota till Ramsey coined it for the lake. So far as we have records, indeed, the Dakota appear to have had no term for this large and many-featured body of water. Between her Lake Bryant and the third large sheet of water, ""an extremely narrow . . . headland half a mile in length, running out from the southern shore,""; since named Breezy Point, was by her named Point Wakon, ""the Dakota term for anything spiritual or supernatural."" There an oval stone, a waterworn boulder about a foot in diameter, had been found, which the Dakotas had ""painted red, and covered with small yellow spots, some of them faded to a brown color"" around which stone the Dakota braves were accustomed, after raids against the Ojibwe, to celebrate. "";Picturesque Lake Minnetonka"" published in yearly editions by S. E. Ellis (1906, 102 pp.), referred the name of Enchanted Island to its being long ago a favorite place of Dakota medicine dances; and related that Wawatasso was a young Dakota man who rescued the daughter of a white pioneer trapper from drowning. Other Dakota legends about Minnetonka have been written in prose by Thomas M. Newson in 1881 and in poetry by Hanford L. Gordon (Indian Legends and Other Poems, 1910, 406 pp.). Like Hiawatha and Minnehaha and like the geographic names in this county that are partly of Dakota derivation, these writings present more white than Indian ways of thought and imagery. Hear it pronounced in Dakota. From: Upham, Warren. Minnesota Place Names: A Geographical Encyclopedia. St. Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press, First edition 1920. Third Edition 2001. Print.