‘Boathouses of Lake Minnetonka’ book launches May 20 and May 22

“Boathouses of Lake Minnetonka.” (Photo courtesy of Karen Melvin)

The book “Boathouses of Lake Minnetonka” by Karen Melvin and Melinda Nelson officially launches at 6-7:30 p.m. Monday, May 22, with a public party at the Excelsior Brewing Co., 421 Third St., Excelsior.

There is also a pre-launch event at 1-3 p.m. Saturday, May 20, at Excelsior Bay Books, 36 Water St., Excelsior.

The book includes the stories of 35 of the more than 375 boathouses on the lake. It also features more than 400 images taken by Melvin, who is a professional photographer specializing in architecture, interiors and lifestyle photography.

“Boathouses of Lake Minnetonka.” (Photo courtesy of Karen Melvin)

The boathouses range from the 1870s to multi-level structures of recent design renovation. Melvin says the boathouses selected to be included in the book are among the most unique and storied on the lake.

The book is organized in a geographic manner, beginning with boathouses on Smithtown Bay in the southwest corner of the lake, continuing north and then doubling back east through the channel. The readers’ journey then goes past Big Island to the lower part of the lake and the boathouses found in Excelsior, Deephaven, Wayzata and Orono.

In addition to cataloging the lake’s most notable boathouses, the book serves as a history book for the region; and it includes recipes with ties to the lake.

“We felt recipes were important to include because they symbolize what the boathouses are all about: entertaining and good times,” said Melvin.

Nelson is an award-winning writer and editor with a passion for architecture, design, historic preservation—and Lake Minnetonka.

“As a longtime resident of Excelsior, I’m proud to be able to help preserve and share the history of these fascinating boathouses,” Nelson said.

Copies are available at bookstores in and around the Twin Cities. Signed copies are available at shop.karenmelvin.com.