Home of the Village Hall-Early Island History
The island that comprises a major portion of the city of Mound, is seen labeled as Phelps Island on many Lake Minnetonka maps. During the 1800s, the island was privately owned, bought from the government by William Noble in 1856. It was sold to Carrington Phelps in 1875.
Roughly 500-acres in size, the island was heavily treed, mostly with Maple, Ash, Oak, and Elm covering the rolling topography, and it was pocked with low swampy areas where giant cottonwoods stood as sentinels, and the sweet smell of peat bogs soothed the senses. Like the Noble family, Phelps wished to keep the island in its natural state, refusing to sell plots, although he did lease a few lakeshore lots to well-to-do friends and acquaintances.
THE LAKE -- THE MAN
The lake was a hallowed and mystic place to the Dacotah, and the Chippewa/Ojibway Indians that visited her banks. They hunted and fished from her shores. They worshiped her waters and believed that it was a holy place inhabited by the four winds. The lake surface could be flat and still as glass, a deep blue reflection of the cloudless midsummer sky, or dappled with ripples when touched by Shawondasee, the South Wind. They feared her wrath when the North Wind, Kabibonokka1, would whip her surface into foam curled waves of water as black as the night. And they loved her beauty.
What Got Us Here ? Can We Affect Our future?
In today's world, discord and violence rule the day. Common courtesy is becoming less and less common. Nowadays, the things that make our lives easier are the very things that drive the wedge of discord. The internet and social media are in many ways contributing to the trend toward isolation between individuals, groups, and entire communities.
A sense of belonging to something greater than ones-self has been left on the side of the road as technology shifts focus from community to the isolation and self-aggrandizement provided by the internet.
Island Park Village Hall Memory
contributor – Doug Divine
I remember my dad Jimmy Divine who was a volunteer on the Island Park Fire Department. He spent MANY hours at the "Fire Barn" AKA: Island Park Village Hall, working on equipment and working on the Hall itself & surrounding area as that is where the road equipment for maintaining the Island was also located. About 20 or 30 firemen and their wives (Women's Auxiliary) were volunteers and did other jobs to keep the Island running. All were volunteer jobs.
When I was a child, in the 50s, there was a reliance upon neighbors to maintain an awareness of what was happening around them.
There was contact between neighbors and neighborhoods were formed. This neighborhood contact spread to communities and the realization of shared needs and goals spread within the community. Family triumphs were enjoyed by the community, while tradgedies were shared by everyone. It was a time of concern for one another made possible by community functions; a gathering place for special times and events. A special place designed to draw everyone together to engage the community and forge friendships. Friendships that grew, while neighborhood pride rose to the surface.