WAYZATA BAY WINDOW: Bushaway Road is 150 years old

From the Wayzata Bay Window, Winter 2008 Edition. Written by Irene Stemmer, Chairwoman of the Heritage Preservation Board.

Bushaway Road is celebrating its Sesquicentennial in the month of October. Officially it is County Road 101, but to the folks in Wayzata, it is “Bushaway Road.” In 1858, Hennepin County passed a resolution for a road from Shakopee on the Minnesota River to Dayton at the junction of the Crow and Mississippi Rivers. Surveyors were told to make it as “developmentally straight as possible,” but it was a winding road nonetheless that may have followed the trail of the Dakota people as they moved from Shakopee to Wayzata each year to winter camp.

The “Shakopee/Dayton” road intersected with the Old Mill Road (McGinty) to Minnetonka Mills and Fort Ridgley, the St Anthony trail from Wayzata to Minneapolis, and roads running north to Fort Ripley and south to Fort Snelling. It gave Wayzata residents a direct route to Excelsior and a link with the roads that circled Lake Minnetonka.

The name Bushaway came from Frenchman John Bourgeois who wintered on Wayzata Bay in 1853. The English translation of his name somehow became “Bushaway” and it stayed with the area long after Bourgeois moved on. In 1916, the property was subdivided and prominent Minneapolis businessmen built beautiful summer homes and country estates along the road. In 1956, Bushaway and Holdridge were annexed to Wayzata from Minnetonka Township. It was Councilman Ned Dodge who thought the Bushaway designation was more historically accurate and “neighborhood like” for the section of the road from the bridge to Wayzata Boulevard. Addresses were changed from County Road 101 to Bushaway Road.

Bushaway road has history – from the soft step of the moccasin on the Indian trail, the muddy ruts of horse and wagon cart ways, early motor cars kicking up dust and gravel, to the many classic cars of today rolling over its bituminous roadway. The ivy-covered stone walls and iron gates that mark the driveways along Bushaway Road have been there since the mid 1900s, as well as several of the original historic houses. Oaks, maples and weeping willows line the roadway and lend their natural beauty to this scenic drive as it winds its way through the Bushaway neighborhood.

“Hat’s Off ” to a 150-year old Road that has served us well and for many years to come! The neighbor-hood held a birthday party on Oct. 23 to celebrate this Sesquicentennial event.


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