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The Hennepin County city of Minnetonka, Minnesota was named for Lake Minnetonka, and part of the city includes the eastern tip of the lake, one of the largest in the state. The outlet of Lake Minnetonka is Minnehaha Creek, which winds through southern Minneapolis, flowing over Minnehaha Falls and into the Mississippi River. Minnetonka is about eight miles west of Minneapolis. Minnetonka is home to the headquarters of Carlson Companies and Cargill, although Cargill is in the Wayzata post office area. United Healthcare is also headquartered in Minnetonka. Surrounding and nearby communities include Atwood, Carver Beach, Chanhassan, Deephaven, Edina, Eden Prairie, Excelsior, Golden Valley, Greenwood, Hopkins, Medicine Lake, Plymouth, Rowland, St. Louis Park, Wayzata, and Woodland. Prior to its settlement by whites, the Dakotah Sioux and Ojibway Chippewa would cross through the area regularly. In 1851, the tribes signed an agreement allowing white settlement of lands west of Fort Snelling, and by 1852 the first settlement of the area was made at the current Minnetonka Mills site. Available water power powered the first saw mill west of the Mississippi River. The following year, a furniture factory became the largest business center in the county. In 1869, the saw mill was replaced by a flour mill, which operated until the mid-1890s. As others moved in, settlements sprang up a few miles apart, including Minnetonka Mills, Glen Lake, Groveland, and Oak Knoll, which are now Minnetonka neighborhoods. After World War II, sections of Minnetonka Township were annexed by surrounding cities so, in order to avoid further annexations, Minnetonka incorporated as a village. In 1968, Minnetonka became a city.


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