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Located on the south shore of Waconia Lake, from which it takes its name, the city of Waconia is bordered by Waconia Township on the north, west, and south, and by Laketown Township on the east.

The chief routes through the city are Minnesota State Highways 5 and 284, and Carver County Highway 10. Nearby cities include Cologne (6 miles south), Saint Bonifacius (6 miles north-northeast), Mayer (7 miles northwest), Victoria (7 miles east), Young America (8 miles southwest), and Dahlgren (10 miles southeast).

Nearly the entire northern border of the city is taken up by Lake Victoria. Burandt Lake and Scheuble Lake also border the city.

The 40-acre Brook Peterson Community Park is the largest. It includes eight softball fields, outdoor skating and ice hockey rinks, and a concession stand. The Waconia Baseball Association has a field in this park, which is home to the Waconia Lakers.

City Square Park, in downtown Waconia, has playground equipment, a picnic shelter, and walking paths. Summer concerts are held there.

Cedar Point Park has two tennis courts, a basketball court, playground, picnic tables, and a fishing pier. The walking path along Lake Victoria continues west to the Sugarbush and Willowbrooke subdivisions.

Also known as Target Park, Interlaken Park is located in the Interlaken Housing development, in eastern Waconia, behind Target.

The city also has eleven neighborhood parks, which include Bent Creek Park, Clearwater Mills, Fountain Park, Fox Run Park, Hilks Lake Park, Lakeview Terrace, Legacy Village Park, OakPointe Park, Old Towne Park, Pheasant Ridge Park, Pinehill Park, Sudheimer Park, Sugarbush Park, Vista Point Park, Waterford Park, Wildhurst Park, Willowbrooke Park, and Windmill Creek Park. Lake Waconia Park borders the city on the northeast.

Additionally, the Carver County Fairgrounds are located in Waconia.

Before the area was settled by whites, the Dakotas had been there for a long time. Waconia Lake was known to them as Meday Wa Ko Ni Ya. Early white settlers adopted the Dakota name but, over time, it was corrupted, evolving into Waconia.

The first white settlers came from New Orleans, traveling up the Mississippi River, and then the Minnesota River to Carver's Landing at what is now Carver, Minnesota. They followed Carver's Creek to Burandt Lake, and then to Waconia Lake, an area which was then heavily wooded.

Ludwig Sutheimer and Michael Scheidnagel are believed to have been the first permanent settlers in what is now Waconia. A group of German settlers came in 1857, and they were followed by people of Bohemian, Swedish, and Swiss descent. By 1858, most of the land along the lake was occupied.

The first church in the new settlement was Saint Joseph's Catholic Church. The congregation began meeting in homes in 1857 and moved to a frame building the following year, and a brick structure in 1900.

Some early businesses included Waconia Brewing, Waconia Steam Saw and Flowering Mill, Waconia Sorghum Mill. There was also an ice harvesting industry. Agricultural activity in Waconia was adversely affected by grasshopper plagues in 1873 to 1877.

Waconia was incorporated as a village in 1880, and became a popular tourist destination, particularly after the Hutchinson Branch of the Great Northern Railroad extended its tracks just north of the village. In 1884, a large island in the center of Lake Waconia, known as Paradise Island, was developed as an amusement park. Known as Coney Island from 1886 to 1927, new owners tried to change its name back to Paradise Island, but it didn't stick. The amusement park operated from 1884 to 1960. No longer in operation, Coney Island of the West was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

A tornado damaged much of the village in 1904, but it was rebuilt. In 1921, Waconia was incorporated as a city. Today, tourism is still a major contributor to the city's economy, particularly the attraction of Lake Waconia. The city is home to several tourist attractions and other businesses. These include the Carver County Historical Society, Safari Island Community Center, Island View Golf Club, the Historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead, and some wineries. Ridgeview Medical Center has a large campus near the center of the city.

The population of Waconia was less than four thousand in 1990 but has since expanded greatly, to almost eleven thousand by the 2010 census, and still on the increase.

This is a guide to the city of Waconia, Minnesota. Websites representing the municipal government or any businesses, schools, churches, organizations, events, or individuals within the city are appropriate topics for this category.


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