Orono Real Estate

Crystal Bay - Orono MinnesotaOrono is among the most prestigious Lake Minnetonka communities offering easy living in a stately setting.  Orono’s open spaces and rural landscape are community highlights. At the end of long, wooded drives, sprawling estates and majestic homes overlook Lake Minnetonka. Unspoiled horse country with Lake Minnetonka as the backdrop embodies Orono.  Navarre and Crystal Bay are two small communities within the city of Orono. 

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Orono Real Estate Market StatsJune 24, 2024
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56 Properties
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Highlights of Orono

An important part of Orono and Lake Minnetonka history is Big Island. A fifty-six acre wilderness on the east end of Lake Minnetonka, Big Island is one of Orono’s cherished parklands. Before falling under the protection of the city of Orono, Big Island underwent many transformations and name changes over the past century and a half. Labeled as Big Island or Wetutanka Island, taken from the Dakotas, on a map in 1860 the island was also published as Owen’s Island, Meeker’s Island, Cottage Island and Morse Island. The name Big Island finally caught on in 1906, when it was published and advertised on a national level as the land which became home to the Big Island Amusement Park. The Park entertained visitors with roller coaster rides, a carrousel, bumper boats named Old Mill Ride, a dance pavilion, and a 200 foot tall spotlight tower that lit up the lake. Due to over expansion and a large amount of debt the park closed in 1912.

Big Island Movie Night - Lake Minnetonka

For three years Big Island sat vacant until 1915 when the Minnesota Game Refuge started a game farm. What first started with a handful of Chinese Ring Necked Pheasant roosters and three dozen hens multiplied to over 25,000 in nine short years. The population became so large that the refuge outgrew the island and moved to open land to the west. In the 1920s the Island was purchased by the Veteran’s Association and used as a recreational campground for veterans and their families until it was sold in 2006 to the city of Orono and the Minnehaha Watershed District. Lake Minnetonka residents applauded the city of Orono for preserving the important landmark. No time was wasted in cleaning up the land and preserving forty-five of its fifty-six acres as a conservation easement. The park is open to the public and there is dock space where the original wharf once stood. Visitors can tour the island and relive the history by walking the ruins of the original grand entry stairway and glimpse some of the remaining foundations of the rides. The Old Mill Ride continues to entertain at the Minnesota State Fair 100 years later. Today Big Island is home to roughly fifty private residences. Only accessible by boat, the cottages here are delightful icons and their residents are true stewards of the Island.  Read More...

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