City hopes to restore Lake Waconia's Coney Island to its former glory

Coney Island, in the middle of Lake Waconia, is getting closer to becoming vibrant and busy like it used to be long ago.

From Waconia’s shoreline, you see the leftovers of legends, like an old car and the hint of the roofline of an old cottage, on the island. But, start scanning old photos of Coney Island and you get a real feel of a 31-acre island that had it all.

Between the late 1800's and the 1950's there was a hotel, a dance pavilion, gardens, a park and dozens of cottages and summer homes to escape the from the busy city of Minneapolis.

On the south end of the island between 1903 and 1905, the gopher's football team even did a little preseason prep work on this field, according to the Waconia Heritage Association.

“As I understand it the fresh air as they could bring it into their lungs and get away from the city and all the smog because people had burn barrels and stuff like that,” Paul Melcher of the Waconia Heritage Association said.

Plans for the future include trails, possibly camping, a beach, a playground and some historical interpretation like plaques that explain what's gone on at the island over the years.  More ideas will be unveiled Wednesday night at the public input meeting at the Lake Waconia Event Center at 6:30.