1959 A meeting of Capt. Carl Williams of the Hennepin County Water Patrol and Larry Dressler, former member of the Susquehannock, PA Squadron, with the subsequent addition of Dudley Russell, P/C Duluth Squadron, Lou Schricker, former member of the Mississippi Coast Squadron and Dr. Arthur E. Allen, President of the Greater Minnetonka Council led to the formation of the Minnetonka Power Squadron (MPS). Initially it was a division of the Duluth Squadron (chartered 27 June, 1939). The first public boating course was called "Piloting".
1961 MPS received its charter from United States Power Squadrons (USPS) 14 January, 1961. A $5.00 initiation fee plus a $5.00 annual fee was charged each member. Dudley J. Russell was the first commander. Harry Kuechle, owner of the DOUBLE WEAR SHOE CO. of Minneapolis, leased land the company owned on the south shore of Big Island to the new squadron for $100/ yr, Harry Kuechle's son Bill and son-in-law Bob Armstrong were members of the new squadron. Docks were made from telephone poles towed to the island. Only men could join. The squadron was established as a 501c (3) non-profit organization whose purpose was to educate the public in safe boating
1962 The first issue of TonkaNAUTS was published. The first Balsa Anchor award went to Carl Williams, safety officer, who crashed his boat into a dock. MPS had its first float in the Mpls. Aquatennial parade. In subsequent years the squadron has participated in the Shakopee Derby Days Festival Parade, the Long Lake Corn Days Parade, The Mound City Days Parade and the Maple Grove Parade. The St. Paul Power Squadron was formed Nov. 19 by MPS members desiring to boat on the rivers.
1963 A Women's Auxiliary called “Tonka Mates" was formed for wives of the male members. Six docks 24 ft. in length were built. The St. Paul Power Squadron received its charter from USPS which had 63,000 members by 12/31, a new high.
1964 More docks (piers) 36 feet in length were now constructed with barrels to roll them.
1965 A severe tornado hit Lake Minnetonka with a 5 ft. surge reported in Brown's Bay. Big island was not affected.
1966 Williams died. A tool hut with "lounge facilities" (toilets) was built.
1967 The Hennepin County Surveyor states Lake Minnetonka, including islands, officially has 117.87 miles of shoreline. This includes the perimeter shoreline - 92.35 mi, islands 17.03 mi and lakes "connected but not part of Mother Minnetonka" - 8.49 mi. The USCG Auxiliary shared use of the island.
1968 A temporary shelter covered by a 24 by 38 ft. tarp was constructed.
1969 The property on Big Island, known as "Big Island Rendezvous" was purchased with money obtained by selling Litton Industries stock donated by Ed and Alma Streater. Two acres were sold to MPS members. Title to the acreage now owned was obtained 1 October, 1969. The docks were expanded and the rear channel dredged with the dirt obtained filling in low areas.
The total cost for the property, including dredging the back channel, was about $35,000. Members were required to pass Seamanship and obtain a merit mark (25 hours of work) within the first 2 years. Over 50% of the USA population was under 25 years of age.
1970 The island property was named "Streater Cove". The installation of electricity (115 volt, 20 amp) at the docks was begun. Hennepin County dredged the main channel and provided more landfill for the present parade area. Harry Kuechle died at age 86. Many tons of rock were placed along the channels.
1971 An island underground sprinkling system with removable sprinkler heads was installed, VHF/FM Marine radios were becoming generally available, replacing CB radios. Mpls. Aquatennial queens and queen candidates were given boat rides by MPS members for the first time. A permanent pier was built along the back channel. USPS membership was 81,689 as of Feb 1 and would reach 86,000.
1972 The present 20 by 60 ft. pavilion was built with a steel frame on a cement base. Ed Streater, who designed and directed its development, also contributed $5000 to make it all possible. A "permanent dual holding type" toilet facility was built. More rip-rap was added along the shorelines, electricity to the docks was improved, picnic tables with benches were built and a new storage shed was added.
1973 There was a total of 11 docks in front of the island by now. Public boating courses were advertised by 158 radio spots, 16 TV announcements and a 5 minute radio interview, 104 students passed the spring exam and 69 the fall exam.
1974 The storage shed was destroyed by vandalism and fire in January. More vandalism in the summer.
1976 Membership remained by invitation with sponsorship by 2 members. Women could take courses, be certificate holders but not members. Peace Presbyterian Church was first used for classes.
1979 What had been called "Piloting" was replaced by “Public Boating Course" and the Piloting Course as we now know it was established.
1980 Ed Streater died January 24. Nationally USPS membership was down to 62,000. A new Gray's Bay dam was built.
1982 Women finally were accepted as full members in all USPS squadrons after a 10 year battle!
1985 A fresh water well was drilled. Installation of a new upgraded electrical system was begun. Instead of only two 20 amp outlets each dock now would have two 20 amp and four 30 amp outlets.
1986 Eileen Hock became the first female commander for MPS and the first in District 10. The docks were extended to 96 feet. The new electrical upgrade was completed. 25th anniversary for MPS!
1988 There was a total of 551 members in the MPS of which 357 were considered "Active".
1989 A committee was formed to investigate finding a land-based facility for the squadron. The effort eventually was abandoned due to cost. The low lake water level caused several members to transfer their boats to the rivers.
1990 By autumn the lake level had risen 18 inches compared to the previous year. A new course "Cruise Planning" was developed by USPS.
1991 Lou Schricker, charter member and the 1962 Commander died July 2. The Lou Schricker Memorial Educational Excellence Award was established for the student exhibiting the greatest love of learning. The address of Streater Cove: 510 Big Island, Orono, MN.
1996 The maiden voyage of the restored boat "Minnehaha" was captained by P/C Jim Ogland July 18. Metal rolling doors were placed on the pavilion.
1997 The pavilion at Streater Cove was officially named "The Dudley Russell Memorial Pavilion".
2000 The Hiawatha Valley Power Squadron in southeastern MN, organized in May, 1999, received its charter in March. Many of the charter members were MPS members who earlier had migrated to the rivers. USPS squadrons agreed to participate in the USCG Auxiliary's Vessel Safety Check Program which had been in existence since 1947. MPS first participated in 2001.
2001 The Aquatennial boating event was cancelled due to a squall on the lake.
2003 An Automatic External Defibrillator and subsequently Epi-Pen were purchased for the island. Wi-Fi was established on the island.
2004 New Docks were installed by the Dock & Lift Co. of Mound, MN. Total cost: $82,151.41. No more wooden docks with barrels!
2005 The old "outhouse" toilet and the shower were deemed not in compliance with Orono City codes. Both were removed. The construction of a septic system, drain field and concrete block building with toilets and showers was begun. All were finished by mid-2006.
2020 A very difficult year due to the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic. Educational courses were taught on-line using Zoom or GoToMeeting programs. An abbreviated form of the 9th annual Hope Kids event was completed. Most other civic events were canceled totally. Publication of TonkaNAUTS was decreased from 6 to 4 issues per year. The Minnetonka Power Squadron Change of Watch and the D-10 Spring Conference were combined and held in the Twin Cities. New Webcams were installed throughout Streater Cove. Membership was 277.