Discover: What’s In a Name?

The Waconia Boat Club as it appeared in 1890.

Lake Waconia has attracted people to its shores for thousands of years.  The Dakota named the lake “Meday Wa Ko Ni Ya,” meaning “Lake of the Fountain” or “Lake of the Spring.” With the signing of the Travers de Sioux treaty in 1851, the area around the lake opened for settlers.  The immigrants gave the lake a new English name, Clearwater Lake.  

Over the next 100 years, both the name Lake Waconia (taken from the Dakota name) and Clearwater Lake were used interchangeably on official documents. In 1874, the Minnesota Atlas notes the lake’s name as Lake Waconia; the 1927 Carver County Plat Book uses the name Clearwater Lake. The official designation from the State of Minnesota is Lake Number 10-59.  

Today, the generally accepted name by both the Department of Natural Resources and the public is Lake Waconia. One thing is for certain, it is big, beautiful and the fishing is great.