A few years ago, residents living along the portion of County Road 101 known as Bushaway Road discovered a map in the dusty archives of Hennepin County.

It was their road, as surveyed in October 1858.

Now, 150 years later, those residents are celebrating. They'll throw a public party from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Wayzata City Hall, 600 Rice St. There, historians, local politicians and longtime residents will explain and explore the area's history.

In the early 1800s, the Dakota Mdewakanton Native American tribe spent winters along Lake Minnetonka, "where deer were plentiful in the Big Woods," according to a 14-page history of the neighborhood authored by Irene Stemmer, chairwoman of the Wayzata Preservation Board. Pioneers later settled on the lake's eastern shore, building larger estates known as "Gentlemen Farms."

Through the years, prominent local architects designed country estates and cottages along the road, some of which remain, grand porches and all.

The residents began collecting this history in order to persuade Hennepin County to preserve the character of "this beautiful stretch of road," as well as what's left along it, said Ron Anderson, a longtime resident and professor emeritus at the University of Minnesota.

Hennepin County plans to rebuild the road as early as 2010, widening it to make it safer. When residents learned of those plans, they began hunting down Bushaway's history so that transportation engineers would appreciate it when designing the construction.

They're hoping to register it as a historic area, both locally and nationally.

"This area has a very distinguished history," Anderson said, "which people would respect more if we had that designation."

In the meantime, the project could serve another purpose, he said -- helping knit together the community.

"We're having a lot of meetings, doing things together," he said. "Before that, we were pretty much a loose-knit group of people that had a hard time getting to each others' house because of all the traffic. There wasn't a lot of neighborliness."