It’s just a five-minute boat ride from Spring Park to the super-private Spray Island on Lake Minnetonka.
There’s plenty of room to spread out, with a five-bedroom main home, a guest cottage with a wood-burning fireplace, a beach house and a bunkhouse, all set on 22 wooded acres. Several boat docks dot the approximately 4,000 feet of sandy-bottomed lakeshore.
In the early 1960s, educators Cortland and Susan Smith bought the idyllic, wooded island with plans to build and operate Minnesota Summerhill School, a progressive alternative school modeled after England’s Summerhill boarding school.
The couple ran their school for 10 years. After they closed it, they converted the student dormitory into a unique 3,273-square-foot, one-story home where they raised their family. Susan died in 2017, and Cortland has lived on the island for more than 50 years.
“It was nice to be all alone,” he said, and immersed in nature.
Traveling to and from Spring Park was never a hassle for the couple, Cortland said. After the lake froze in the winter, the Smiths simply drove their vehicles the quarter mile across the ice.
“Susie had her own boat and Jeep to drive to the mainland,” Cortland said. But they did have to plan ahead and stock up on supplies and food in the fall and spring, when ice was forming and then melting.
Cortland recently put his beloved Shorewood island on the market because he prefers to travel and live part of the year in a warm climate rather than work on maintaining the buildings and expansive property.
“I’m 78 years old, and it’s time to sell,” he said.
Ellen DeHaven and Jeffrey Dewing, Coldwell Banker Burnet, have the listing.