The area of the North Shore of Lake Minnetonka began to be settled in the late nineteenth century and by 1915 Wayzata was a thriving community. Before Saint Bartholomew was established, getting to church was difficult for many people in the area. During the summer, many took the boat across the lake and then went by streetcar to a church in Hopkins or possibly in Excelsior. Or others went by horse and buggy to Holy Name. Many "old-timers" recall walking to Holy Name on Saturday to receive instructions in the catechism and the family would walk over again to Holy Name on Sunday morning for Mass. Weather conditions in the winter often made it impossible to get to church for weeks at a time.
In 1916, the following twelve families came together and envisioned a parish of their own: