If you've even been to Richmond, Minnesota you've probably realized quick this place is special. It's not just the lakes that makes them well known. A big invention started here.

In 1951, a gentleman from Richmond invented the pontoon. Ambrose Weeres had the simple idea to make a platform boat on top of 2 steel barrels and put a motor on it. It was nothing close to what the pontoons of today look like, but it started a new idea that has made billions of dollars since.

The original Weeres pontoon was a wooden platform on two columns of steel barrels welded together end-to-end, creating a sturdy deck that would be more stable on a lake than a conventional boat. Weeres called it "The Empress". (wikipedia)

Richmond, Minnesota was an appropriate place for the pontoon to be invented. The horseshoe chain of lakes is located there. Within 10-miles of each other, there are 40 lakes to enjoy. Amazing trails around these lakes and relaxing parks top off the beauty that makes Richmond what it is.

Weeres pontoons are still being manufactured today and going strong. If it weren't for the idea that came out of Richmond, the boating world would likely be a very different one today.

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