Wayside House was founded by Twin Cities businessmen in 1946 to provide services to chemically dependent women. [An alternate history states that “Wayside House began in 1954 as the vision of Sarah Mary “Sally” DeVay, a Honeywell employee who created a home for women who had “fallen by the wayside” and energized the community to help. While Wayside initially focused on providing shelter for women in poverty, the agency’s founders soon realized that chemical dependency was a core issue holding back most of the women and shifted Wayside’s mission to focus on recovery. Wayside became one of the nation’s first treatment centers for women at a time when women’s addiction was very much “in the closet.” ]
In 1971, the facility was at  2401 Pillsbury Ave. and had a waiting list of 40 women.  Length of stay was 4-6 months.  It was designed for women who “don’t always get the message in short-term rehabilitation centers,” said William F. Brooks, Jr., chairman of the Hennepin County Task Force on Alcoholism and Inebriety.
In 1976, the organization built a Treatment Center at 3705 Park Center Blvd. in St. Louis Park. At the groundbreaking on October 27, 1976, a symbolic bottle of whisky was buried. The director at that time was Thomas Chapman.