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History & Sightseeing

Downtown Self Guided Walking Tour

People of all ages will enjoy learning of the stories behind the buildings, comparing the historic lumber era and today. At each featured property, download a video on your handheld device and relive the past of that specific location.

Historic Courthouse and Jail

Minnesota's oldest standing courthouse, built in 1870, offering guided tours April-Septeber. Self Guided tours year round.

Historic Main Street

    Stillwater’s Main Street river front area is on the National Historic Register and is home to over 100 locally owned shops and restaurants . Open year-round. Art galleries, fashion boutiques, home decor, and unique gift shops line the streets along with tons of dining and outdoor patios.

    Lens Flare Stillwater

    View historical sites in Stillwater links to your GPS location, The app will know where you are and provide photos, text, and audio information related to each point of interest.

    Stillwater Trolley

    45 Minute Narrated tours through the beautiful historic districts. Learn about local folklore about this famous lumbertown. Private rentals available.

    Warden's House Museum

    View period furnishings and historical artifacts at 1863 home of Minnesota's first territorial prison warden. Group tours available year round.

    Washington County Heritage Center

    See the dynamic history of the St. Croix Valley through interactive exhibits including lumberjack life, historic fashions, photography, and more.

    Discover the Past

    Stillwater is considered the historic Birthplace of Minnesota because in 1848 the first territorial convention that began the process of establishing Minnesota as a State was held on the corner of Myrtle and Main Street downtown. Stillwater is also one of Minnesota’s oldest towns, preceding Minneapolis by years. At the time of incorporation as a city in 1854, Stillwater was the largest city in the State. The lumber industry made Stillwater famous. At the height of the log boom, Stillwater’s lumber mills were the largest in the country making Minnesota one of the largest lumber markets in the world. This boom brought wealth, railroads, steamships, gas lights, and grand homes. Today, Stillwater’s rich and vibrant history is celebration year-round with thousands of visitors from around the world.

    The City of Stillwater is federally recognized as a Preserve America Community and the downtown Main Street area is Nationally registered as the Stillwater Commercial Historic District. In addition, there are 21 buildings on the National Historic Registry and over 100 Heirloom Homes and Landmark Sites. Visit the Washington County Historical Society website for more great history.

    SLEEP IN HISTORY – Immerse yourself in history and romance…stay overnight in a historic B&B or Inn to get a glimpse into a lifestyle that was the envy of all during Stillwater’s heyday.

    SHOP IN HISTORY – Enjoy the delightful boutique shopping and restaurants in these beautiful historic spaces. Many people visit Stillwater for the variety and number of unique antique and vintage shops offered, too. Find your treasure in Stillwater!

    PLAY IN HISTORY – Explore the area’s streets, trails, hills and points of interest listed below. Discover what it may have been like to live here during the lumber boom era. From grand paddlewheel boats to axe throwing like a Lumberjack!

    LEARN ABOUT OUR HISTORY – Take the trolley tour or guided walking tours or walk the streets with self-guided history tours featuring stories via photo, video or audio. Admire the many historic buildings and homes that still remain today. Downtown Tour, South Hill Homes Tour – Pine Street Loop and Chestnut Hill Loop.

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