WELCOME to the historic Birthplace of Minnesota and year-round travel destination. Stillwater is closer than you think – and definitely a place to stay more than one day! Located just outside the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul and on the Wisconsin border, Stillwater is nestled along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, St. Croix Scenic Byway and is a part of the North Woods and Waters of the St. Croix Heritage Area.
History of Stillwater
Stillwater is considered the 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 time of incorporation as a city in 1854, Stillwater was the largest in the State.
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.
The lumber industry made Stillwater famous for at the height of the log boom, Stillwater’s lumber mills turned out thousands of rail cars of timber of mostly white and Norway pines. Minnesota one of the largest lumber markets in the world with Stillwater Lumber Company as one of the largest lumber mills in the country. Stillwater had all the ingredients for a lumbering town: river connections to the northern Minnesota and Wisconsin pine lands, still waters for assembling rafts, and water power. The Historic Lift Bridge built in 1931 connecting MN and WI is one of few still remaining in operation the country today.
Imagine… lumberjacks working the St. Croix River, steamboats bringing people and supplies, river logs jamming the river, horses and buggies tied to hitching posts, dirt and mud roads, shopkeepers selling their wares on Main Street, churches with tall steeples, Victorian mansions springing up on the hillsides and barroom brawls. You can still feel the spirit of those hard working laborers and excitement of this booming time for business leaders.
Today, Stillwater’s rich and vibrant history is evident everywhere you look and is now mixed with modern amenities, restored historic mansions, over 100 owner-operated shops and restaurants in downtown, 20+ outdoor dining patios, historic sites, wineries and breweries, paddlewheel cruises, antiques, museums, art galleries, music and many events. A popular destination for vacationers, events, and a premier Minnesota romantic city for weddings and honeymoons. WELCOME to STILLWATER…. ENJOY OUR FUN, HISTORIC, RIVER TOWN Year-round!
Best U.S. Small Town Food Scenes – USA Today 2020 and 2022
One of the Coolest Towns in America to Visit – Matador Travel Network 2021
Best Small CVB in Minnesota – MN Meetings & Events Magazine, 2016-2020
America’s Most Picturesque Small Towns – USA Today Travel, 2015
10 Best Antiquing Towns in the U.S. – Fodor’s Travel, 2015
America’s Best Towns for Fall Colors – Travel & Leisure Magazine, 2014
Here are a few community amenities you may need while in town.
The Stillwater Library, is well worth a visit! Located at 224 Third Street North in downtown Stillwater, the library is a historic and well preserved Carnegie library built in 1902. Along with resources and materials you’d expect in a contemporary library, it boasts Stillwater history resources, donated art, and an incredible rooftop view where you will see historic church spires, the winding St. Croix River and our historic downtown. 651-275-4338.
LOCAL BUSINESS ORGANIZATIONS
Trinity Lutheran Church 115 4th Street North, Stillwater 651-439-7400
Our Savior’s Lutheran Church (ELCA) 1616 Olive Street West, Stillwater – 651-439-5704
Salem Lutheran Church and School 14940 62nd Street North, Stillwater – 651-439-7831
St. Paul Lutheran Church (ELCA) 609 5th Street South, Stillwater – 651-439-5970
First United Methodist Church 813 Myrtle Street West, Stillwater – 651-439-1880
Ascension Episcopal Church
214 North Third Street, Stillwater – 651-439-2609
First Presbyterian Church of Stillwater 6201 Osgood Avenue, Oak Park Heights – 651.439.4380