|Minnesota (Washington County), Afton — Bolles Flour Mill|
|About 1843, six years before Minnesota became a territory, Lemuel Bolles erected on this creek the first commercial flour mill in the Minnesota country. Bolles salvaged wood from the shore of Lake St. Croix and carried it on his back to the mill site a mile and a half upstream. Lacking nails, he used wooden pegs in the construction of a small mill. First built for grinding corn and wheat, the mill was later remodeled and was in operation as late as 1875 when Bolles died. The stream on which the . . . — Map (db m21729) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Bayport — Bicentennial Monument|
|1776 • 1976
In memory of the 200th
anniversary of the
American Revolution and
the freedoms for which
it was fought.
May they always be.
Hesley Jensen Post 491
American Legion and friends
Beneath this monument is
a vault of memoirs to be
opened in the year 2076 — Map (db m44162) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Forest Lake — Ribbons of Steel|
|Railroads were charted in Minnesota as early as 1853, but it was not until 1862 that Minnesota's first railroad began to operate on ten miles of track connecting St. Paul with St. Anthony (now part of Minneapolis). In 1870, the Northern Pacific Railroad began at Carlton, Minnesota and reached Portland, Oregon by 1884. By 1871, railroad lines had reached Minnesota's southern and western borders, and by 1893 the Great Northern Railway extended from St. Paul to Seattle. Over 150 railroad companies . . . — Map (db m5289) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Lakeland — The St. Croix River Valley / Welcome to Minnesota|
|The St. Croix River Valley Forming a long stretch of the border between Minnesota and Wisconsin, the St. Croix is one of America's most scenic Wild Rivers. Its valley is sometimes referred to as the "New England of the West."
Along with the Brule River in northern Wisconsin, the St. Croix forms a water passageway between Lake Superior and the upper Mississippi River that was well known to the Dakota and Ojibway people and became a highway of the early fur traders. In the last half of . . . — Map (db m3093) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Boom, Then Bust|
"From here, the first log in the race,
Went forth to seek a dwelling place."
Harriet Bishop, Minnesota, Then and Now, 1869
The St. Croix River ranked second only to the Mississippi as a carrier of logs and lumber. The white pine logs from trees that lumberjacks felled in the winter were driven downstream to sawmills in the spring. Millions of logs were milled using water-and-steam-powered machinery. Between 1839 and 1895, more than 197 million board feet . . . — Map (db m54391) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Early Settler's Cabin|
|Swedish immigrant Sven Anderson built this early settler's cabin in 1852; some of the cabin logs still show the marks from the axe, which squared them. Sven and his wife Stava raised three children in this cabin, and it was their home until 1869. Their first son, Charles, was born May 12, 1858 – one day after Minnesota became a state. Sven Anderson is credited with bringing the first cattle to this area, as well as being one of the first wheat farmers.
For the 1938 Marine centennial . . . — Map (db m44601) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Marine|
|In 1857 these millstones were installed at Marine in one of the early flour and grist mills of Minnesota Territory. Water from a stream south of this site was conveyed by a race or flume to furnish power for the overshot mill wheel. Later, rollers were installed for the finer grinding of wheat flour. Under various owners, the mill continued to operate until 1930. — Map (db m28509) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Marine|
|The first commercial sawmill in Minnesota was erected 300 feet east of here in 1838. The lumbering industry, which monopolized the minds and talents of men in the St. Croix Valley for three-quarters of a century, was born with the erection of this mill. Lewis Judd and David Hone selected the site, and the Marine Lumber Company erected the mill which sawed the first lumber from the magnificent pine stands of the St. Croix Valley.
The village which grew up around the mill was the earliest . . . — Map (db m28535) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Marine Mill Site|
|One of Minnesota's first major industries was born here on August 24, 1839, when the slow, cumbersome up-and-down saw of the Marine Lumber Company cut the first commercial lumber in the state from trees felled in the rich white pine forests of the St. Croix Valley. The mill was built by a group of settlers from Marine, Illinois, at a site selected a year earlier by David Hone and Lewis S. Judd.
During the winter of 1839-40, the saw at Marine produced about 5,000 board feet of lumber a . . . — Map (db m45392) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Minnesota's First Commercial Sawmill|
|Sawmilling began here on August 24, 1839, when the Marine Lumber Company cut its first pine log.
In the autumn of 1838 two lumbermen from Marine,
Illinois, David Hone and Lewis Judd, arrived in the St. Croix River valley, attracted by it's abundant resources of white pine. They selected this site, then known as Fall River, to build a sawmill and named it after their hometown. Lumber was floated down the St. Croix River and then shipped by rail west to the prairies. It was used to build . . . — Map (db m51703) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Powerhouse and Kiln|
| Sawmills cut logs into rough boards. The boards were then planed and smoothed to emerge as finished lumber.
To your left are the remains of the planing-mill powerhouse. The square stone at the bottom of the ruin once supported a 50-horsepower steam engine that was fueled by wood shavings. The depression to your right was where freshly planed lumber was kiln-dried to prevent warping. For years, lumber had simply been left outside to dry. Kiln-drying, which became widely used in Minnesota . . . — Map (db m54832) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — Technological Revolution|
|"... a lonely and forgotten reminder of the hopes of men and of the lusty lumber industry which did much to build an expanding America."
James Taylor Dunn, The St. Croix:
Midwest Border River, 1979
The stone ruins before you include the foundation of the smokestack and portions of the walls of the powerhouse that once contained a steam engine. The artist's rendering shows the mill and powerhouse as they may have looked just before they were finally shutdown in . . . — Map (db m54137) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — The Marine Township Hall|
|The Marine Township Hall was constructed in 1872 as a meeting hall and jail. The building was erected on property donated by Orange Walker. Its construction was financed by Morgan May who took the town's bonds for the necessary $2,000. Members of the building committee were Hans F. Boock, Porter E. Walker, and Mathias Welshons. Gustaf Carlson, a local mason, utilized stone quarried and cut near the village.
After the official abolishment of Marine Township in 1895, the "Stone House" led a . . . — Map (db m45939) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — The Pineries are Gone|
A Great Pine Forest
The St. Croix River valley's sandy loam soil is ideal for growing pine. In the 19th century its forests were filled with white pines. Many of them were two to three hundred years old, four to five feet in diameter, and stood up to two hundred feet tall. These trees were strong, lightweight, resistant to decay from pests and rot, and easy to cut. They furnished the growing Midwest with abundant, cheap lumber for shelter, furniture, fences, and much . . . — Map (db m55015) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Marine on St. Croix — William O'Brien State Park|
|William O'Brien State Park was established in 1945 with a donation to the State of Minnesota of 180 acres by Alice O'Brien. This gift was given in memory of her father William O'Brien, who was a pioneer lumberman.
This marker is dedicated to Alice O'Brien, whose foresight and generosity helped to preserve this park on the St. Croix River for future generations to enjoy. — Map (db m52902) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Stillwater — Geology of Minnesota — Stillwater Region|
|The site of this tablet marks the northern limit of Lake St. Croix, impounded by the natural dam of sand and gravel, made by the Mississippi where it is joined by the St. Croix River, twenty miles below Stillwater. The valley, with its steep banks, is typical of youthful topography - of a young stream - and its size, compared with the river, indicates that a much larger volume of water flowed here when the St. Croix was an outlet of glacial Lake Duluth, the ancestor of Lake Superior. The . . . — Map (db m43994) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Stillwater — Lake St. Croix|
|Waters from merging glaciers several thousand years' ago carved deep valleys for the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. Deprived of the glacial waters the rivers were so reduced in volume and carrying power that they were unable to maintain clear channels. Eventually sediments of the Mississippi partially blocked the St. Croix outlet to form Lake St. Croix from Stillwater to Point Douglas. — Map (db m16148) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Stillwater — Minnesota Territory 1849 – 1858 / Washington County Takes Shape|
|Minnesota Territory 1849 – 1858
On March 3, 1849, during his last hours in office, President James K. Polk signed a bill adding a new name to the American political landscape – Minnesota Territory. A vast land, it stretched from the St. Croix River and Lake Superior on the east to the Missouri River on the west, and north to the Canadian border. Totaling more than 166,000 square miles, Minnesota Territory was divided into nine counties: Wabashaw, Dakotah, Washington, . . . — Map (db m43908) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Stillwater — WA-SWT-004 — St. Croix Boom Site|
|Center of log and lumbering activities in this region for over half a century prior to 1914.
Here millions of logs from the upper St. Croix and tributaries were halted, sorted, and rafted, later to be sawed into lumber and timber products. More logs were handled here than at any similar place in this section.
Seals of the State of Minnesota Department of Highways and The Minnesota Historical Society
St. Croix Boom Site has been designated a Registered . . . — Map (db m44673) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Stillwater — WA-SWC-714 — Tamarack House|
|Here in 1839, in Crawford County, Wisconsin Territory, Joseph R. Brown, first settler of this valley, laid out the town of Dahcotah. The following year as a member of the Wisconsin Territorial Legislature, Brown secured passage of a bill setting up St. Croix County. In the election to select a county seat Dahcoth won and here Brown built Tamarack House to serve as a courthouse, the first capitol building in Minnesota.
[Seals of the State of Minnesota Department of Highways and . . . — Map (db m43754) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Stillwater — The Warden's House|
|In 1849, the Governor of the new Territory of Minnesota, Alexander Ramsey, urged the Territorial Legislature to provide for a "proper and safe place of confinement" for prisoners of the territory. Because of Ramsey's request, the Legislature appropriated $20,000 for the erection of a penitentiary.
The site chosen for the penitentiary was in a ravine at the north end of Stillwater. This ravine is known as "Battle Hollow" because of the battle fought there in July of 1839 between the Dakota . . . — Map (db m43747) HM|
|Minnesota (Washington County), Stillwater — Washington County Courthouse|
|Minnesota's first courthouse, a three-room frame structure erected at the corner of 4th and Chestnut Street in Stillwater in 1849, had become inadequate by 1866. On November 6 of that year, Washington County voters approved funds for the construction of a new building.
For the magnificent sum of $5, Socrates Nelson, a prominent Stillwater lumberman, and Mrs. Elizabeth M. Churchill offered the city a block of property on "Zion's Hill." By the time ground-breaking ceremonies were held in . . . — Map (db m43865) HM|