“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stillwater in Washington County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

The Warden's House

The Warden's House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 11, 2011
1. The Warden's House Marker
Inscription.  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 and the Ojibwe. It was a good location for a prison because natural cliffs bound the ravine on three sides.

In May 1851, the territory chose the firm of Jesse Taylor & Company to construct the prison building out of stone. By early 1853, the three-story prison building was completed. It contained six cells and two dungeons for solitary confinement, a workshop, and an office. The Warden's House, which sits just outside the ravine, was completed at this time also.

Francis R. Delano, the first warden, assumed office and moved into the house on April 4, 1853. A total of thirteen wardens administered over the prison until 1914, when the
The Warden's House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 11, 2011
2. The Warden's House and Marker
last of the prisoners were moved into new facilities.

In November 1876, three notorious convicts entered the Minnesota Prison. The Younger Brothers, Cole, Jim, and Bob were sentenced to life imprisonment for their roles in the famous Northfield, Minnesota bank robbery in which several people were killed and others wounded.

After the prison was moved south of Stillwater, the old warden's house housed deputy wardens. In 1941, Minnesota Governor Harold Stassen signed the house over to the Washington County Historical Society. Since that time the Society has operated the house as a museum.

In December 1974, the Warden's House was listed in the National Register of Historic Places and today stands as a testimony to the history of Washington County and the State of Minnesota.

[Seals of the Minnesota Department of Transportation and The Minnesota Historical Society]
Erected by the Washington County Historical Society

Erected 1998 by Washington County Historical Society.
Marker series. This marker is included in the Minnesota Historical Society marker series.
Location. 45° 3.697′ N, 92° 48.418′ W. Marker is in Stillwater, Minnesota, in Washington
The Warden's House and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 11, 2011
3. The Warden's House and Marker
National Register of Historic Places #74001044
County. Marker is on North Main Street (State Highway 95) south of Laurel Street East, on the left when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 602 North Main Street, Stillwater MN 55082, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. St. Croix Lumber Mills / Stillwater Manufacturing Company (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); 114 North Main Street (approx. 0.3 miles away); 1965 Easter Sunday Floodwater Crest (approx. 0.3 miles away); Connolly Shoe Company Building (approx. 0.3 miles away); 1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam (approx. 0.3 miles away); 226 East Myrtle Street (approx. 0.4 miles away); Birthplace of Minnesota (approx. 0.4 miles away); John Karst Block (approx. 0.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stillwater.
Also see . . .
1. Warden's House Museum. (Submitted on June 25, 2011.)
2. Minnesota Territorial Prison. Wikipedia entry. (Submitted on June 26, 2011.) 
Categories. Notable Buildings
The Warden's House image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., October 7, 2014
4. The Warden's House
Nearby Sign image. Click for full size.
By Keith L, June 11, 2011
5. Nearby Sign
Washington County Historical Society
Warden's House Museum
More. Search the internet for The Warden's House.
Credits. This page was last revised on January 26, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 25, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 450 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on June 25, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.   4. submitted on November 7, 2014, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.   5. submitted on June 25, 2011, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
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