In the aftermath of the Civil War, the country turned its attention to rebuilding and westward expansion. Lumber prospects in the St. Croix Valley promised wealth and success for Washington County. In 1867, ground was broken for the new courthouse high on the bluff overlooking the bustling commerce of downtown Stillwater and the St. Croix River.
Designed by Augustus Knight of St. Paul, the courthouse favored the Italianate style of architecture. The limestone foundation and brick facade were capped with an imposing dome, cupola and flagpole; which soared as a landmark above the river city. The building was completed in 1870 and served as the administrative and judicial center of the county for over a century. In 1971, the Historic Courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as the oldest standing courthouse in Minnesota.
Visitors to the building may use a self-guided tour booklet to learn about this unique and important historic site. Self-guided tours are Monday through Thursday from 8:00am-4:00pm
Listen to stories about the oldest standing courthouse in the state of Minnesota; the lumbering industry and history of the building. Visit the old county jail and learn about the Sheriff’s and their families who lived on-site. Hear the legend of Zion’s Hill, upon which the courthouse is built, which tells about the age old dispute between the Dakota and Ojibwe and a prophecy by an Ojibwe chief. Look at the Civil War monument which lists the names of soldiers of the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry regiment. They fought valiantly at battles such as Bull Run and Gettysburg.
(By Appointment Only)
Monday through Friday, 8:00-3:00pm, take a 45-minute tour for a small fee of $2.00 per person
*April 15-October 15th on Mondays and Thursdays there are Free Guided Tours at 3:00pm
For an appointment, please call: (651)275-7075
For More Information, Please Visit: Historic Courthouse