Most Minnesotans have wandered the quaint streets of Stillwater. It offers antique shops, romantic restaurants and hilltop vistas of summertime on the St. Croix. It’s what’s below this charming community that most people do not know about that can capture attention.
Connected to the Luna Rossa Restaurant in Stillwater is a maze of caves; 10,000 square feet of them. Locals say it took eight to ten years to dig these caves in the sandstone. The motivation for building these caves? The abundant natural springs that run through the city. Joseph Wolf found the perfect enviroment for making beer in the caves. At one point some 25,000 barrels of beer were coming out of the caves a year. Then prohibition hit. The caves sat empty for years until a man named Tom Curtis bought them. In 1956, he flooded the caves and started offering boat tours and tall tales down there. For a short time in the 1950s, he offered up the space as a fall-out shelter, even running drills with the local high school.
Now the caves are little more than their history, and that crystal clear spring water that promoted their existence. If you go to Luna Rossa Restaurant and pick the right table, you can get a birds-eye view of this beautiful part of Stillwater history. And until Labor Day, you can escape the summer heat with a tour through the cool climate the caves provide. Tickets may be purchased at the Caves office or next door at Luna Rossa and cost $5.00 per person. It is a 35-minute walking tour.
For More Information, Please Visit Luna Rossa Restaurant
or call (651)430-0560 for times
See the Caves on WCCO’s Finding Minnesota