BACKSTORY: Edited from the Stillwater CVB website: Stillwater is referred to as the "Birthplace of Minnesota" established in 1848. It held the first territorial convention, to begin the process of establishing Minnesota as a state, on the corner of Myrtle and Main Streets. Minnesota became a territory in 1849 and a state in 1858. Stillwater was chosen for the territory's first prison, which opened in 1853. Today, you can tour the old Warden's House, located where the original prison was built. In 1837, treaties were signed between the US government and local Ojibwa and Dakota nations that allowed for settlement in the St. Croix river valley. Stillwater became a city in 1854.
Stillwater's main industry was lumbering until the second half of the 19th century. Logs were sent downstream and collected at the St. Croix Boom Site and processed in Stillwater's sawmills. Lumber barons built their intricate Victorian mansions amidst Stillwater's hills overlooking the river. Today, many of those mansions have been restored to their original grandeur and are now historic Bed & Breakfast Inns. The St. Croix River was also home to many steamboats which were used until about 1890 as a major means of transportation. Stillwater still has colorful steamboats for tourists to enjoy. Historic downtown still boasts many shops, boutiques, restaurants, historic hotels, parks and festivals.