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Historic Walking Tours


Discover the hidden gems that built the birthplace of Minnesota through unique guided walking tours!


This is a web-based FREE app that allows you to view historical sites in Stillwater, Minnesota linked to their GPS locations – view how the site looked in the past right on your smartphone! It is a tribute to well known photographer John Runk and includes current and historical photos, audio and written narratives along with the surprise and magic of today’s digital image and location technology. The Lens Flare Stillwater project won The Great Idea Competition in 2016 from The Stillwater Area Foundation. Carry the history of Stillwater in your pocket while travelling through a geo-location time tunnel! The APP enhances your experience while actually visiting Stillwater. To experience historic Stillwater from an armchair, you may use the web site by itself.


Real ghost stories, paranormal experiences, urban legends, and much more! If you’re captivated by local folklore, into legend tripping, a student of history, or interested in sparking your imagination, this guided haunted history walking tour of beautiful downtown Stillwater is for you.

Tickets available at Seasonal May-November.


People of all ages will enjoy learning of the stories behind the buildings, comparing the historic lumber era and today. At each featured property, view a video on your handheld device and relive the past of that specific location.

Instead of offering a standard guided walking tour, the Stillwater Heritage Preservation Commission developed this self-guided audio and visual walking tour, bringing story and place together, for both residents and visitors to the community. This tour is re-printed in the Stillwater Visitor Guide and tour brochures are available throughout the community and at Stillwater City Hall (216 North 4th Street)

Click on the video aboveto watch the entire tour or jump to links below to be redirected to the individual tour stop videos:

Introduction  Downtown Walking Tour – General Stillwater History
Tour Stop 01  Lowell Park
Tour Stop 02  Lift Bridge (Chestnut Street)
Tour Stop 03  Freight House (233 Water Street)
Tour Stop 04 Commander Mill (413 Nelson Street)
Tour Stop 05  Joseph Wolf Brewery (402 Main Street South)
Tour Stop 06  Washington County Courthouse (101 Pine Street West)
Tour Stop 07  National Guard Armory (107 Chestnut Street)
Tour Stop 08  Brunswick House
Tour Stop 09  Post Office (220 Myrtle Street)
Tour Stop 10  Lowell Inn (10 2nd Street North)
Tour Stop 11  Staples Sawmill (402 Main Street North)
Tour Stop 12  Wardens House (602 Main Street North
Tour Stop 13  Territorial Convention Site (Myrtle & Main Street)
Tour Stop 14  Lumberman’s Exchange (101 Water Street South)


Stillwater, Minnesota, is a city filled with historic homes and great stories. This tour takes you into the South Hill neighborhood, introducing you to some of the city’s finest architecture as well as a few of its most colorful characters. There are two loops, each completed in about an hour. On this tour, you can:

  • Learn about the architectural influences that shaped South Hill’s homes
  • Investigate the cold-blooded murder of the city’s newspaper publisher, Victor Seward
  • Find out about Atwoods’ gymnasium, called “the most pretentious recreation house in the world

Click on the video, above, to watch the entire tour or utilize the links, below, to be redirected to the individual tour stop video.
Tour brochures are available throughout the community and at Stillwater City Hall (216 North 4th Street).
Pine Street Loop 01 (Roscoe and Eva Hersey House) 416 4th Street South
Pine Street Loop 02 (Joseph and Anna Eichten House) 215 Pine Street Wes
Pine Street Loop 03 (John and Elizabeth Whiteside House) 223 Pine Street West
Pine Street Loop 04 (Austin and Harriet Jenks House) 504 5th Street South
Pine Street Loop 05 (Jacob and Cynthia Bean House) 319 Pine Street South
Pine Street Loop 06(David and Lucetta Grout House) 319 Pine Street South
Pine Street Loop 07 (Hersey-Atwood House) 320 Pine Street West
Pine Street Loop 08 (Victor and Elizabeth Seward House) 416 5th Street South
Pine Street Loop 09 (St. Mary’s Church, School and Rectory) 423 5th Street South
Chestnut Hill Loop A (Henry and Nancy Nichols House) 208 Chestnut Street West
Chestnut Hill Loop B (Alexander and Ida Johnson House) 119 Chestnut Street West
Chestnut Hill Loop C John and Anna O’Brien House (306 Olive Street South)
Chestnut Hill Loop D Anton and Rosalia Krenz House (320 Holcombe Street South)
Chestnut Hill Loop E August and Olive Krenz House (316 Holcombe Street South)
Chestnut Hill Loop F John and Sarah Booren House (310 6th Street South)
Chestnut Hill Loop G Fred and Mary Yates House (318 6th Street South)
Chestnut Hill Loop H Henry Clay and Eva Farmer House (418 6th Street South)
Chestnut Hill Loop I Harry and Mae Farmer House (411 6th Street South)

Content reprinted with permission from the City of Stillwater, MN. The activity that is the subject of these tours has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U. S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of the Interior. This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties.


Stillwater’s historic core and the natural landscape that forms it are defined together as the Stillwater Cultural Landscape District, eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register defines a cultural landscape as “... an expression of human adaptation to and use of the natural resources of an area.” Stillwater’s story provides a particularly clear expression of that interplay of place and people, but many of those stories are buried in plain sight. By visiting the sites on this tour —buildings, ravines, gutters, and crumbling walls— you will begin to find stories in details that may otherwise seem insignificant. Practice being a landscape detective. Please note that some properties on the tour are private and should only be viewed from the public sidewalk.

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