Remember When…

Recent Posts

A Trip Back in Time: Burying Stillwater’s Dead

Stillwater is known as the “Birthplace of Minnesota” and even though Stillwater has given birth to many industries, business, and of course people, there have been many deaths as well. When a person dies in Stillwater there are several cemeteries that our loved ones are buried in. But what happened to those settlers in the early days when there were no cemeteries? Of course, a burying ground is not necessary unless someone dies. The first deaths in this area were told about in a interview with Stillwater’s first female resident, Lydia Carli. Continue Reading →

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The Man Who Made Stillwater Smile and Say ‘Cheese’

Story by Brent Peterson, executive director of the Washington County Historical Society:

A collection of John Runk’s films and photographs are available through WCHS. His photographs are still used today and are among the most popular at the Minnesota Historical Society. He was a businessman, a lumberjack and an inventor. His name still is recognized throughout the St. Croix Valley even though half a century ago. Continue Reading →

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Remember When… A Washout in Stillwater 120 Years Ago

It’s throwback Thursday. This photo is courtesy of the Washington County Historical Society. Hopefully the rain will stop soon before another washout occurs like this one back 120 years ago in Stillwater….. If you have a photo you would like to see featured in Stillwater Current’s “Remember When” category or the #TBT Facebook posts, please send the photo and a brief description if you know it to Want more local stuff? Continue Reading →

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Brent Peterson: Believe It Or Not, Nelson’s Wasn’t Always King of the Ice Cream Cone

By Brent Peterson, executive director of the Washington County Historical Society:

As long as I can remember, that ice cream store at Olive and Greeley in Stillwater was a great treat for kids. On our way back from going to the Lily Lake Beach we would stop and the family would enjoy some ice cream on the warm summer days. Believe it or not, the store wasn’t always the king of the ice cream cone. In the early 1920s, John Lustig took over the store that was known as the Seven Corners Grocery Store. Lustig, who was born in Stillwater in 1873, also operated a small restaurant on Main Street call the Lustig Buffet. Continue Reading →

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A Trip Back in Time: Old School Solitary Confinement at Stillwater Prison

From the Washington County Historical Society:

This photograph shows a demonstration of how solitary confinement was originally implemented at Stillwater Prison. Punishment at the Old Prison – Photograph from Hard Time: Voices From a State Prison

“When a prisoner was placed in a punishment cell…he was handcuffed to the barred door of a cell and a wooden door closed in front of the barred door which he stood facing,” according to Hard Time. “If he was tall, he did not have to reach above his shoulders to get his hands through the cross bars where he rested his wrists. If he was short, he was very much out of luck, as he was all but strung up by the wrists.” The inmate would be chained to the door, every day of his punishment from 7 a.m. to Noon and from 1 – 6 p.m. In theory, this arduous regime was only supposed to last a few days but in practice, inmates could find themselves in “the hole” for periods as long as eight or nine days. Continue Reading →

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Washington County Historic Courthouse Features ‘Marine on St. Croix 1830s-1930s: 100 Years of Change’

From the Washington County Historic Courthouse:

The Washington County Historic Courthouse will be host to an exhibit titled “Marine on St. Croix 1830s-1930s: One Hundred Years of Change.”

The exhibit follows a loose chronological order starting with photos of loggers at work and the tools they used. A Swedish immigrant’s log cabin is represented, followed by the fresh white frocks worn by the ladies of Marine. Presented by a committee from the Stone House Museum in Marine on St. Croix, the installation tells the story of the community on the river from the time the first lumber mill was built, until the community celebrated its centennial in 1938. Continue Reading →

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Washington County Historical Society Wants to Know: What is this Thing?


From the Washington County Historical Society:

This whole winter we’ve working on documenting and recording our massive collection of artifacts. WHCS has never had a full inventory of our roughly 100,000 artifacts and this project will hopefully rectify that oversight. We’re coming across many items that have been tucked away for decades and unfortunately, some of the histories of these donations have been misplaced over the years. We found the above artifact in the museum’s kitchen and although it seems to be some type of scraper…we actually aren’t 100% sure what to call it! If you think you know what this artifact is or what it was used for, let us know! Continue Reading →

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