The northern part of Stillwater, Minnesota was originally called “Dacotah”, by Joseph Renshaw Brown, an Indian trader, soldier and Justice of the Peace. This land was located at the head of Lake St. Croix where a warehouse was built to supply fur trading operations as early as 1840. By 1844 The Stillwater Lumber Company was operating and owned by John McKusick. “By 1846 Stillwater had about 10 families and 20 single men.” In this same year it was made the new county seat of St Croix County. Two years later in 1848, 600 people lived in Stillwater and most of them were lumberman. It is also in this year that the State of Wisconsin joined the Union and the Minnesota lands were left without a government. Since St. Croix County was situated in Wisconsin, The Stillwater Convention was held to organize the Minnesota Territorial legislature on March 3, 1849. As a result, Stillwater became the county seat of Washington County, Minnesota, instead of the county seat of Wisconsin. Anyone familiar with Stillwater knows you need only to cross the St. Croix river to arrive in St. Croix County of Wisconsin.
Source: Washington County Historical Society
Today Stillwater is a thriving river town with a vibrant tourism. The Main Street, which parallels the banks of the St. Croix River is filled in the summer with passing tourists and residents who browse the numerous antique and used bookstores, along with many unique boutiques and restaurants. The atmosphere is that of a small and quaint Midwestern town.