Marine on St. Croix was founded in 1839 as Marine Mills. The city was the site of the first commercial sawmill on the St. Croix River. The sawmill was built by Illinois lumbermen David Hone and Lewis Judd, who saw the opportunity to cut the St. Croix River valley's abundant white pine. They named the mill after their hometown of Marine, Illinois. The mill began operation in August 1839, making it the first commercial sawmill within Minnesota. It was first powered by water and then by steam, and it operated through 1895. Over 197,000,000 board feet of lumber was milled through this sawmill. Although the frame buildings were demolished and the sawmill equipment was sold, footings of the buildings are still visible. The Marine Mill site is now a historic site operated by the Minnesota Historical Society.
The city retains several historic sites in addition to the Marine Mill, such as the General Store, built in 1870; the Stone House Museum, built in 1872; the Village Hall, built in 1888; the Lutheran Church; and the Fire Hall.
Marine on St. Croix Historic District 450-acre historic district in Marine on St. Croix was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974 for having state-level significance in the themes of architecture, commerce, exploration/settlement, and industry. It was nominated as the birthplace of Minnesota's lumber industry and for its representation of two separate but interdependent waves of immigration that created the town.
The district encompasses three distinct areas: the original business district bounded by Oak, 5th, and Mill Streets; the residential area of the Yankee business owners on the bluffs to the north, now bisected by Highway 95; and the residential areas of the Swedish working class, initially on the low areas to the north and south of the village center, and later on the bluff to the west. 60 buildings and three sites of ruins were identified as the contributing properties to the historic district in 1974.
Marine is composed of mostly historic homes in the village with many of those situated on the banks of the St. Croix River. Big Marine Lake is located west of the town of Marine and about 10 minutes north of downtown Stillwater.
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Updated: 28th November, 2020 6:47 AM (UTC).