Marine on St. Croix
Minnesota’s lumber industry began here when the Marine Lumber Company cut its first pine board in 1839. Stillwater, just 11 miles to the south, didn’t get its first mill for another six years, but it quickly grew into an important city while little Marine Mills, as it was then known, remained a scene right out of a New England postcard.
Citizens and the post office rechristened their town Marine on St. Croix in 1917, though it took the U.S. Board on Geographic Names another 51 years to officially accept the change. Despite all the effort to get the longer name, most locals just call it Marine.
The foundation ruins of the Marine Mill can be seen in the little downtown park. Across the highway and up the hill, the 1872 town hall and jail now houses the little Stonehouse Museum (241 5th St., 651/433-3636, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun. May–Sept., free admission) and its assorted historical artifacts.
The Asa Parker House (17500 St. Croix Trail N., 651/433-5248, www.asaparkerbb.com, $129) bed-and-breakfast occupies a handsome 1856 home. The four guestrooms each have a private bath.
Grab a burger and a brew at the Brookside Bar & Grill (140 Judd St., 651/433-5132, 11 a.m.–9 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat.), and be sure to ask for a seat on the patio out back.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition