Your best bet to learn about the local scene is to stop in to the Whistle Stop Restaurant (33683 Highway 61 North; 651.345.5800).
Frontenac Station may lack the glamorous history of Old Frontenace, but it has nothing to hang its head about. The village came to life in the 1870s when the railroad built tracks along this alignment instead of through Old Frontenac. This decision was made at least partly because Israel Garrard didn’t want trains rumbling through his bucolic resort community.
Frontenac Station developed into a solid, small community whose businesses served the local agricultural industry. By 1900, the village had a quarry, a grain elevator, a saloon, general stores, and blacksmiths. Stone from a nearby quarry was used in the construction of Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City.
Frontenac Station is also home to the oldest government building in continuous operation in Minnesota. The Florence Town Hall was completed in 1875 and is still serving the local community.
Frontenac Station is included in these products:
Florence Town Hall (33923 Highway 61 Blvd), built on a lot donated by Israel Garrard, has been used as focal point for the town’s business since it was completed in 1875; the interior has impressive details like maple floors, wainscoting, pieces of original furniture, and old voting booths.
The Whistle Stop Restaurant (33683 Highway 61 North; 651.345.5800) is a standard small-town diner/dive, where you can get a big breakfast any time of day or a burger.
Heading upriver? Check out Wacouta.
Heading downriver? Check out Old Frontenac.
© Dean Klinkenberg, 2011