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 covered in Road Tripping Along the Great River Road, Vol. 1. Click the link above for more. Disclosure: This website may be compensated for linking to other sites or for sales of products we link to.
Florence Town Hall (33923 Highway 61 Blvd.), built on a lot donated by Israel Garrard, has been used as the focal point for the town’s business since it was completed in 1875; the interior has impressive details like maple floors, wainscoting, 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 good burger.
Heading upriver? Check out Wacouta.
Heading downriver? Check out Old Frontenac.
© Dean Klinkenberg, 2011,2017
If you like the content at the Mississippi Valley Traveler, please consider showing your support by making a one-time contribution or by subscribing through Patreon. Book sales don’t fully cover my costs, and I don’t have deep corporate pockets bankrolling my work. I’m a freelance writer bringing you stories about life along the Mississippi River. I need your help to keep this going. Every dollar you contribute makes it possible for me to continue sharing stories about America’s Greatest River!