Population (2010)


Visitor Information

Got a question? Direct it to the folks at the Cottage Grove Area Chamber of Commerce (651.458.8334).


Before 1887, the site of the future village of Saint Paul Park was a collection of farms. In 1887, William Fowler sold his farm to the St. Paul Park Improvement Company, which soon platted and began developing a new city. One of the driving forces behind the Improvement Company was Charles Parker, whose father had bought land in Newport in 1852. Parker sold his own land to the company in 1887 and platted two subdivisions in that same year.

Within a year St. Paul Park had 1,200 residents. One reason that the village grew quickly is that they offered generous incentives to attract factories ($100 for each man employed and free land!). It also helped that the village was served by two railroads and a steamboat landing. Within a few years they had new factories for the St. Paul Knitting Works, Dewey Harvester Works, Black Hawk Mills, a boiler factory, a terra cotta factory, silk works, and much more. The village grew so fast that they had to import workers from St. Paul; they even got one of the railroads to build a special commuter line to transport workers back and forth, a 25-minute ride that cost 6 cents.

St. Paul Park boomed for a decade, then crashed with the national financial panic in 1893; factories closed (many were torched after closing) and folks moved on; thousands of lots were sold at public auctions after the owners defaulted.

The village slowly rebounded from the crash thanks to the stabilizing influence of many of its small businesses. St. Paul Park incorporated as a village in 1909 and as a city in 1974.

Exploring the Area

The Mississippi National River and Recreation (651.290.4160) runs for 72 miles through the Twin Cities. While the National Park Service owns very little land along the corridor, it has many programs to help connect people to the river. Visit their website for a complete listing of places to enjoy the river.

Parks Along the Mississippi River

  • Riverside Park (13th Ave.) offers a pleasant place for a stroll near the river’s backwaters.
  • Lions Levee Park (7th Ave.) hosts a busy boat ramp, but there are also some picnic tables and good views of the river.

Entertainment and Events


Heritage Days Festival in mid-August is the time when locals celebrate all things St. Paul Park. Events include a bean bag tournament, parade, street dance, egg toss, and fireworks.

**St. Paul Park and the Twin Cities are 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.

Where to Eat and Drink

There are a couple of bars with food in the old city center, which is roughly Broadway and 3rd Street.

Where to Go Next

See the Twin Cities Overview for tips on festivals, getting around, and more.

Heading downriver? Check out Grey Cloud Island.

Heading upriver? Check out Newport.

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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!

©Dean Klinkenberg, 2013,2017