The Sauntry Mansion is Stillwater

626 N 4th St, Stillwater

This beautiful Queen Anne historic home in Stillwater was built in 1881 by William Sauntry, a local lumber baron. The Recreation Hall sitting directly behind the mansion, or Gymnasium as it was called back in the day, was built in 1902 in the Moorish style, and is now a separate residence. Both buildings are on the National Registry of Historic Places.

While not a pioneer of the lumber trade in Stillwater, William Sauntry learned his craft from the best, the Timber King Frederick Weyerhaeuser. Weyerhaeuser took Sauntry, who is related to Bing Crosby, under his wing where Sauntry flourished. Sauntry directed the Ann River Logging Company which cut most of the last logs in the St. Croix River Valley. When logging dried up, Sauntry put his money into mining on some lands he owned on the Mesabi range. Not knowing a thing about the mining business, he ended up losing what money he had earned from logging. On November 10, 1914, at the Ryan Hotel in Saint Paul, he committed suicide by shooting himself with a revolver.

Sauntry Mansion in 1921, Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

Sauntry Mansion in 1921, Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society

The Suantry Mansion is now run as a very successful Bed and Breakfast by the current owners, who purchased the home about ten years ago.

Inside the gymnasium in 1919

Inside the gymnasium in 1919, Courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society

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One Response to “The Sauntry Mansion is Stillwater”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I know a very interesting (but sad) piece of history about Sauntry’s company that I’m sure nobody knows but me – what happened to their book keeping and records. I grew up near the headwaters of the St. Croix River in small town, Gordon, Wisconsin. Gordon was the “headquarters” for Sauntry’s logging camp operations in the headwater region of the river. When I was in college, I worked summers at the small local history museum. My Grandmother had a first cousin, Harry, who after years of living in Milwaukee decided that he wanted to return to Gordon before he died. Harry used to come into the museum every weekend, sit on a stool, and tell me stories. He once told me that when he was a kid, he worked at a store in town in a building had once housed the business office for Sauntry’s operations. He said that the back room was full of records and ledgers and for years they would tear sheets from these to use to light the wood stove until all were gone. It wasn’t years later when he was an adult that he realized the value in what literally went up in smoke.

    – Brian Finstad

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