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Museums & Historical Sites

Saint Paul History
Immerse yourself in the colorful legends, interesting sites, and fascinating events that define the history of Saint Paul. Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849. The Saint Paul area features 104 landmarks listed on the National Register of Historic Places, many of which offer a variety of tours, educational courses, and distinctive conference and event spaces.

Modeled after St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican in Rome, the Cathedral of Saint Paul is one of the most distinctive cathedrals in the nation. Historic Fort Snelling is a preserved U.S. Army military post featuring costumed guides that portray residents of the 1820’s. Up and down Summit Avenue, beautifully restored Victorian mansions offer glimpses into turn-of-the-century life in Saint Paul – a few are even said to be haunted.

Saint Paul’s history as Prohibition-era hotbed for gangsters, gals and whiskey runners is well known. The city became a haven for notorious names like John Dillinger, Babyface Nelson, Alvin “Creepy” Karpis, and the Barker gang, whose activities extended to robbing banks, holding up mail trucks and trains, and kidnapping hostages for ransom. Saint Paul celebrates this storied past by offering tours of sites where the gangsters once lived as they planned and executed the most notorious crimes perpetrated in the upper Midwest. Gangster tours highlight the sites of nightclubs, kidnappings and gun battles associated with the lawlessness of the 1930’s. The most famous, of course, are the Wabasha Caves, actual caves that were transformed into an underground speakeasy known as the “Castle Royal.”

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  • AAW Gallery of Wood Art
    Located in downtown Saint Paul's historic Landmark Center, the AAW Gallery of Wood Art offers an often surprising and always en...
    neighborhood
    Downtown
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  • Alexander Ramsey House
    One of the nation's best preserved Victorian-era homes, Saint Paul's Alexander Ramsey House offers a glimpse into family and se...
    neighborhood
    West 7th Street
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  • Cathedral of Saint Paul
    The Cathedral dominates the Saint Paul skyline and is situated on the highest point in downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. For the...
    neighborhood
    Cathedral Hill
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  • Historic Fort Snelling
    The Fort Snelling Veterans Memorial Chapel, built in 1927, is a result of a request made by Sunday school children in 1924 to h...
    neighborhood
    West 7th Street
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  • James J. Hill Center
    Founded in 1921, the James J. Hill Reference Library is a private, non-profit library that provides access to business informat...
    neighborhood
    Downtown
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  • James J. Hill House
    Guides of the James J. Hill House lead historic tours that help visitors imagine family and servant life in the Gilded Age mans...
    neighborhood
    Grand/Summit Avenue
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  • Julian H. Sleeper House
    In 1993, Dr. Seth C. Hawkins purchased the historic Julian H. Sleeper House to relocate his museum collection of Gilded Age (18...
    neighborhood
    Grand/Summit Avenue
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  • Landmark Center
    Historic Landmark Center was built in 1902 and originally served as the Federal Court House and Post office for the Upper Midwe...
    neighborhood
    Downtown
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  • Mickey's Dining Car
    Listed on the national register of historic places and featured in several movies, Food Network and travel TV programs, Mickey'...
    neighborhood
    Downtown
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  • Minnesota Children's Museum
    Board the Birdwell Island Ferry and journey to the world of Clifford™, America’s beloved big red dog with a heart to match. Ins...
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    Downtown
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  • 1 - 10 of 22
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