Marine on St. Croix celebrates 175 years

  • Updated: August 29, 2014 - 11:46 PM

Visitors made their way through the 1852 Early Settlers Cabin at the 175th birthday party for Marine on St. Croix on Aug. 24. Other festivities included an all-town picnic, an ice cream social, crafts and games that included an egg toss, a three-legged race and a trivia contest.

Photo: Photos by ELIZABETH FLORES •,

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Marine on St. Croix, a city still very much resembling the original settlement, threw a 175th anniversary party last week and everybody came.

“The spirit was one of celebration,” said Nancy Cosgriff, one of eight organizers.

The All-Town Picnic, held Aug. 24, attracted more than 600 people who learned about the city’s river history, its all-volunteer culture, and its contemporary reputation as an arts destination. All those elements make up modern-day Marine on St. Croix, Cosgriff said. The city of 700 people was the first-ever white settlement in Minnesota, she said.

The picnic featured an ice cream social, games for children and adults, heritage crafts and a program that included Washington County’s famous explorer, Ann Bancroft.

The first white settlers arrived in 1838 to scout for a lumber mill. Marine Mills, named after a city in Illinois, sawed 800,000 feet of timber the first year.

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  • Kate Lapos, 3, searched a box full of sawdust for dollar bills during a treasure hunt that was part of the festivities.

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