Riverway visitor center at Arcola Mills rejected — for now

May Township has rejected a proposal to allow the historic site north of Stillwater to be operated by the National Park Service.




2 minute read

The main house, built in 1847.
The main house at Arcola Mills, built in 1847.

Historic Arcola Mills will not be opened to the public as a St. Croix National Scenic Riverway visitor center, yet. A proposal was voted down this week because of parking and traffic issues. According to the Star Tribune, all parties involved are committed to making the idea a reality soon.

The National Park Service (NPS) won’t be opening a visitor center on the Minnesota side of the St. Croix River this summer because of concerns over traffic and parking.

The agency’s proposal to establish a presence at Arcola Mills, a historic site north of Stillwater, was denied Thursday by the May Township board. The decision overturned a planning commission recommendation that the town allow a trial period to gauge traffic and other concerns.

“I’m not terribly discouraged by the denial,” said Ray Marshall, who chairs the foundation that oversees 55 acres, including an eight-bedroom Greek Revival house. “I believe that everybody on the township supports the idea of Arcola and the NPS going forward together.”

The township board invited NPS and Arcola to make a new presentation in August, he said. Neighbors who spoke at town meetings supported the idea, “but they think it has to be done in a way to minimize problems that are going to result,” Marshall said.

Continue reading…

The site was opened to the public for the month of October last year as an experiment. The trial was a big success, with people visiting from throughout the region to tour the 55-acre grounds and enjoy beautiful fall colors.


St. Croix 360 offers commenting to support productive discussion. We don’t allow name-calling, personal attacks, or misinformation. This discussion may be heavily moderated and we reserve the right to block nonconstructive comments. Please: Be kind, give others the benefit of the doubt, read the article closely, check your assumptions, and stay curious. Thank you!

“Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding. The highest form of knowledge is empathy, for it requires us to suspend our egos and live in another’s world.” – Bill Bullard

One response to “Riverway visitor center at Arcola Mills rejected — for now”

  1. Diane Avatar

    what is there to say but “yeah” or ‘boo’?.


You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to St. Croix 360 and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email greg@stcroix360.com


Creative Commons License Attribution-ShareAlikeCreative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike
Riverway visitor center at Arcola Mills rejected — for now