Princeton was built on the shores of the Rum River back in the days of logging. The first home built in this area was in 1848. Lumber mills were popping up all over the area and the Princeton area was no exception. Besides logging, James J. Hill was building a Railroad through the area North of Princeton up by Milaca. Both of these things brought people to Princeton.
There have been several grand old buildings that we’ve lost to time and development. There are several great architectural buildings in town and here are my favorites:
10) Coffee Corner. Built in 1931. Once known as Princeton Coop Station.
9) This building was served as Princeton’s Middle School and has been re-purposed as apartments for Senior Citizens. I can’t find the info…but I think this may have been Princeton’s High School prior to it being a Middle School.
8) Lingle Dentistry Building. Built in the early 1900’s in the Greek Revival style. Was once Princeton State Bank; and the Mille Lacs County Land Office. Unique to other buidings in town because of its pillars and because it has two steps up to the main floor from the sidewalk, where all others are at grade level with the sidewalk.
7) What is now Williams Dingmann Family Funeral Home was once the cities Armory which was home to Company G of the National Guard. Built in 1912. Built of local brick. Was once used for graduations; basketball games; plays and concerts; and even sometimes was used for classrooms.
6) The Gile House. Built in 1875 in the Gothic Revival Style. It is one of the oldest homes in Princeton. People call this “The Ginger Bread House”
5) Freshwaters United Methodist Church. Built in 1902. Gothic Revival.
4) The J.J. Skahen Home. Built in 1906. This home is now a Bed & Breakfast.
3) The Great Northern Railroad Depot. Built in 1902. Queen Anne/Jacobean style passenger/freight Depot made with local brick. The Depot now houses the Mille Lacs County Historical Society Museum.
2) The Charles Keith Manor.Built in 1905, this beautiful historic home was commissioned by Judge Charles Keith and designed by leading architect John Walter Stevens. Mr. Stevens is well known for his commercial buildings in St. Paul, as well as designing several homes on Summit Avenue and in the Ramsey Hill historic district. Ed and Anna Evens (Hardware Store Owners for 40 years) bought the home in 1918 from the widow of Judge Charles Keith who had died the previous year.
Number 1) The R.C. Dunn House. Built in 1902. Was actually built on the site of an earlier home, built in 1880. That house was moved when this one was built. The style is called Colonial Revival. Architect was Louis Lockwood. The interior of the house shows a high level of workmanship. There are carvings and columns as well as etched and stained glass used liberally throughout the house. R.C. Dunn was the editor of the town paper and is recognized as someone who did more promoting of Princeton than any other person in the early years. The bridge in town is named after him.
Thank you for following along. I’m hoping that this post will get readers out to explore the historic buildings in their own town…and maybe even bring out more information on other historic buildings in Princeton. Jay