4901 Minnehaha Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Memorial Day through Labor Day
Visitors love our historic house museum - where adults are excited by the vision of Minneapolis' past and future, while children also learn about the heroic role of children in saving this historical house and learn to play games and with historic toys
Tuesday, Thursday10 AM - 2 PM
Sunday, Saturday12 PM - 4 PM
or by special appointment.
Museum Type(s)
Gift Shop
Lynette Crane, President, Board of Directors


The house was built in 1849-1850 beside the Falls of St. Anthony and served as the civic and social center for the new settlement, becoming the site of many historic events.

Here, citizens gathered to name the City and organize Hennepin County. The first state agricultural society, the first school district and the first singing school were established in this house. Church services, baptisms and marriages were held here.

Federal judges presided over territorial courts in this house and Indian Chiefs Little Crow, Good Road, Shakopee and Hole-in-the-Day met in council. Here, the city streets were platted and named, transportation was provided across the falls to St. Anthony, and the development of water power was planned. The court and judicial system were established here, as was the school system, and the House served as the first courtroom and also as the first school room!


To preserve and present the history of the City of Minneapolis and of Hennepin County, and to inspire our citizens to continue creating a great metropolis


John Harrington Stevens was considered the "Father of Minneapolis" by his peers. He was born on June 13, 1820. He served in the army during the Mexican War before coming to the Minnesota Territory in 1849. He was a farmer, merchant, editor, and historian; served as a state legislator; and was founder and first president of the state agricultural society.

On May 10, 1850, he married Francis Helen Miller, whom he called the "Mother of Minneapolis", for her strong support of him and his goals. They had six children. He died in Minneapolis on May 28, 1900 and is buried in Lakewood Cemetery.

Artifacts Collections


Currently on display in our galleries are photos and objects depicting the founding of the City of Minneapolis and the lives of the Stevens family. We are lucky to poses a few of the Stevens personal items such as a table, the parlor clock, chairs, a few other miscellaneous items and of coarse their children's cradle. We also display photos and information on the first act of preservation by the school children of Minneapolis. Learn of their involvement in moving this historic treasure from its' original location.

Come see photos of Minneapolis, starting from a lone house surrounded by teepees, to a cluster of farms in what is now downtown Minneapolis, and then a streets of ornate downtown buildings gradually fading into rows of residences. Look at the very table, laptop desk, clock and surveying instrument that were involved in the formation of our City. View the pictures of key pioneers, including Native Americans such as Hole-in-the Day. See the beautifully bound copies of early 19th Century sheet music that belonged to Helen Miller Stevens.

Educational Programs

Storyteller, Larry Johnson - now available for presentations at schools and other organizations.


    Disabled access provided on the first floor only.


    John Stevens did have a general store, but across the river in St. Anthony. Our little display is designed to show some of the items that might have been available for sale in the 1850s in his store. In our little we do offer a few items for sale: bonnets (5.00 - 7.00),wooden toys (7.00 - 15.00), mugs (5.00), Victorian doll ornaments (5.00), Necco Wafers (.25), assorted note cards (designed by local artists), and a variety of books. We also offer Duke Addicks CD of Ghost Stories for $19.95.

    Gift Shop