Molly Charles Elleman deVries Owen James deVries Buster The Boom Site House and Barn Milbern Cabin

 CHARLIE - 01/19/2007


The St. Croix Boom Company House was the home of W. F. (Frank) McGray, superintendent of the St. Croix Boom Company for 34 years. It is located adjacent to the St. Croix Boom Site which is a National Historic Landmark. Along with its barn, the house is the only known extant building directly associated with the St. Croix Boom Company.

The St. Croix Boom Company built a boom in 1856 two miles above Stillwater, Minnesota on the St. Croix River for the sorting and rafting of lumber cut by the valley's many lumber companies. The St. Croix Boom Company closed down in 1914 after 57 years of continuous operation.
Stillwater, Minnesota c.1870
(click image to enlarge)
Frank McGray is reported to have sent the first log throught the boom in 1856, and on June 12, 1914, it was he who hitched the last log to go through.

McGray entered the employ of the St. Croix Boom Company in 1856 and in 1871 was made superintendent or boom master. He lived on a farm across the river in Wisconsin until 1885 at which time it appears that the company built a residence for him and his family on company property above the boom site. McGray retired from the company in 1905 at the age of 71. He had purchased his residence from the St. Croix Boom Company in 1885 and continued to live in it after his retirement until 1919 when he sold the property. The St. Croix Boom Company House and Barn were named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980.
"There is a picture hanging in the Gazette office, showing the old boom-master, Frank McGray, hitching the last log that came through the Saint Croix boom; the log was a large one, scaling, I would say, five hundred or six hundred feet and this closed operations at the boom for all time; that was on the twelfth day of June, 1914; on this day also, the last meal was served in the old cook house and among those that sat down to dinner that day were Mr.McGray, James R. Brennan, then the boom master, D.J. McCuish, Eugene O'Neal, Rev, John McCoy, then pastor ot the First Presby terian Church, R.S. Davis, W.C. Masterman and several others, whose names escape me at this writing."

Stillwater Gazette
April 2, 1928.
The St. Croix Boom Site

From 1856 to 1914, this site was the terminal point for the great Minnesota log drives down the Saint Croix River and its tributaries. Each year millions of logs were stored, then measured and sorted, and their ownerships determined, before being assembled into rafts for shipment downstream to the mills.
Here's my published
the Boom Site rest
area closure.

This was the earliest, most important, and longest-lived of the major log storage and handling areas in Minnesota, which for a number of years trailed only Michigan and Wisconsin as the nation’s leading lumber producer. Nothing now remains of the boom site. It has been designated as a National Historic Landmark since 1966 and includes a roadside parking area with it's own history dating to 1936.


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