In the aftermath of the Civil War, the country turned its attention to rebuilding and westward expansion. Lumber prospects in the St. Croix Valley promised wealth and success for Washington County. In 1867, ground was broken for a new courthouse high on the bluff overlooking the bustling commerce of downtown Stillwater and the St. Croix River.
Designed by Augustus Knight of St. Paul, the courthouse favored the Italianate style of architecture. The Limestone foundation and brick facade were capped with an imposing dome, cupola and flagpole; which soared as a landmark above the river city. The building was designed with a small two-story jail and a Sheriff's residence as part of the complex. Jutting skyward were eleven chimneys, necessities for the pot-bellied stoves that provided heat for the building.
Today, the building has been restored and is part of the Washington County Parks Division.