August 31, 2018

Preservation Personals: This 1871 Minnesota Steamboat Captain's House Will Blow You Away

  • By: Rebecca Gale

Looking for a home with elegant flair and a great history? Look no further! I am the Captain Austin Jenks House, a landmark in Stillwater, Minnesota, built in 1871 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. My namesake, Capt. Jenks, worked for decades as a local river boat pilot on the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. Later in life, he rose to become a ship owner and director of two local banks and other businesses. He built me as a prominent home for his family, blocks away from the St. Croix river in downtown historic Stillwater.

My show-stopping feature is definitely my tower entry foyer, closely followed by my spiraling three-story wood staircase crowned with stained glass windows and sculpture niches. Many of my rooms feature elegant inlaid parquet wood floors and fancy-cut moldings surrounding each of my large windows, with design variations in each room. Period built-ins like floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the library, a sideboard in the formal dining room, and storage units in the bedrooms are both beautiful and functional.

Five bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms spread over 4,182 square feet provide plenty of living space for the family and guests. My spacious, charming, and historically-inspired eat-in kitchen will brighten your meal prep with its cheery yellow cabinetry, while additional pantry and serving rooms provide plenty of storage and prep space. A two-car garage, workshop, and an office space in the former summer kitchen provide additional areas for work and play.

Is there a gardener or farm-to-table fan in your family? My yard has a large flower and vegetable garden plot, which you can admire from one of my quaint side porches. Speaking of views, you’ll love the one from the top of my front tower, which lets you look out over the town—fantastic for watching nearby July 4th fireworks displays on the river from the comfort of your home!

Do I sound like your cup of tea? Click here to view my full listing, including more photos.

Captain Austin Jenks house for sale in Stillwater, Minnesota

photo by: Historiclou

Stillwater, Minnesota 55082.

Captain Austin Jenks house for sale in Stillwater, Minnesota

photo by: Historiclou

Carved window molding, paneled doors, and a period sideboard lend sophisticated historic flair to my formal dining room.

Captain Austin Jenks house for sale in Stillwater, Minnesota

photo by: Historiclou

My three-story spiral staircase and stained glass windows are just two beautifully crafted statement pieces I have to offer.

Rebecca Gale is an Editorial Intern at the National Trust. In her spare time, you can find her visiting local museums, photographing historic buildings, or playing guitar.

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