SAUK RAPIDS -- Downtown Sauk Rapids has gone through many changes over the years with a lot of development and redevelopment. What's left today are just seven buildings in downtown that date back more than 100 years.

Benton County Historical Society Executive Director Mary Ostby put together a list of those buildings and a brief history of each location.

Old Sauk Rapids Herald building- 7 2nd Ave So. -1912

Benton County Historical Society

Gust Pilantz built the brick 2 story building in 1912 and used it for a furniture store.

Over the years its other uses have been a bakery, Kurr theater, Lyric theater, a grocery, Cozy theater, Perry Auto Repair shop and in 1938 Lee Batcheler purchased the building and it was turned into the print shop for Sauk Rapids Sentinel, which then became the Sauk Rapids Herald newspaper building.

Rollie Doroff and his wife, Winnie, bought the newspaper and the building in 1970 and it served as an office, print shop on the main floor with apartments on the second story.

The property was resold in 2015, updated to new uses, and now serves as an Edward Jones office and apartments on the second floor.

photo by's Jim Maurice


Robinson-Stanton House 1873-202 2nd Ave So.

Benton County Historical Society

Leonard Robinson built the Robinson House out of granite block that was quarried in the Benton county/Sauk Rapids area.  Robinson was recruited to the area to build the Sauk Rapids Water and Power Dam in 1868.  The house was featured in the 1874 Minnesota State Atlas because of its construction materials and was listed as the only granite house in Minnesota at that time.

The house changed ownership a few times over the years and former owners include: Judson Stanton,  Mill Owner; Suburban Land and Fruit company; Pappenfus Family; Hommerding Family and now is owned by Benton County Historical Society.

Additions were added onto the house over the years as it served as a group home for developmental delayed and elderly nursing home after 1943.

It did survive the Cyclone of 1886.

Photo by's Jim Maurice

Jimmy’s Pourhouse-22 2nd Ave No.

Benton County Historical Society

The current Jimmy’s Pourhouse building has had multiple owners over the years but is fondly remembered as the Blue Eagle and its penny candy.

It is said to have survived the cyclone of 1886 and is shown on the Sanborn Map in 1889 as a hotel at that time.

A few additions have been added over its history and the original brick building was built as a 2 story.

The picture shown was taken in the 1930-1940 era.

Photo by's Jim Maurice

Citizen Bank building- 24 North Benton Drive

Benton County Historical Society

Built-in 1915-Stained glass window, a vault are still intact-it was used by citizen Bank, sold to Union Bank, was Norwestern Bank and then Turch Jewelry.

It was sold to the Hair & Body Works Salon & Spa, they worked with the aesthetic historic features and is in use today.

Photo by's JIm Maurice

Harvest Fellowship- 400 2nd Ave N

Benton County Historical Society

Built in early 1900s, finished in 1903; it replaced the older wood church that had been built in 1888.  The wood church was used as a school until the new school was built in 1924.

Both the brick church and school building stand in Sauk Rapids downtown area.  The church has been enlarged over time.

Trinity Lutheran Church was home to the building for many years and it was re-used by selling it to Harvest Fellowship and is still in use today by them.

Photo by's JIm Maurice

Old Capital Tavern-1895~2 N Benton Drive

Benton County Historical Society

The building was used over the years for a variety of shops, including a livery, Oakland Pontiac dealership, car repair shop, Conroy Floral, Village Drug  & Schwankl Drug Store.

These days it is in use as the Old Capital Tavern as a restaurant and they have worked with the era for the interior aesthetics, including refinishing the maple floors.

The building is shown to the right as the Oakland Pontiac dealership on the corner.

Photo by's JIm Maurice

Williams-Dingmann Funeral Home- 326 2nd Ave So- 1898

Benton County Historical Society

Built in 1898 as a home for J. W. Watson, it included a 3ed floor for a ballroom/entertainment area.  Sold to the Krieg’s in 1913 and then Leo Ross, who established a funeral home in it in the 1930s. Lawrence Veeser was the next owner and continued the use as Ross-Veeser Funeral Home.

Doug Dingmann purchased it and continued its use as a funeral home and is its current use today.  Additions have been added to the home over the years.

The photo above was taken in 1913 when owned by Krieg.

Photo by's JIm Maurice