In 1907, St. Paul businessman and inventor Oliver Crosby purchased twenty-eight acres of land on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in St. Paul. There, he built a twenty thousand square foot brick estate that he called Stonebridge. In his book Once There Were Castles, author Larry Millett claims that Stonebridge was “the greatest estate ever built in St. Paul.”
The house was remarkable, but the grounds were what visitors raved about. There were two artificial lakes, large sunken gardens, a 100-foot-long pergola, and a reservoir that fed a series of waterfalls that flowed beneath the picturesque stone bridge that gave the house its name.
Crosby only lived at Stonebridge for six years; he died in 1922. Most of the property around Stonebridge was sold off after Crosby’s wife Elizabeth died, but the mansion stayed intact until 1944 when it was tax-forfeited to the state. Unable to find a use for the mansion, the state demolished Stonebridge in 1953.