Waseca, MN Historic Places
Waseca is home to many beautiful buildings and homes.
NOTE: Most of these buildings are private residences and are not open to the public. Please respect these properties and view from the sidewalks.
Waseca County Courthouse – 307 State Street North
The Waseca County Courthouse was built in 1897. It is a three-story modified Richardsonian Romanesque design by architects Orff & Jorelman, and constructed of familiar Kasota limestone and Chaska brick. In 1897 the cost was $55,833.07. As a public building it is open during business hours.
P.C. Bailey residence – 401 2nd Avenue N.E.
This is the Bailey-Lewer Library, the research facility of the Waseca County Historical Society. It was built in 1868 by an accused horse thief named Dayton Smith. Eventually P.C. Bailey, an early hardware merchant and public servant owned it. The Lewer family lived in it for three generations until 1993. The was restored in 1997 by the Society with volunteers and MHS grants and donations.
George Buckman residence – 402 2nd Avenue N.E.
George Buckman was a very early settler to the county living in Wilton and St. Mary at their beginnings about 1860. Buckman was one of the first to enlist at the outset of the Civil War. He survived to return to Waseca and become prominent as a banker. However, his war experiences were traumatic and had its effect on him. His Civil War diary is in the MHS Collection.
William R. Wolf residence – 522 2nd Avenue N.E.
This beautiful example of Queen Anne-style architecture was built in 1895 by William R. Wolf. It is the best example of this architecture in our city. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
Rosco P. Ward residence – 804 Elm Avenue East
This stately Greek Revival home was built in 1896 by Rosco Percy Ward, the son of William Grovsnor Ward. W.G. Ward brought the railroad to Waseca with friend Ira Trowbridge. R.P. Ward was president of the Farmers National Loan and Investment Co. He owned and operated several large farms, one of which was sold in 1912 to become the Southeastern Demonstration Farm and Experiment Station, forerunner to the current Southern Research and Outreach Center. The house has three stories, high ceilings, servant’s room, and ball room on the third floor. The carriage house has been long gone. The current east side addition was added within the last ten years. Vera Ward, R.P.’s grand-daughter died in 1991 and was the last Ward to live here.
Waseca Masonic Temple – 831 3rd Avenue N.E.
This beautiful Renaissance Revival-style house was originally built by John W. Aughenbaugh (pronounced au-en-baw) in 1897. The house once had large, beautiful gardens leading from the back of the house toward Clear Lake. The wide veranda provided a cool setting to enjoy lake breezes in the summer; and there was a ball room on the third floor. In 1931 the home was sold to the Tuscan Lodge #77 for $5,000. The Aughenbaughs were the only family to live in this house.
Miller-Armstrong building – 204 2nd Street S.W.
Built in 1900 this building is considered the best preserved example of a railroad dependent business in Waseca. The lumber was shipped from Thornwood, Washington in 1899. It is the only example of mill construction in southern Minnesota to support 200 pounds per square foot. There are 700 columns and beams. Although trucks superceded trains many years ago, this three-story structure functioned as a grocery warehouse well into the 1990s. At the turn of the century, trains unloaded on one side of the building, and wagons would pull up on the other side to load up and distribute to general stores all over the region. Armstrong also produced cigars, ice cream, distributed Blue Jay Coffee, and operated a bottling company here. In 1999 the building was saved within days of scheduled demolition by present owner, Gene Miller. He completely restored the building creating offices, B&B rooms, a conference center, and three restaurants within its walls.