Baytown Township

Washington County, Minnesota

Baytown Township

Early Settlement
Because of its location on Lake St. Croix, by the time Baytown Township was organized in May 1858 in the new State of Minnesota, it already had seen considerable settlement activity. Even before the 1837 treaties opened the land to settlement, the river was the thoroughfare of the Ojibwe and Dakota Indians, whose fur traders also frequented the area. Even after settlers began arriving, Norman Kittson still kept a store on the point, later known as Kittson’s Point, to trade with travelers and settlers. This business was apparently run by the notorious Pig’s Eye Parrant, whose earlier posts had been at St. Paul. Parrant left the country suddenly in the spring of 1842, and the point was sold at a sheriff’s sale to Joseph R. Brown, one of Stillwater’s founders, for $27.50.

Frances Bruce became one of the township’s earliest settlers when he built a house on the site of Bayport in 1842. Bruce was a French Canadian who had been in the employ of the American Fur Company. First to open a farm was John Allen, who built a house and planted crops on Kittson’s point about 1845. He didn’t stay long, leaving for California in the early days of the gold rush. In 1847 raft pilot Joseph “Big Joe” Perro settled on the upper reaches of Spring Creek. The springs that fed the creek also fed the fish at the Perro Trout Farm. Some of the Perro land was sold to the state in 1911 to build the state correctional facility that is still called the Stillwater Prison. A second Minnesota Correctional Facility opened in 1982 in Oak Park Heights as maximum custody prison.

For more information about Baytown Township see link below or contact Minnesota Historical Society | 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 | 651-259-3000 or WCHS collects, preserves and disseminates the history of Washington County, and acts as a community resource for individuals and organizations seeking historical information. 



An Inventory of Its Records at the Minnesota Historical Society