Dayton's Bluff is named for Lyman Dayton, a wealthy man, who owned the land while he was alive and built a home there in the 1850s. The area is on a bluff, of course, and at its most southern tip is Indian Mounds Park, which has six large Native American mounds. The neighborhood has always been an unusual mix of the wealthy and the middle-class, with the latter mostly on the eastern side of the area. Many of the houses that were built back in the early years of the neighborhood have survived for over a hundred years.
The area has many famous landmarks, including the Wakefield House (also known as the William Wakefield House), which was built in 1860. It's on Wakefield Avenue, so named in 1892. It's been restored, and it's currently the belle of the ball with all sorts of high society parties.
Dayton's Bluff was designated a Historic District in 1992, and they have taken great pains to preserve their rich culture and traditions. It has a diverse culture, and it prides itself on its mix of ethnicities. They have eateries with all kinds of different foods, including Thai, Salvadoran, Hmong, and so much more. The people are very involved in the community, and they have the common goal of improving their neighborhood while simultaneously keeping the traditions that make them unique.
The diversity extends to other demographics as well. There's a mix of economic classes and ages as well. Dayton's Bluff is one of the lesser-known neighborhoods in St. Paul, but it's one worth exploring.
Dayton's Bluff History
Dayton's Bluff was established with the intention of it being a high society neighborhood that would attract the wealthiest inhabitants of St. Paul to move there. There were several wealthy people who did build on the land there, but it never rose to the heights to which it aspired. Instead, it became a rich blend of people from many different socioeconomic and ethnic backgrounds, and they celebrate everyone's culture.
The suburban nature of Dayton's Bluff was established in the 1840s, and it was part of what local historians called 'the walking city'. That meant the streets were constructed in such a way that they were easily accessible, and many of them were parallel to the Mississippi River.
Before the 1860s, the neighborhood man known for it's lumber, feed, and flour mills. After the railroad was built in the late 1860s, more manufacturing giants, such as Hamm's Brewery, started production in the neighborhood.
The neighborhood is known for its high-quality architecture, and many of the houses have proudly stood tall for over a hundred years. The limestone houses are no longer there, but the bricks ones have endured. There are also brownstones and Queen Anne Victorians, so it's a great place to walk around and soak in all the sights.
It's been a haven for immigrants since it first was established, starting with the German Americans. Now, there is a diverse mix of Asians, Latinos, and people with varying backgrounds. There is a strong sense of community and pride in said community, which makes it a wonderful place to live.
Green / Environmental
Saint Paul has very little in environmental policies. Introduced in 2020, they are asking large buildings to monitor water and energy usage for benchmarking purposes. That's about it.
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