On the Map: Stillwater's 'pest house'

Located in Stillwater Township, a modest home holds the distinction of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's one of only six remaining pest houses in the country, and the sole survivor in Minnesota.

Pest houses, also known as plague houses or fever sheds, were widespread across the U.S. during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. They were part of a common public health strategy where people suffering from contagious diseases like smallpox, scarlet fever, and tuberculosis were isolated. The conditions in these houses were far from ideal; patients stayed there until they either recovered or died from their illness.

By 1910, Stillwater transitioned away from using the pest house as more hospitals were built, marking a significant shift in the treatment approach for contagious diseases.

Though this historic structure has undergone some changes over the years, it continues to stand as a private residence, serving as a stark reminder of our past public health practices. It's important to note that this house is not open for public tours.