Early history records show that the first 10-block plat for what is known now as Oak Park Heights was entered into by John Parker, William Dorr, Gold and Mary Curtis, Olive Anderson, and William M. McCluer on May 27, 1857. They would call it Oak Park and it was located in what is now known as Baytown Township, between Stillwater and South Stillwater. South Stillwater is now known as Bayport.
Many early settlers saw Oak Park as a prime area for industrial development because of its proximity to the river. In the 1880s, a sawmill and barrel making company were constructed along Oak Park’s riverfront. The sawmill and warehouse are still present today, but will be moved or demolished to make way for the new bridge.
In the 1930s, Highway 36 was constructed connecting Oak Park to Stillwater. In 1932, Tara Hideaway was constructed to cater to automobile tourists who drove to the area. Also in the early 1930s, the federal government constructed a scenic overlook on Lookout Trail. Both are still here today.
In 1938, the area was redesigned and re-platted. This new village would be called Oak Park Heights, and it was incorporated into a city in 1959.
The City of Oak Park Heights is home to several miles of paved hiking trails and many acres prairie lands and wooded hills. Like many other communities in the St. Croix Valley, Oak Park Heights offers a high quality of life, excellent school system, numerous parks, and superb healthcare facilities.
For more information, please visit the Washington County Historical Society website by clicking here. The Washington County Historical Society collects, preserves and disseminates the history of Washington County, and acts as a community resource for individuals and organizations seeking historical information. The link above provides a wonderful history of Oak Park Heights.