Alexander Ramsey House

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Alexander Ramsey House
Alexander Ramsey House 2012.jpg
The Alexander Ramsey House from the south
Alexander Ramsey House is located in Minnesota
Alexander Ramsey House
Location 265 Exchange Street South
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°56′30″N 93°6′16″W / 44.94167°N 93.10444°W / 44.94167; -93.10444Coordinates: 44°56′30″N 93°6′16″W / 44.94167°N 93.10444°W / 44.94167; -93.10444
Built 1868
Architect Monroe Sheire, John Summers
Architectural style Second Empire, Other
Governing body Local
Part of Irvine Park Historic District (#73000993)
NRHP Reference # 69000077[1]
Added to NRHP November 25, 1969

The Alexander Ramsey House is a historic house museum in Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States; the former residence of Alexander Ramsey, who served as the first governor of Minnesota Territory and the second governor of the state of Minnesota. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969. It is also a contributing property to the Irvine Park Historic District.[2]

It is located at 265 Exchange St. the Irvine Park area, which was one of the first trendy neighborhoods in Minnesota.[3] Designed by noted early Minnesota architect Monroe Sheire, the house is one of the nation's best-preserved Victorian homes, featuring carved walnut woodwork, marble fireplaces, crystal chandeliers and many original furnishings.[4]

The Ramsey family began building the house in 1868, including innovations like hot water radiators, gas lights and hot and cold running water, and when it was completed in 1872, the total cost of construction was nearly $41,000.[4][5] To furnish the house, Ramsey's wife Anna filled two boxcars with fashionable and expensive Renaissance-revival furniture from the A. T. Stewart Company Store in New York to bring home to Minnesota.[5]

The 15-room house remained in the Ramsey family until the death of Alexander Ramsey's last surviving granddaughter Anita in 1964.[5] It is now operated by the Minnesota Historical Society as a museum, with tours offered year-round. They offer special programs such as "Christmas at the Alexander Ramsey House" in which the house is decorated for the holidays and a costumed guide reenacts the role of their cook, Annie Robertson.[6] Tours show the dining table set with the family's china and crystal, with a Christmas tree decorated with the family's own ornaments.[3]


Ramsey House large parlor ca. 1884
Ramsey House large parlor ca. 1884
Ramsey House reception room ca. 1884
Ramsey House reception room ca. 1884


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ "Historic Hill District". Minnesota National Register Properties Database. Minnesota Historical Society. 2009. Retrieved 2013-01-09. 
  3. ^ a b "Finding Minnesota:Alexander Ramsey House". WCCO-TV. November 27, 2006. Retrieved 2007-10-11. [dead link]
  4. ^ a b "Alexander Ramsey House". Minnesota Historical Society. Archived from the original on October 9, 2007. Retrieved 2007-10-11. 
  5. ^ a b c Caron, Barbara Ann (Spring 1995). "The Alexander Ramsey House: Furnishing a Victorian Home". Minnesota History Quarterly 54 (5): 194–209. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ "Minnesota Historical Society Calendar: Alexander Ramsey House". Retrieved 2007-10-11. 

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