Mayor Debuts Historical Shelter in Riverside Park

Mayor Debuts Historical Shelter in Riverside Park Click to Enlarge Photo: Dene Dryden

(KNSI) - In a swiftly arranged ceremony, St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis dedicated a new historical shelter in Riverside Park Wednesday afternoon.

The wooden, prefabricated shelter was placed by the City of St. Cloud in the northeast corner of Riverside Park, feet away from the the site where a historic log cabin once stood.

Originally built in 1855, the Pioneer's Cabin was moved several times around St. Cloud before it was set in the Riverside Park site. For years, the Pioneer's Cabin was the place for a hodgepodge of city services.

"This was the first jail," Kleis said. "It was the home for the first police officer, the Constable Barney Overbeck. ... The basement was a jail, the upstairs was a hotel, and it was a clerk's office, it was a residence, all in that little building. So, it was important to preserve that story."

As Kleis addressed a small audience at the dedication, he held a photo frame made of original wood from the Pioneer's Cabin. In it, an image of the cabin in 1935 at its site near the new shelter. More of the cabin's original wood beams are placed in the rafters of the shelter.

The shelter's benches and informational placards had only been installed on Tuesday. Kleis said. The dedication and ribbon cutting occurred on short notice because "we wanted to dedicate it as soon as everything arrived," Kleis said, adding that Wednesday's weather was also great.

Kleis said the funds for the historical shelter came from the economic development opportunity fund that also helped add park land and bring Costco to St. Cloud.

"It's such a place that folks can learn more about their heritage and the history as we preserve it," Kleis said. "This is another piece of that history that completes that economic development project and allows us to tell the story."