House tours by appointment.
Located on the grounds of the Scott County Historical Society, the Stans Museum is the Dutch Colonial Revival boyhood home of Maurice Stans. Hubert Stans, Maurice’s father, was a house painter and paperhanger by trade and he built this home for his family in 1908. Hubert was also a musician and local band director. Maurice’s mother was Mathilda (Nyssen) Stans and her family operated the Shakopee Brewery until 1920. The Stans family was well-known in the community.
The one-and-a-half story house features a cross-gambrel roof. This was a popular pattern of home styles obtained from plan book companies. There is an open front porch, wood-frame siding and cedar shingles. The entire house was furnished in cooperation with Maurice Stans and the society, which tried to obtain items as close as possible to the ones Maurice remembered growing up with in the house.
The front door enters onto a small foyer. Here visitors can see the simplicity of the house’s layout. There is a front parlor, a center dining room with a small bedroom off the dining room and a rear kitchen. The open archway to the front parlor features a “curtain” made of beads fashioned from rolled up wallpaper strips. Maurice remembered his mother making such a curtain and museum staff replicated it. Stained glass windows in the foyer, front parlor and dining room are original to the house. Wallpaper and paint was recreated from original design styles. Most of the ceilings are also wallpapered, which was common in the late 19th to early 20th century. The rooms feature unique wood flooring whose pieces create decorative herringbone elements around the perimeters of each room and the dining room’s bay window.
The Dining Room
The dining room features a three-bay window. Currently this room contains the original dining table, chairs, sideboard and china cabinet owned by Hubert and Mathilda Stans. Their daughter, Loretta Stans Gellenbeck, inherited the dining room set and eventually passed it on to her daughter Genie Van Well. Genie and her husband Bill graciously donated the set to the SCHS for placement inside the house in 2011. The SCHS is grateful to have the set once again in its original home! The space also features a foot-treadle sewing machine, a working Victrola and a wooden crank-style telephone.
The small bedroom off the dining room is simply furnished and was used by Hubert and Mathilda Stan. The door leading to the second story, where Maurice and his sister Loretta slept, is off the dining room. The upstairs bedrooms were not insulated until after the children left home. Maurice remembers waking up to frost on his blankets and running to the kitchen to warm up on cold winter mornings.
The kitchen features a green-and-white enamel Sanico brand cook stove made by the Shakopee Stove Company. A stand-alone cupboard, also painted green, has open doors that display early cooking utensils. The walls feature a unique way of tiling, which entails a form being pressed into the plaster to create grooves that resemble individual tiles. The museum staff painted the separate sections to give the appearance of wainscoted tiles. The walls are painted a cheery butter yellow, based on original paint colors. The kitchen includes a wood cook stove, dry sink and ice box.
The kitchen door leads to a plank walkway, which would have originally lead to the chicken coop. Now the walkway connects the house with the museum and leads to the landscaped gardens.
The gardens were completely redesigned in the summer of 2015. Gone are the hedges, opening up the space. We removed a few very old flowering crab trees, and planted four Linden trees, to provide shade and space for programs and events. Near the Stans House, two butterfly gardens were installed with Minnesota native plants. We installed a pergola with gravel walkways, creating a structure for climbing roses and a great backdrop for wedding ceremonies. Included with the pergola are two raised planting beds for annual flowers and vegetables. Perennial garden beds align the sidewalks and around the Stans house. We kept the lovely lilacs so spring visitors can enjoy their scent . The garden redesign was sponsored by a Centennial grant from TORO.
There is something blooming at the Stans Garden from May through September. The gardens form a park in the center of the downtown area, welcoming all to stop and enjoy this rejuvenated corner of town. Interested in renting the garden space? Contact us email the director here or give us a call at 952-445-0378.