George Wentworth House in 1890 and 2021

Then & Now: Wentworth House

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Built in 1887, the Wentworth House at 1575 Oakdale is the only structure in West St. Paul on the National Register of Historic Places. The red brick Queen Anne mansion originally cost $12,000 to build. Currently a private residence, it was last purchased in 1987 for $190,000.

Wentworth House circa 1890 (Photo credit: Dakota County Historical Society)

George Wentworth

West St. Paul founding father George Wentworth built the house. Born in England, he moved to the U.S. in the late 1860s. He worked as a stockman and butcher. Wentworth served on the first South St. Paul City Council and was part of the group that broke away to form the current West St. Paul. Wentworth was appointed to the original West St. Paul City Council.

Wentworth also donated a portion of his land for the Gladstone School on Thompson, which was condemned in the early 1900s and torn down by 1930.

Wentworth House circa 1960s (?) (Photo credit: Dakota County Historical Society)

The House

After George Wentworth died in 1908, his wife Mary went to live with her children in South St. Paul. The house was offered for sale at a sheriff’s auction for $400. It passed hands several times until Julie Sorenson purchased it in 1967 and worked to add it to the National Register. She sold it in 1987 to the current owners, Daniel and Shelly Waits.

Here’s how the National Register of Historic Places describes the house:

The Wentworth House is a Queen Anne mansion of moderate size set on a large wooded lot in suburban West St. Paul. The house is constructed of red brick on a limestone foundation, with white-painted wooden trim. It is a two-story building of irregular plan with a complex gable roofline. The front gable has an oriel window and decorative half-timbering. A rectangular bay window angles across the front corner of the house. The large original front porch has been removed, but a balconied side porch remains. There is a small one-story wooden addition in the rear.

While the original porch was once removed (see the 1960s photo above), it has been restored.

Wentworth House in 2021

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2 comments

  1. Thank you so much for this article. I drive by it often and always wondered. You have now satisfied my curiosity.😊

  2. Thanks for the informative post Kevin! Talia and I were just commenting about this very cool house.

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