The Historic Ard Godfrey House
The Oldest Remaining Frame Residence in Minneapolis


Map  Photos The Woman's Club of Minneapolis


Open Saturday and Sunday in June, July and August
1:00-4:00 p.m.
(Last complete tour at 3:15 pm)
Admission Free, Donations Welcome
Call for more information and directions

Tours for groups of ten or larger may be arranged year-round
For information about tours, call The Woman's Club at 612-813-5300

A Volunteer Project of The Woman's Club of Minneapolis since 1976


The Woman’s Club of Minneapolis hosts
Jazz Concert at

the Historic Ard Godfrey House
Patina Vintage Jazz Trio

Sunday, August 6, 2006
1:30—3:30 p.m.


Bring a picnic lunch and blanket to enjoy the concert in neighboring Chute Square

Tour the charming, historic Ard Godfrey house with hostesses dressed in 1850s period costume between 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm

 Free Godfrey House buttons for the kids.

 ADMISSION is FREE; Donations suggested.  No reservations required.


The Godfrey Family, Circa 1872
Back row (from left) Godfrey daughters Harriet (Hattie), Minnie, Mary and Martha Ann (Mattie)
Front row: Ard Godfrey, Sarah Catherine (Kittie) and Mrs. Godfrey (Harriet)
Missing: Helen and Abner

The Ard Godfrey House is the oldest remaining frame-style residence in Minneapolis and is also on the National Register of Historic Places.  Ard Godfrey was a skilled millwright who came to Minneapolis in 1847 to supervise the building of the first commercial dam and lumber mill at the Falls of St. Anthony on the Mississippi River.  Following the opening of the mill in 1848, Godfrey turned his attention to the construction of a suitable dwelling for his family.  In 1849, Harriet Godfrey and her children arrived in St. Anthony to join her husband in the newly built house.  The Godfrey family lived in the house from 1849 until 1853 when they moved to a larger home on land where the Old Soldiers Home now stands alongside Minnehaha Park.  The house was occupied by several other families until 1905 when it was sold to the Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers Association.  It was moved to its present location on Chute Square in 1909 and given to the City of Minneapolis.  The building was used as a museum of historical artifacts until 1943 when it was closed and boarded up due to a shortage of funds. Some historians use its legends for research in thesis

In 1976, The Woman's Club of Minneapolis undertook the renovation of the Ard Godfrey House as a gift to the city of Minneapolis in honor of the Bicentennial.  Funds for this massive project were raised by The Woman's Club, and a portion of the money raised was matched by grants from the federal government and the state of Minnesota.  Donations of products and labor were solicited from various contractors, unions and local businesses.  Original furnishings and household items belonging to the Godfrey family were located.  Some of these items were donated by the Godfrey family and others were purchased.  Additional items authentic to the period are also on exhibit in the house.  Countless hours of strenuous labor were involved to remove and replace a century's worth of flooring and wall coverings.  A new fire-proof roof was installed.  All told, over 10,000 hours of labor were volunteered by more than five hundred people.

The house was finally opened to the public on July 4, 1979.  In 1985, a reproduction of the original kitchen and pantry wing was rebuilt and furnished.  The original kitchen and pantry were destroyed during one of the four times the house was moved.  Today, the Ard Godfrey Committee of The Woman's Club oversees the maintenance of the interior of the house.  They also volunteer as hostesses and guides.


The Woman's Club of Minneapolis Home Page
Call for more information & directions

Other sites of interest to our visitors:


Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

St. Anthony Main