Osceola, enchanting small town on the St. Croix

Osceola is located on the the Croix National Scenic River-way with a collection of well-preserved buildings dating from the 1880s. It sits on the border with Minnesota and is about 40 miles northeast of Minneapolis. There is a Cascade Falls empties the Osceola Creek into a deep gorge carved out by the St. Croix River, was the reason for the founding of the village, and frankly the reason I stopped to visit.

December 19, 2016

Osceola was first named LeRoy. It was changed to Osceola in 1859. The name Osceola was used to honor a Seminole Indian Chief. Chief Osceola had been wronged by the army, which irritated many local people. He was the best known leader of the Seminoles. He was not a chief by birth, but was recognized as such because of his leadership abilities. He attended several parleys with American officials, after which he usually left disgusted and dissatisfied. During one supposed treaty meeting near St. Augustine, Florida, Osceola was knocked out, bound, and imprisoned—all while under a flag of truce. Following various attempts at escape, officials brought Osceola and several other Seminoles to Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, in December, 1837. During Osceola's stay here, many regarded him as somewhat of a celebrity. Why that name was selected for this town in Wisconsin is not known. The Village of Osceola was incorporated on July 13, 1886.


This the Osceola Cascade Falls. It empties the Osceola Creek into a deep gorge carved out by the St. Croix River, and was the reason for the founding of the village. It is right off Cascade Street. I have to admit it was June 15 and very hot. There is a terrific wooden stairway down to the base of the falls, but your lazy editor didn't take it, instead working hard to get this shot from afar. The reason I didn't take it is two young women had just climbed up the stairs and were sitting at the top. They remarked the trip down was worth it, the falls were beautiful, but the trip back up was tough. So I figured since I was 72 and they were in their 20s, the heck with that. Now that I have seen the falls through other photos, I made a big mistake. It's not that tough a walk.


Here is a zoom off my photo.


I don't normally do this, but I am compelled to show you a good photo taken for the Chamber of Commerce as a way to apologize for not walking down and up the stairs to take a good photo myself.

What attracted me the most to Osceola was its position on the St. Croix River and the historic character of the town's buildings.


Osceola Road crosses the St. Croix River. Route 35 crosses from Wisconsin on the right (east) to Minnesota Rt 243 on the left (West). You can see two kayakers paddling downstream. Osceola Creek passes through the town to meet up with the St. Croix right about here. I could spend hours just sitting here, watching the river go by!


A look down Cascade Street, Osceola Antiques, and the banner for the Osceola Rhubarb Days, a festival held every year since 2011. It is an all-volunteer annual event showing off a Craft Bazaar, a Makerfest, and featuring entertainment and plenty of food.


Osceola Antiques. A lot of people who shop here seem to be drawn to their ice cream inside as well.


Osceola Interiors is a family owned and operated business caring for customers for 30 years. It features home décor, furniture, floor covering and window blinds for the Osceola region.


All good Wisconsin towns have a bar and eatery. The Cascade Bar is at the center of the photo. One customer commented, "I go there 6 days a week for breakfast before work. I also eat there for lunch and dinner and the food is always good." Another said, "The food is really good. I have had breakfast and lunch here and they hit the mark on both. The place has a fun feel to it with an up North atmosphere. Get the cheeseburger, awesome." Apparently breakfast is a big winner, offering fresh breads every morning along with your home made breakfast.


Cascade Street is the town's man drag. And we're still here with a bundle of businesses to attract your attention. We'll move from left to right. On the far left is
Mr. Deals. The main idea behind Mr. Deals is to eliminate all of the excessive propaganda surrounding retail. Its "no frills" philosophy is to cut costs in every aspect, except for its employees. It eliminated sales, shelves, flyers, and most advertising but works hard to pay employees a good wage. In the center is Motion Trophies/Express Letter Engraving. It does a wide variety of engraving depending on customer desires. It also offers clothing with personalized printing. Then on the far left is a building with multiple businesses. One is Creation Station, offering arts and crafts supplies and products. There is also an Expresso Coffeehouse and Cafe offering breakfast and lunch sandwiches, coffee, Espresso drinks, smoothies, cookies, scones, handmade jewelry, scarves, gifts and more! Uptown Gifts is in the front. Uptown Gifts presents carefully chosen items designed to give customers a great selection of quality gifts for all occasions.