119 Year Old Princeton Estate For Sale - Ties to James J. Hill

119 Year Old Princeton Estate For Sale - Ties to James J. Hill

Zane Petersen Luxury Real Estate - Lake Minnetonka (www.zanepetersen.com) is Offering For Sale a 119-year old Estate, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, belonging to the Dunn Family since day one. Being in Real Estate now for over 23+ years, the Estate is one of the most impressive homes Zane Petersen Real Estate has ever been asked to SELL.

The Home is located at 708 4th Street S, Princeton, MN. 55371. It is a home of historical grandeur, an all-brick 30 Room Colonial Revival Mansionette, designed by Louis Lockwood (1864 – c. 1908), who was also responsible for the design of many of the homes along St. Paul's Summit Avenue and who's several works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Including this one.

Louis and Robert C. Dunn built this all-brick Colonial Revival home in 1905. 119 years have passed...

"March 9th, 2024, my future clients (and friends) walked into a beautiful Open House I was Hosting in Minnetonka. They were casually looking at the home (a potential to 7,000-TFSF), impressive itself with a double-tray vaulted primary-suite bedroom ceiling with chandelier, en-suite with a fireplace and a gorgeous backyard pool.

As they made their way to the door, we were chatting about where they have been and where they were heading. They said they were looking for a future home, but had not yet placed their family home up for SALE. We spoke further, they shown me a picture of their home. If one word could describe what I was feeling upon first glance, it was a simple word, 'WOW!!!'

Enter Robert C. Dunn into Conversation...

My clients are now friends! I Lead the 'catching up' and reminiscing about Elizabeth's Great Grandfather (Robert C.), her father (Robert G.), the Dunn family, and their vast influence on Princeton's History. We are working hard together to give Robert C. Dunn's Estate it's proper, Final send-off. An opportunity of a lifetime for that someone lucky enough to be in this right place at the right time. That time is NOW..."

Robert C. Dunn (February 14, 1855 – October 28, 1918), Born in Plumbridge, County Tyrone, Ireland, is Elizabeth's Great-Grandfather. He emigrated to the United States in 1870 and settled in Princeton, Minnesota in 1876. Dunn was the editor and publisher of The Princeton Union newspaper.

Robert C. Dunn's Original Newspaper Sign on display in Princeton's Mille Lacs County Historical Society (4/20/2024)

He served as town clerk for Princeton, Minnesota from 1878 to 1889 and as county attorney for Mille Lacs County, Minnesota from 1884 to 1886.

Dunn was a Republican. In 1889 and 1890, 1893 and 1894 and from 1911 to 1914, Dunn served in the Minnesota House of Representatives. Then, Dunn served as Minnesota State Auditor from 1895 to 1903. Dunn then served in the Minnesota State Senate from 1915 until his death on October 28, 1918.

Dunn died in the Historic Home he had Louis Lockwood design, the home he built, located at - 708 4th Street S, Princeton, MN. 55371.

Enter Robert G. Dunn into Conversation...

Robert G. Dunn (aka - 'Bob') (January 25, 1923 – March 15, 2017) is the father to my client, Elizabeth, the successor of the Robert C. Dunn Estate and home (located at - 708 4th Street S, Princeton, MN. 55371) until March 15, 2017.

Bob was also a republican 1965 to 1972 and served in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

During his time serving on the Minnesota Senate (1973-1980), Bob renovated the Robert G. Dunn home's infrastructure and kitchen, adding in the modern comforts of city sewer, water, and electricity, as well as multiple zones of Heating and AC, serviced by 3 units. He also updated one of the Estate's 3 coal-burning fireplaces to wood. But Bob knew he needed to keep his Grandfather's estate 'as-is' and it remains fully functional and in its original state.

Like his Grandfather, Robert C. Dunn, Bob (Robert G. Dunn) also died in the Robert C. Dunn home on March of 2017.

I feel extremely fortunate that both Elizabeth and Nathan have asked me to do the honors of their Estate's Sale, which today, occupies 2/3 of the 8th Ave S. block, an acre packed with almost 120 years of History, complete with the original 1890's Carriage House.

Why This Home Means So Much...

"Being asked to handover a family's Legacy, an estate that's been in the family for over 119 years, is simply, 'An Honor! It must be done right!

But as I've also done enough research, met with townspeople and of course, Barry, one of Mille Lacs TOP Historians (though he says he is not), to know that its blatantly clear that Robert C. Dunn helped build Princeton.

In addition to the above, many of you know Zane Petersen Luxury Real Estate Lake Minnetonka and my Global Luxury Office resides within Coldwell Banker's building, located on Wayzata Bay.

...SO here's the tie-in!

The Great Northern Railway's transcontinental line (connecting Minneapolis to Seattle, Washington) used to run right through Wayzata along Lake Street E, right passed my office. This Rail Line that passed through this 'Wayzata Subdivision' today on these same tracks, is operated by the BNSF Railway, seeing 4-6 trains daily as it routes from Fargo, ND, and down into Minneapolis' Target Field Station.

On April 20th I reached out to a very kind man, Barry Schreiber, Historian for the Mille Lacs County Historical Society. Barry has worked from within Princeton's Great Norther Railway Building (also on the National Registry of Historic Buildings) since ~2004.

Barry offered kindness and made a special trip over to speak to Nathan and I, when the Historical Society was closed.

Besides the questions I had of Barry which mended the gaps in history around the Robert C. Dunn and the Dunn Estate I am now selling, the main unanswered question I was in search of was how Robert C. Dunn tied in with a person Wayzata knows so well, James J. Hill, Railroad Tycoon and CEO of the former Great Northern Railway.

Though James J. Hill is celebrated annually in Wayzata (https://jamesjhilldays.wayzatachamber.com/) today, Barry, the Dunn's and I in particular, are celebrating what Robert C. Dunn did for Princeton.

Mille Lacs County Historical Society's 'Barry Schreiber' presents Nathan and I with long-lost letter, recently found between Robert C. Dunn and James J. Hill

Robert C. Dunn being a politician and strong early influencer had reached out to James J. Hill in May of 1902. I won't go into rephrasing the full letter but I will leave a copy below for you to read.

The basis of the letter that Barry titles 'The "Smoking Gun" Request of Mr. Hill...', Robert has written to James J. Hill asking Mr. Hill to help build a 'better' all-brick train depot that will better serve the growing community.

In those day, so many travelers came through the station. Rough guys, loggers, gentle women and active kids. Everyone needed a place within the station. There was also a need for staging and offloading supplies carried in by the railroad.

Through Robert's influential letter to Mr. Hill, the new station was built in less than 7 months, and 'Great Northern Railway' building still stands in Princeton today, just another legacy to Robert C. Smith.

Page 1 of the letter Robert C. Dunn wrote to James J. Hill on May 27th, 1902.
Closing page #2 whereas Robert C. Dunn wrote James J. Hill on May 27th, 1902.

NOW FOR SALE: The Historic Princeton Robert C. Dunn Estate - Offered by Zane Petersen Luxury Real Estate - Lake Minnetonka

A view from the 2nd Floor Staircase

"A snow-less 2024 winter has passed and we have entered into April where we've even had a day in the 80°F. Elizabeth, Nathan and I continue to work extremely hard to present one of Minnesota's most impressive Estates to the Market.

The Multiple Listing Service number is MLS#6505088 and the Historic Robert C. Dunn Estate, complete with the 119 year old Home and 1890's Carriage House can be viewed here - https://zanepetersen.com/properties/708-4th-street-s-princeton-mn-55371-nst6505088

*For those that do not know real estate, you can actually buy the gorgeous Colonial Revival 30 room Mansionette right now! Even though it remains as a 'Coming Soon' listing, which the rules of NAR indicated you cannot physically tour the property, you can still write an Offer on this home, sight-unseen. That means 'right now'!

Rest assured, homes of this historical grandeur often are swept up before the MLS 'Active' sales day arrives. The 1st Official day of sale is scheduled for May 6th, 2024.

Few have had the privilege of exploring this iconic landmark, you now have the opportunity of a lifetime to be its steward."

To Schedule a Private Showing, contact 763.843.2905. www.zanepetersen.com

Formal Dining with the signature swinging Butler Door leading to pantry

About Zane Petersen Luxury Real Estate - Lake Minnetonka

I have been in Real Estate now for over 23+ Years. I have helped design and build over 254 buildings worldwide, spanning 39 states, 180+ cities, and 9 countries, including Tel Aviv, Israel, two skyscrapers in Minneapolis and basically living on Oahu and the Big Island for two years in 2008 and 2009.

In 2023, Ryan Serhant (Million Dollar Listing New York City), CEO Kyle Scott and the Serhant Ventures Team met with me in Miami. Our like-mindedness created a Worldwide Network of Marketing and Brand, but developed into an International collaborative and exclusive International Home Search for my clients.


For over 23+ Years, I’ve Moved Thousands of Clients to Success, and I’d be glad to Move you too! Anywhere you want to go, I’ll take you there.

Follow Me on Instagram