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Three towns, first known as Upper, Middle, and Lower towns, comprised the early permanent settlement of St. Cloud. The trio, arranged around two deep ravines that joined the Mississippi River, were united as the city of St. Cloud in 1856.
St. Cloud soon became a trade and processing center for the surrounding agricultural area.
The arrival of the railroad and the founding of the first granite quarry in 1868 attracted new settlers and brought more economic progress. By 1900, transportation and natural resources helped maintain St. Cloud's prominence as one of the state's largest cities. Neighborhoods developed with many styles and sizes of houses, from picturesque late Victorian mansions to simple yellow brick or frame worker's cottages.
Today, St. Cloud is home to almost 6,000 historic structures built before or in 1955.