Rich with a history of lumbering, railroads and elegant steamboats, Excelsior is nestled on the south shore of Lake Minnetonka. Part of that history and heritage has been preserved with the renovation of the old J.E. Hennessy Lumber Mill. Now known as the Excelsior Mill, the long, narrow building on the main street of downtown Excelsior is the site of five specialty shops: DB & Company-TaDah!, Farrington’s, Avanti, 318 Café, Provisions.
The Hennessy Mill, built just after the turn of the century, enjoyed continued growth with a small addition in 1910 and a major expansion in 1923 which gave the building its current oblong shape. Later the Lampert Lumber Yards bought the business and operated it until 1983.
Eager to retain the character of the original building, Excelsior Mill developers took care to research its historic past. Early photographs showed a distinctive double-tiered roof, which in recent years had been modified to a traditional slope. Preservation of the old appearance was achieved by adding four dormers on the long roofline. Lumber racks forming a criss-cross pattern fill the rafters and complement the aged lumber walls and red brick floor of the center mall. When you enter 318, you are walking into the original space of the 1906 lumber yard.