The Gruber House at 1005 Sixth Street, just up the hill from the Depot, is a fine example of everyday life at the end of an age of grace and style. Built in 1908, the home reflects the charm of the Victorian era, with furnishings and décor reminiscent of the early 1900s. The house was built by St. Paul entrepreneur Frank Gruber, a Bohemian immigrant, from bricks manufactured at his factory. He also operated a hotel, bakery, and a restaurant. The house “made the newspaper” when it was built, but it did not compare to St. Paul’s large, elegant homes, now nearly all gone, on the city’s west side. The Historical Society purchased the house in 1992 and opened it to the public in 1996. It is a perfect backdrop to display the cherished furniture, glassware, china, clothing, toys and musical instruments of early settlers. One can almost hear the elegant organ playing, smell fresh-baked bread, and other sights, sounds and smells of a past century.
The lower level of the Gruber House housed the Veterans Museum until 2017, as well as a Jean Potts Exhibit, a Native American exhibit and a religious exhibit displaying artifacts from Howard County churches which have been closed. Exhibits are updated as space becomes available in the new exhibit hall in the park. New space will be available here for toys, clothing, etc.
The WPA outhouse of the Cotesﬁeld post ofﬁce was moved to the backyard of the Gruber House in 2002.