Dayton's Bluff: Hamm's Heritage

Tour curated by: Special thanks to author Steve Trimble

Theodore Hamm emigrated from Herbolzheim, Germany in 1854, and purchased the Excelsior Brewery on Phalen Creek in 1864. Hamm’s Brewery grew from producing five hundred barrels of beer in its first year to eventually becoming one of the country’s top beers advertising, “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters.”

Theodore and his wife, Louise lived in a mansion given to them as a surprise gift by their eldest son, William. The red brick Queen Anne Revival style home stood atop a hill overlooking their brewery. Close by on the same street lived Theodore and Louise’s son, William and his wife, Marie, as well as their daughter Marie and her husband, Otto. At the end of Greenbrier Street was the home of Peter Classen and his wife, Emma. After the Classens moved, the house was also home to George Benz and Josephine Hamm-Benz, and then to John Flanagan and Emma Hamm.

Not far from Greenbrier Street are three other Hamm landmarks – Hamm Park on the corner of Greenbrier and East 7th Street, Peter and Louisa John home on 373 Maple Street, and Albert and Wilhemina Koehler home on 170 Maria in the Mounds Park area.

Locations for Tour

The story of Dayton’s Bluff begins on top of the bright white cliffs over-looking St. Paul, where the great Mississippi River cut hundreds of feet downwards into the sedimentary rock, forming the bluffs. This natural landmark attracted the first…

When German immigrant and former butcher/saloon owner Theodore Hamm bought a struggling business on Phalen Creek in St. Paul in 1864, would he have thought it would become one of the largest breweries in the country? That first year there were five…

If you go east on Margaret Street and cross Greenbrier, you will come to a red brick pillar in a small park with a plaque— a small remnant of the old Hamm Mansion. The historic home was located on the northern section of the area and the rest was…

Three splendid houses grace the eastern side of Greenbrier--once called Cable Street. All of them were connected with the extended Hamm family who decided to remain close to their company instead of moving to more prestigious areas. All three of the…

One of three Hamm residences on Greenbrier, the Muller home was built in 1891 for Otto Muller and his bride Marie Hamm, the daughter of Theodore and Louise Hamm. Otto Muller moved to St. Paul from New York in 1872 and soon began to work at…

This Queen Anne house at 680 Greenbrier has had not one but three families with Hamm’s connections living inside. It was designed in 1887 by architect Edward P. Bassford for Peter and Emma Classen. Bassford was probably the busiest designer in the…

William Hamm donated this park located at the corner of Greenbrier in memory of his father in 1910. The land for this “mini park,” as the city calls it, was created when Lyman Dayton's Addition and Irvine’s Second Addition met up at an…

Peter John was a prominent shopkeeper and saloon owner in Dayton’s Bluff. After marrying Louisa Hamm, the daughter of Theodore and Louise Hamm, the couple lived in this 1906 Colonial Revival house. It was the work of the architectural firm of…

German-born Albert Koehler, who actually had the first name of Heinrich, was a foreman at Hamm’s Brewery. He married Wilhemina Hamm, the daughter of Theodore and Louise Hamm. Since there was little remaining open land near the family grouping on…