The home is a Georgian/Colonial Revival built in 1890 for George Draper Dayton, the eventual founder of the Dayton Department Stores (now the Target Company).
The house was designed by architect Wallace Dow, who has been referred to as the Builder on the Prairie. Dow was chosen by the state of South Dakota to design its pavilion for the Chicago World's Fair in 1892–1893.
The house was originally constructed in just four months.
In 1902, the Dayton family departed for Minneapolis and the Smallwood family took up residence in the home.