Historic Structure Report begins

Exciting doesn’t begin to describe our feelings when the Historic Structure Report (HSR) work was lauched, last week. The HSR report is a mandatory document needed for the rehabilitation work needed at the farm. Without it, we are literally dead in the water, as far as being able to work on the buildings.  Why, you say?  Simple, the State Historic Preservation(SHPO)  office approves or disapproves what we can and cannot do at the farm.  Part of the reason for this is that we received MN Legacy funding to restore the north barn.  The SHPO is then responsible for making sure we take care of and manage the property, properly.  There is good and bad in the process, but as a taxpayer myself, knowing Legacy funds are spent well, is a good thing, abet, for the receiver a little bit more time consuming, than I would like.  The HSR will document most if not all the work we need to do, removing the need to ask SHPO continually.  It will also be the bases for long range planning and a business/marketing plan.

The lead for the project is Angela Wolf Scott, AIA, LEED APShe has lots of initials, most of them meaning she know a lot about architecture.  You can learn more about her and MacDonald & Mac at:  http://www.mmarchltd.com/about.html#people-1160    MacDonald & Mac will start work on the house and proceed to the outer buildings. They will explore every nook and cranny.  When they are done, we will have a document that will set the course for rehabilitation work on the buildings and idea of how much it will cost. We will know everything from the original color of the house, to mysteries surrounding the granary and how and when it was built.

Today, we received a $20,000 donation from a family foundation to be applied to the cost of he HSR. The size of the donation, floors me and there is no way we can say thank you enough to everyone, for all donations, large and small.

Sweden here I come

Last spring 2016, I received a scholarship from the American Swedish Institute to study 19th century farming methods and architecture in Sweden.  My flight leaves May 16, 2017. A Swedish journalist picked up on the story.  To read his article, (in Swedish) click on the link below.  I have, as a result, received so many heart warming invitations to visit people who want to show me their farms, and teach me the techniques.  I will be blogging about the trip while I am there, so keep this site tagged as a favorite.  As of today, I plan to visit three world heritage sites, and 20 open air farm museums.  I have been invited to  Delsbo (the site Moberg placed Karl, in Sweden) , Örnsköldsvik (home of a 93 year old man who wants to teach me the old methods), Smålands museum in Växjö near where Moberg lived and Långasjö Sockens Hembygdsförening, an open air farm museum in the south of Sweden.  The journalist’s wife lives in St. Petersburg, and they have invited me to visit them for a weekend, before I start my Swedish adventure.


So much to see and do.  A real once in a lifetime trip.  I would like to leave you with the below photo.  This is Ward Holasek driving two of his treasured horses, in front of the north barn, before the collapse. A great photo for the holidays.  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all.

Sleigh rides on the farm.

National Trust for Historic Preservation Awards the Carver County Historical Society A Preservation Grant for the Andrew Peterson Farmstead.

News Release

Media Contact: NTHP Public Affairs, 202.588.6141, pr@savingplaces.org

The Carver County Historical Society was awarded $10,000 to be applied towards the Historic Structure Report at the Andrew Peterson Farmstead.

Waconia, Minnesota –The Carver County Historical Society – Historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead was awarded a $10,000 grant by the National Trust for Historic Preservation from Sweatt Fund from Montana. These grant funds will be used to prepare a Historic Structure Report for the Historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead.

“Organizations like the Carver County Historical Society, help to ensure that communities and towns all across America retain their unique sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We are honored to provide a grant to the Carver County Historical Society, which will use the funds to help preserve an important piece of our shared national heritage.”

Grants from the National Trust Preservation Funds range from $2,500 to $5,000 and have provided over $15 million since 2003. These matching grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations and public agencies across the country to support wide-ranging activities including consultant services for rehabilitating buildings, technical assistance for tourism that promotes historic resources, and the development of materials for education and outreach campaigns.

For more information on National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Preservation Fund grants, visit:


About the Carver County Historical Society

The Carver County Historical Society is a 76 year old organization dedicated to collecting, preserving, and interpreting the history of Carver County.  The Historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. It is the intent of the CCHS, that the farm becomes a public place of learning and enjoyment.  With that in mind, the following mission statement for the farm was adopted.

Preservation and interpretation of the Andrew Peterson farm through the lens of Minnesota’s rich immigrant and agricultural history is a key mission of the Carver County Historical Society. Through the Andrew Peterson farm and his historically relevant diaries, CCHS encourages visitors of all ages to discover our diverse cultural heritage and to understand how the past shapes the present – and the future

 About the National Trust for Historic Preservation

The National Trust for Historic Preservation is a privately-funded nonprofit organization that works to save America’s historic places to enrich our future. The National Trust for Historic Preservation is committed to protecting America’s rich cultural legacy and helping build vibrant, sustainable communities that reflect our nation’s diversity. Follow us on Twitter @savingplaces.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places.

North barn nearing completion

The north barn is finally nearing completion.  It has been a long haul, but finally the end is near. Currently, we are waiting for the shingles to be made and shipped to us.  The wood shingles will be fire retardant. Other things that still need to be completed, are glass in the windows, painting and installing a handicapped ramp which will happen in the spring. Enjoy the photos below.  The funding for the restoration of the barn is from the Minnesota Legacy fund.

To work on the other buildings, we need a Historic Structure Report.  The document is a comprehensive document that will tell us the how, why, and how much about what needs to be done on each building and will give us options as to how to use the buildings. More about this document will be forthcoming in the next couple of months.dsc03283dsc03262dsc03218

A visit from the Swedes and barn update

The below photo is of a group of Swedes from Andrew Peterson home community of Ydre, Sweden.  They spent several days in and around Waconia, and Lindstrom, then traveled to Chicago. An open house was held at the farm.  Intended to be a picnic, rain moved us into the house where the Cloudberries preformed.



After the performance, a full rainbow came out.  What a wonderful sight. Apologies for the picture being sideways, I couldn’t get it turned.  It is to beautiful of a photo not to share.



Really good news, the north barn passed inspection and we are free to finish construction.  Painting will however not take place until next spring as it will soon be getting to cold to paint.  Photo of the barn construction, coming soon.

OPEN HOUSE- Thursday 9/15 6-8PM

Greetings-  It has been a couple of busy months.  The north barn is coming along nicely.  It now has an east wall, the roof is up (not yet shingled), and the middle level has a floor. It may sound strange to get so excited by such little things, but it has taken about five years to get to the point of it finally looking like a building.

This week, a group of Swedes from Andrew Peterson’s home area, will be arriving.  To celebrate the event, we will be hosting an open house at the farm.  Between 6 and 8 PM, we will be giving free tours, with music by the Cloudberries starting at 7 PM.  This is your chance to see what we have been working on, ask questions, and learn the future plans for the property.  Everyone is welcome.  Parking will be located between the first barn and Highway 5, in the former horse pasture.

Volunteers needed for Preservation Alliance wallpaper workshop at the farm- this Saturday

This workshop is being presented on by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota.  It will be held at the Peterson farm and attendees will learn how to preserve wallpaper and do plaster repair, while working on the upper level of the Peterson house.  Want to see what the house looks like AND help to preserve the house?  Give the Heidi at the CCHS a call to volunteer.  952-442-4234.

Rehab Lab: Wallpaper and Plaster Repair

07/30/2016 09:00 AM – 01:00 PM CT
Andrew Peterson Farm
8060 Highway 5
Waconia, MN 55387

This beginner’s workshop introduces you to the materials, tools and techniques to repair vintage walls. A PAM signature REHAB LAB, we’re bringing you to Carver County’s historic Andrew Peterson Farm. The 1867 farmhouse bedrooms are in need of some TLC. Dress to get messy: this is a hands-on class! A Carver County Historical Society representative will lead us on a tour of the farm and share a bit of Peterson family history before we start working.

First we will tackle wallpaper removal. Participants will learn proper techniques for removing old wallpaper, cleaning glue off of the walls, and prepare walls to be painted. There will be demonstrations on a variety of plasters repairs, including cracks, holes in walls, and exposed wooden lathe. This is NOT a class focusing only on traditional plaster repair work. You’ll use easily accessible materials, and techniques developed to finish sheetrock that are also adaptable to repair old plaster.

Class participants will learn how to use catalytic plaster or setting plaster, often referred to in the trade as “Durabond.” This kind of plaster is mixed and sets quickly allowing for multiple coats in a single working session. We will use fiberglass tape and paper tape over cracks. We will finish our work with ready-mix topping or finish plaster. We will learn how to install 3/8″ sheet rock over exposed wooden lathe.

Please note: Class attendees will be working with original plaster and may be exposed to lead paint. Children under 18 will not be permitted to take this class. If you are pregnant, you are not advised to work with these materials. Class attendees will be given a respirator mask to keep in the kit that’s included as part of the registration fee. All class attendees must sign a waiver when they arrive.

The webcam is LIVE!

For those wanting to stay up to date on the restoration of the north barn, you can now watch it live.   The below url was designed to help with the Historic Architect monitor the restoration of the barn BUT, you can watch as well. Some trees that need to be either cut or tied back, will be attended to on Friday.





Jeffris Family Foundation adds support

The Jeffris Family Foundation, dedicated to Midwestern historic preservation, has approved a matching grant to the Carver County Historical Society in the amount of $49,700 to fund 50% of the estimated costs of engaging a consultant to prepare a Historic Structure Report to assess the feasibility of and work required for the proposed restoration of the Historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead.

The other half of the funds for the Structure Report has been submitted through a Legacy grant request.  Results of the request will be announced in the fall.

A three year capitol fundraising campaign dedicated to building restoration will begin in early 2018.

The cameras used to monitor the north barn restoration work, were installed yesterday. Once the link is provided, it will be published here.  The link will allow anyone to watch the work being done on the barn.

We have received permission to use the Swedish made film about Peterson and Moberg, and add English subtitles.  You can view it in advance by clicking on the below link.  It is about half English and half Swedish.


The Farm is Dedicated

On Saturday June 25th, at 1 PM, the Historic Andrew Peterson Farmstead was dedicated.  The event was designed to thank all those who spent so much effort and energy into saving the farm. Congratulatory letters were read from Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken.  US State Representative Tom Emmer, Representatives Dean Urdahl, and Jim Nash along with Carver County Commissioners Randy Maluchnik and Jim Ische joined a group of about 100. Key note speaker was Representative Dean Urdahl who spoke of the importance of saving our farmland and historic properties.  Following presentations, a symbolic first Astrakhan apple tree was planted in the same location as Peterson’s orchard.

More really great news is coming soon.Planting the Astrachan

left to right, CCHS Board of Director members, Burt Johnson and Dan Lund, Representative Jim Nash, Representative Dean Urdahl, County Commissioner Randy Maluchnik, Executive Director Wendy Petersen Biorn.  Kneeling, CCHS Board of Director member Lin Deardorff.



Archaeology digs comes to close


The University of Minnesota archaeology dig is coming to an end this week.  The most interesting things found, were the foundation of a building (above left), and the location of fence posts, (above right).

The foundation is believed to be a building used as a workshop. Found in the same location were remnants of charcoal, indicating it may have been used for a blacksmith’s shop.  The foundation is located where aerial show a building in the 1930s.  In later photos, the building has an addition that show a car parked in it.

The fence post holes were located to the northwest of the house.  The holes had remnants of burnt wood, which is characteristic of the technique of burning the bottom of posts prior to installing, to prevent insects and rot.