When you think of housing sales, most of us automatically think of buying a new house or one that may have had only one or two owners. But there are times when the foundations of a good home purchase rest on deep layers of history. A new offering I am handling at the moment is a good example of this. The house, 7510 Victoria Drive, Victoria MN, is owned by Ronald and Harriet Holtmeier. Their property is part of what once was the original Holtmeier family farm and has been in the family for generations. Such a long-term presence on a property, especially if family history and old photographs are available to the new owner, adds appeal and provides interesting discussion on social occasions.
But in the Holtmeier’s case, they dont just passively experience the local history on his family property. They have been instrumental in the last ten years or so in helping the efforts to restore and preserve the farm buildings of Andrew Peterson, who was the first Swedish immigrant in the area, settling in 1855 on land that is now Rock Isle Hay and Sleigh Farm on Highway 5 in Waconia. The main house dates from 1867-1870, and the other original Peterson buildings include the north barn, south barn and smoke house. The large dairy barn was built by Peterson’s children in 1917. The Peterson farmstead has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1978. In this case, the layers of history on a property run very deep!
Channeled through the Nordic heritage Club of Victoria and Chaska, Holtmeier’s efforts to restore the Peterson farmstead have reached beyond the Twins Cities Metro to Sweden and individuals there interested in preserving original Swedish culture in America. He helped coordinate both a preliminary visit in the spring of 2004 and a restoration expedition in 2006 of volunteers from Sweden’s Andrew Peterson Society. They put new shingle roofing on several of the buildings and did restoration work on others. These efforts represent what Mr. Holtmeier hopes will be an ongoing campaign to preserve and publicize the Andrew Peterson holdings for future generations.
Some people think that homes with historic markers come with special requirements or restrictions that might make them think twice about purchasing the property, but that’s just not true. So don’t overlook an offering that comes with even a little bit of history attached to it. Imagine being able to brag about such a past for your property to family and friends!