Andrew Peterson Farmstead

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Andrew Peterson Farmstead

Andrew Peterson Farm
Andrew Peterson Farmstead in Summer
Address: 8060 State Highway 5
Waconia, Minnesota
Carver County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1867
Primary Style: Greek Revival
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Wood
Material of Foundation: Limestone
First Owner: Andrew Peterson

Waconia Carver




The Andrew Peterson Farmstead in Lakeland Township, Carver County, Minnesota is historically unique because Andrew Peterson the Swedish immigrant who settled on the land kept a daily diary for forty-three years from 1855 to 1898. The site is now in the control of the Carver County historical society and is seeking to increase tourism. Lack of visibility and funding coupled with the constraints of historic preservation makes renovation and development difficult. This creates the opportunity to utilize modern technology to intervene in a non-invasive way.


The Andrew Peterson Farmstead in Lakeland Township, Carver County, Minnesota is historically unique because Andrew Peterson the Swedish immigrant who settled on the land kept a daily diary for forty-three years from 1855 to 1898. Fifty years after his death this diary was utilized by the Swedish novelist, Vilhelm Moberg for his trilogy of novels about Swedish emigrants - The Emigrants (1951), Unto a Good Land (1951), and The Last Letter Home (1961). Two acclaimed movies were later made from these books, The Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1972). The story of Andrew Peterson has been carefully documented in the book Andrew Peterson and the Scandia Story by Josephine Mihelich (Ford Johnson Graphics 1984) and it is the source for most of the planning and interpretive ideas. As described by Carlton C. Qualey in an article in the MHS Collection, summer 1972, the legacy of Andrew Peterson is that “he not only mastered diversified farming but also became a leading horticulturist of the entire Upper Mississippi River Valley.” The historic farmstead where Andrew Peterson and his family lived and worked was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. In December of 2013, the property owner, Ward Holasek, died, willing the farmstead to the Carver County Historical Society. A Concept Master Plan for the historic farmstead is currently being prepared by Thorbeck Architects for the Carver County Historical Society and scheduled to be completed by March 30, 2015. The Concept Master Plan will become the focal point of this Resilient Communities project. The project will explore alternatives and options for future land utilization surrounding the historic farmstead that can become a model for public/private cooperation and collaboration for the public good in response to urban population increase, urban/rural issues, urban agriculture, tourism, and cross border planning and design.

Architectual style

The Greek Revival was an architectural movement of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, predominantly in Northern Europe and the United States. A product of Hellenism, it may be looked upon as the last phase in the development of Neoclassical architecture. The term was first used by Charles Robert Cockerell in a lecture he gave as Professor of Architecture to the Royal Academy of Arts, London in 1842.

With a newfound access to Greece, or initially the books produced by the few who had actually been able to visit the sites, archaeologist-architects of the period studied the Doric and Ionic orders. In each country it touched, the style was looked on as the expression of local nationalism and civic virtue, and freedom from the lax detail and frivolity that was thought to characterize the architecture of France and Italy, two countries where the style never really took hold. This was especially the case in Britain, Germany and the United States, where the idiom was regarded as being free from ecclesiastical and aristocratic associations.

Cultural value

Peterson worked substantially with the development of apple trees. His farm was one of the first research stations for what would become the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. He was recognized several times by the Minnesota Horticultural Society for his work. It is also has a strong relationship between Scandia Church and Scandia Cemetery.

Documentation and Preservation

The incredible documentation of the property can be credited largely to two people who dearly loved the property. Specifically, Jo Mihelich, author of Andrew Peterson and the Scandia Story, and the property's last owner, Ward Holasek.

In the early 1980's, Mihelich decided that a book needed to be written about Peterson. Her drive and commitment saved countless documents and artifacts that would otherwise have been destroyed or sold at auction. The book, Andrew Peterson and the Scandia Story, is currently out of print but plans are in the works to reprint, with all proceeds dedicated to the upkeep of the buildings on the Peterson property owned by the CCHS.

The granary was also nearly lost. On October 11, 2006, four Swedes traveled 4,000 miles to replace the roof of a granary. As you might guess, this is no ordinary granary.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

Peterson Farm

Andrew Peterson



64px}px This place is part of
the ARCH5670 Class Project

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