Charles F. Dight house, 4818 39th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Razed)

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Charles F. Dight house

Tree residence of Charles Dight
Address: 4818 Thirty-ninth Avenue S
Neighborhood/s: Minnehaha, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Hennepin County, Minnesota
State/province: Minnesota
Country: United States
Year built: 1911
Primary Style: Other
Historic Function: House/single dwelling or duplex
Material of Exterior Wall Covering: Wood
Material of Foundation: Wood
First Owner: Charles F. Dight

Minnehaha Minneapolis Hennepin

Charles F. Dight house, 4818 39th Avenue South, Minneapolis, Minnesota (Razed)
(44.91542° N, 93.217057° WLatitude: 44°54′55.512″N
Longitude: 93°13′1.405″W

Eugenicist physician Charles Freemont Dight built and lived in this tree house. Dight built the house in 1914. When asked why he constructed his house ten feet or more above the ground, Charles Dight explained that the ground was low due to its proximity to Minnehaha Creek, that he appreciated the better view afforded by the height, and that there was more air and sunshine available up in the tree.



Doctor Dight purchased his lot near Minnehaha Falls from Robert Fish Jones, who operated the zoo at Longfellow Gardens. According to an article in the Minneapolis Tribune of June 11, 1914, "The queer house is built on iron posts. It is 18 x 22 feet with a cupola big enough for another room. It has two living rooms and the usual accessions. Outside it is of rough plaster and tile. The floor is wood laid on cement. The floors are double spaced and a hot water heating system will keep warm air under them. Then there are 15 windows in a lattice work, admitting more air."

Charles Dight was an eccentric and controversial figure. He was a physician who worked for an insurance company and served as a member of the medical faculty at the University of Minnesota for several years. In 1914 he ran successfully for the Minneapolis City Council as a candidate endorsed by the Socialist Party. He served as Alderman for the Twelfth Ward from 1914 to 1918. Dight advocated having city garbage fed to the hogs instead of being burned. Dight is best known for his advocacy of eugenics. He was an admirer of Adolph Hitler and advocated sterilization of residents of the Minnesota State School, once known as the School for the Feeble Minded.

Memories and stories

Photo Gallery

Related Links

Minnesota Historical Society History Topic Charles Fremont Dight


    Joseph W. Zalusky, "The Doctor-Alderman Who Lived in a Tree," Hennepin History Magazine, Winter 1964.

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