Author Archives: Griff Wigley

The Wigleys: downsized empty-nested renters

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We’ve moved to a townhouse in Northfield at 1133 Heritage Drive, about a mile south from our Linden St. house. It overlooks Heritage Park (center) where there’s a mature pond with a walking/biking path.

Movers did the heavy stuff on Tuesday and we complete hauling everything else last night. Robbie spent more than a few hours cleaning our old house from top to bottom, prepping it for the new owners, Peter and Jesse. We’re planning a ‘meet the neighbors’ pizza party for them on Sunday.

We’re renting the townhouse on a month-to-month basis while we try to resolve our condo situation. I blogged about The Crossing in Northfield and Mendota Homes yesterday on Locally Grown.


Wigley house 4 sale: closing set for Sept. 14

We have a buyer. Two weeks from today, we close on the house. We’re madly packing, as are the new owners who are moving from St. Paul.

I asked them how they found the house and what they thought of the blog:

What happened was, we hit Google for “northfield mn real estate” or something similar, found an MLS page with a couple of houses we liked, and I kept saying “I dunno, the Linden street one looks really cool”. Anyway, then I did another search with different terms, and the blog came up, and I looked at it — and immediately IMd my spouse to say “hey, look, there’s a blog for that Linden Street house”.

20:21:39 – Woah, they have a blog!
20:28:15 – I’m sold.
20:28:22 – They love that place, and everything got redone in 2006.
20:28:35 – I have written a polite email asking whether we could come have a look at it tomorrow.

We were already leaning towards “the Linden place” a bit, but the blog was absolutely the hook. We then went out to Perkins to sit around worrying that you’d already sold it.

Summary of the house


Click this PDF flyer for an overview of the house and then click on any of the house categories on the right sidebar (bedrooms, porch, garage, etc) for all our blog entries on those items. Click to enlarge any of these photos.

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L to R: front yard of the house in winter, summer, fall

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L to R: Kitchen, family room (kitchen in background), living room

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L to R: front yard fish pond, porch (about to be rescreened), back yard

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L to R: 1st floor BR w/ fireplace, 2nd floor stairs, one of 5 upstairs bedrooms

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L to R: 2nd floor bathroom, small 2nd floor bedroom, binders of warranties

(This blog post has been updated since its original date of Feb. 13.)

Open house signs with balloons and spinners

We’ve been surprised how effective our open house signs have been at bringing in people. Robbie combined the signs we got with our listing with ones she bought locally. She’s enhanced their visibility with helium balloons and wind spinners. The main trick was to get them to stay up on windy days when the snow was piled high and the ground frozen. Click photos to enlarge.

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L to R: in front of our house; at Woodley and Linden,

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L to R: at Woodley and Hwy. 3; at Poplar/Jefferson Rd. and Woodley; at Woodley and Professional Drive.

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At Woodley and Division.

Wigley House 4 Sale Finder’s Fee: $2,000

We are offering a finder’s fee of $2,000 to be paid to anyone (non-realtor) who is directly responsible for referring someone who ends up purchasing our house. The money would be paid after closing.

So put on your thinking caps! Who do you know who might be interested in seeing this great family home?

Have them contact us (using your name) or send us their name and email address and we’ll contact them for you.


More history of the house from a previous owner, Millie Johnson

IMG_0031.JPGOn Saturday we were delighted to have Millie Johnson and her daughter Jean Churilla visit us. They were delighted to see the movie star wallpaper still on the wall next to the basement bathroom so that’s where they posed for this photo. She told us the house was moved with all the furniture in place, she packed her dishes but left 2 glasses in the cupboard, just to see what would happen. They were in the exact spot she left them. It was a painfully slow process to lift and move the house, keeping it completly level.

Millie and her husband Percy Johnson (now-deceased) owned the house from the 1950s through 1984. They moved it in 1974 from its original location near McDonald’s on Hwy 3. Millie brought over a stack of photos of the house and we had them scanned. Click to enlarge.

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The center photo above faces west, because our former neighbor’ house, the Rasmussens, is visible on the left as our house is being rolled down the hill.

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I wrote a little about the history of the house here but Millie told us that it was cut in half before they owned it. (The photos above are ones I took last summer of the other half of the house a few blocks away on Jefferson Road.)

The owners of the house had a chicken hatchery on the property when she and Percy bought it and long before that, when it was all one building, it had been an inn, called The Old Heidelberg Inn. The numbers on the doors of the upstairs bedrooms (see photos here and here) are evidently from those days

At a recent party, we were told by Northfield history buff and James Gang re-enactment member Chip DeMann that the house was at one time owned by the Ames family, owners of the Ames Mill that eventually became home to Malt-O-Meal.

I really want to find a photo of the house before it had been cut in half. I guess it’s time to make a trip to the Northfield Historical Society and maybe the Northfield News database at the Northfield Public Library.