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.


MLS and

We purchased an MLS listing for $377 through on Sunday night (flat fee MLS) and by noon today, it was on the MLS with #3321826.

And by tonight it was showing up on the databases of various real estate agencies and on here on uses a 3rd party who in turn works with local realtors who do the actual listing. In our case, we got referred to David Nunn at Pathways Real Estate in Minneapolis who called promptly on Monday morning, emailed us the forms, and had it all done by Tues. afternoon.

We also purchased an online-only ad with the StarTribune homes service: $100 for 30 days, which includes open house listings. If you search for Greater MN single family homes in the South, you’ll see our house in this list.

More snow

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We got a few more inches of snow this morning and by this afternoon, the skies cleared and the cross country skiers were swarming all over Carleton’s Upper Arb. ‘Twas gorgeous.

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When I got back home, I noticed the neighbor girls building a snow fort/mound in their front yard, tunneling underneath it and trying to get their dog to go in.

One-time showing agreements

This weekend we had a realtor bring a prospective buyer to look at the house using what’s called a one-time showing agreement. We signed a contract that guarantees the realtor their commission should their client buy the house from us.

So if you’re a realtor who might have an interested client, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Snow, finally, and a good neighbor to have

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We finally got a decent snowfall last night (4-5 inches of fluff) and it looks like it’ll stay around a while. Click photos to enlarge.


For many years, our neighbor to the north, Gary Schnobrich, has generously used his snowblower on our driveway after a heavy snowfall. He even waits till after the snowplows have gone by.

Plus, he blows a swath from his house south across our yard to the south to make it easy for us all to go back and forth, as well as for the postal workers to deliver the mail without having to go up and down each driveway.

I try to return the favor by lending him my mulching lawn mower in the warm months, but then he always gets one up on me by bringing over lots of vegetables from his garden in the fall.

Small bedrooms #2 and #3 of 3

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The east-facing bedroom on the 2nd floor is currently Robbie’s office. It features three large windows. Click photos to enlarge.

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The south-facing bedroom on the 2nd floor is currently my office. It feaures a door that exits onto the garage roof. There used to be a small porch there, as you can see from this photo.  We decided to leave the door and it is direct and easy access out of the second floor and some future owner may want to put a little porch on this sunny side of the house.

See small bedroom #1 which I blogged back in early Dec.

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The trio of small bedrooms (we called it “the boys wing”) shares a large, floor-to-ceiling, built-in closet in the hall outside the three rooms.