332 Broadway Avenue South sits on a portion of Lots 13/14 of Block 1 in Stephens Second Addition, originally platted by Kate C.W. Stephens in 1886. She was the widow of George Stephens, who served as a trustee for the village of Wayzata in the early 1880’s.
We believe the home to be built in the early-to-mid- 1880’s, as early as 1880. Through the hard work of the Wayzata Historical Society, it is believed that the Peter Westervelt family lived in the home until the late 1890’s, at which time it was occupied by the Edwin Braden family, a name we know to be common in Wayzata history. The Braden’s lived in the home for sure by 1898 (which was confirmed by records of Eliza Dickey Manning).
Upon Braden’s death in 1924, the home changed owners several times; Clara Guertenmueller ran a boarding house out of it for many years, renting mostly to railroad workers. The Odd Fellows rented the upstairs and used it as a meeting hall for some time. A fire in 1926 destroyed much of the block, but this home endured only charring.
Over the years, the home was rented as both apartments and retail on the first level; one business that many will likely remember in that location was Arne Chiropractic, which operated from there from 1959-1961.
In 1961, the building was purchased by the Gold Mine Antiques business, which started as a group of friends from South Minneapolis, Edina and Wayzata. A group of 22 owners and collectors, who called themselves The Goldminers, each donated items from their personal collections, along with money, to launch this business venture.
Much like the Gold Mine business, which was one of the oldest, continuously operated antique store until its closure in 2017, the building itself has longevity. It is the oldest building left standing in Wayzata and the oldest continuously occupied building in Wayzata.
As far as the building itself, in the reconnaissance survey of historic buildings and sites, conducted by Robert Vogel in 2001-2002, he concluded that he conducted his survey of historical structures and sites in 2001, Robert Vogel concluded that this property was in a good state of preservation and retains the essential elements of its Late Victorian period architectural character. He added that it likely “warrants individual designation as a Heritage Preservation site”.
Highcroft Carriage House
The Highcroft Carriage House is a dutch-colonial style carriage house; almost a barn-looking structure that was one of the original buildings which made up the vast Peavey/Heffelfinger Estate, known as Highcroft. Back in 1895 – around the time this carriage house was constructed - the true crown jewel of the Highcroft Estate was not this structure, but the enormous main house of the estate, which was built by Frank H. Peavey. It was a 30-room estate, situated on 111 acres in what is now the area today we call simply Highcroft or Ferndale.
The estate was designed by architect William Channing Whitney, who also designed many prominent homes at the turn of the 19th century in the Twin Cities and surrounding suburban areas, including the former Northrup House, right here in Wayzata and a home for Horace Irving, which now serves as the MN Governor’s Residence.
Frank Peavey’s daughter, Louise Peavey, married Frank Totten Heffelfinger at the Highcroft estate on Halloween 1895 in an elaborate ceremony which was the highlight of the Wayzata social scene that fall; they later inherited the estate. The Heffelfingers owned Guernsey Dairy cattle and a large cattle barn, with two cupolas was located on the south end of the estate, along with a milking house, which you can see the larger barn in this picture, alongside the Carriage House just behind it.
As for the carriage house: The main level was used for storing Peavey’s and Heffelfinger’s prized automobiles. Frank Heffelfinger owned a Franklin – one of the first of its kind in town – and a Peerless. The second floor of the home was a living quarters for a full-time chauffeur and a houseman.
In 1953, when Frank was very elderly and Louise Heffelfinger had passed away, the Heffelfinger family sold the estate and property to other Ferndale residents, who demolished the main estate and subdivided the property into 2-acre plots, which today, make up much of the Highcroft/Peavey neighborhood. The Carriage House is now the only remaining original building from that treasured estate and is beautifully and historically maintained as a private residence.
THE STORY OF THE LOG TRAPPER’S CABIN
This log cabin had been standing among the sturdy Oak and Maples of the hard wood forest on private property on Bushaway Road for what may be over 100 years. Although it was tucked back among the trees it did not go unnoticed to many people driving south on Bushaway Road. The cabin was clearly visible in the fall when the deciduous trees lost their leaves.
Log Cabin on its previous Bushaway Road site
HISTORY OF THE CABIN
Who built this cabin and the year it was built remains a mystery. Log cabin builders say this structure was built hastily, a characteristic of shelters built by trappers, land squatters and loggers. It measures 12’ by 16’ with two windows and a door. It is built of round Tamarack logs (Larix Laricina) as verified by the University of Minnesota School Of Forestry. These logs were 127 to 160 years old when the trees were cut down. Branches of the Tamarack trees were used for chinking to fill the gaps between the logs keeping out winter drafts. The Native Algonquins of Canada called the tree “Tamarack” which means snowshoe. They used it for making their snowshoes for walking over the deep winter snows. The name passed on to the Native Americans in Minnesota.
Tamarack trees grew in the marshes that surrounded the Big Woods forests on this property and in numerous wet lands of Wayzata. Historians say that 200 some years ago the Tamarack was the most prevalent tree in Minnesota and because it grew so straight, it was often used for early cabin building, fence posts and railroad ties. When the St. Paul & Pacific Railway arrived in 1867, the rails rested on Tamarack ties
Many of the local Tamaracks were cut down by early settlers for building their homes. In 1853, Oscar E. Garrison, Wayzata’s founder, built his log cabin of Tamarack logs on Lake Street between Broadway and Walker Avenues. Two years later, William Dudley built a hotel cabin of Tamarack logs on the same block. Many of these cabin homes burned or were torn down thus making our log cabin all the more significant to preserve as part of Wayzata’s heritage. This Tamarack log cabin is an icon of Wayzata history!
The Tamarack tree no longer grows in the marshes here or in Wayzata because marshes and wet lands were filled in to use the land for building which eliminated the natural habitat of the Tamarack.
HISTORY OF THE LAND
This land belonged to the Dakota Mdewakanton before the Travers de Sioux Treaty was signed in 1852. The first non-native person to own the property was Horace Norton who purchased 160 acres from the U. S. Government in 1855. Over the next twenty years, it was sold and resold several times. In 1878, Thomas F. Andrews, an early Minneapolis pioneer purchased eighty acres.
Andrews built the first house on this site in 1889. An early picture of the home shows the dark outline of the cabin nearby.
First Andrews House 1889
After Andrews’ death in 1896, his widow sold the house and some of the acreage to Charles Babcock, a family friend, railroad land commissioner and attorney for J. J. Hill. When Edward W. Field, Jr. married Dolly Andrews, he purchased the property, including the house and cabin and deeded it to Dolly.
A second house built in about 1915 for the Edward & Dolly Andrews Field family their son John and his sisters. This house was destroyed by fire December 9, 1919. The family survived and moved back to their home in Minneapolis. For the next six years the log cabin and barn were the only buildings on the property
Second Field house circa 1915
The third Field house was built in 1925 replacing the one that burned down. The log cabin was still standing in its original location.
1925 Field house razed in 2012
All members of the Andrews and Field families grew up on the Big Woods estate and were familiar with the cabin. John Andrews Field called the small log structure the “Trapper’s Cabin.”
Three other families owned the house and the property besides the Babcocks after the Andrews/Field descendants from 1946 to 2010. Each owner kept the cabin even if they did not know who built it or why, they were compelled to save the log cabin right where it stood.
THE JOURNEY TO PRESERVATION
In 2010, the remaining six acres of the original 160-acre property was sold and subdivided again, down to 2-acre lots with the new owner donating the cabin to the City of Wayzata. On July 25, 2013, Stubbs Brothers Movers carefully lifted our cabin from its place in the woods and placed it on a waiting trailer to move it to a restoration site.
Thanks to the generosity of historically-minded benefactor, John Mehrkens, (Vice President of Development for Presbyterian Homes), Dave Herzberg, Sr. Project Manager and Tom Dykhoff, Senior Supervisor of Adolphson & Peterson Co builders for the Presbyterian Homes Wayzata project, the moving and restoration of the cabin was successfully completed in 2013.
Other interested friends of the log cabin volunteered their time and expertise in this unique opportunity to save this historic structure in Wayzata. The aged Tamarack logs needed to replace the bottom logs were donated by Bill Smude of Pine Center, MN.
The cabin will be relocated and continuously maintained by the City of Wayzata, Heritage Preservation Board and Parks & Trails Board. In its new home in Shaver Park, it is now once again nestled among the tall maples and sturdy oak trees from whence it came, to take its place in Wayzata’s history.
Portions of this history were prepared by
Irene W. Stemmer
Wayzata Heritage Preservation Board