Here is your chance for a once in a lifetime opportunity to own a piece of Minnesota history.
When Hans Mattson immigrated from Sweden and founded "Mattson's Settement" in 1853, along with other Swedish farmers, little did he know how his small town would hold so much hope for others. (He himself would become the Minnesota Secretary of State, serve in the Civil War, and become the United States Consul General of India). A decade later, after Reverend Eric Norelius founded the local Lutheran church, the true calling of the town began to unfold with the creation of what would become the first private children's home in Minnesota.
In 1865 Reverend Norelius learned of four children in St. Paul, recently immigrated from Sweden, that were orphaned and in need of care. Norelius brought them to Vasa and housed them in the basement of the Lutheran church. Not being adequate for long term living, he was able to purchase 10 acres of land a few years later near the church, and in 1869, built a small house for the children. This was the first of four homes to be used for orphans on the present day land. In 1876, a second larger house was built, but it was destroyed by a tornado in 1879. The third home, built with-in the year, was destroyed by fire in 1899 when a young child was playing with matches in a clothes closet. The larger home seen today was built in 1899, soon after the fire, and is the final remaining home built on this location. It ceased being a children's home when a new facility was built outside of Red Wing in 1926, but through it's years has witnessed and cared for hundreds of children.
The home sat vacant for nearly 40 years, until a couple bought the home in 1968 and began restoring the property. Further improvements have been made by subsequent owners since then, including the grounds, expansive gardens, the addition of a guest house, and more. Today, this historic home stands as a testament to the hard work of many to preserve it for future generations. Current outbuildings include an original barn and silo, old school house, 3-car garage, guest house, caretaker's cottage, and more. The guest house features expansive views, full kitchen and bath, living room, and murphy bed. The garage below has been used as an artist's studio in the past and for storage.
Driving in to the property, this grand home is picturesque and perfectly situated among the perennial gardens and circle drive. The spacious foyer features wide plank floors and a beautiful staircase. Off the main hall is the library, formal dining room with painted mural, and large chef's kitchen. One of the favorite spaces in the home is the light filled sunroom, with 180 degrees of windows looking out to the gardens, perfect for relaxing the day away. Upstairs are four bedrooms, including the master suite with new tiled shower and whirlpool tub that overlooks the back gardens. The third floor has been finished and now features a bathroom and three rooms, two of which would be perfect for use as a game room, home theater, or additional bedrooms.