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Identifying Minnesota's Historic Agricultural Landscapes


Contents: Chapter 5

5.  Recommendations

  1. Southwest Carver County

  2. Sogn Valley of Goodhue County

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5.  Recommendations

Mead & Hunt used its investigation of a broad corridor in central Minnesota as a point of comparison in judging the NRHP eligibility of the Southwest Carver County and Sogn Valley study areas. They also relied on their experience in assessing rural landscapes in Wisconsin that have been considered for the NRHP. Their conclusions draw upon the methodology used for past surveys and the specific approach developed for investigating selected Minnesota landscapes.

Farmstead along Highway 53

Southwest Carver County

The Southwest Carver County study area does not appear to contain an eligible district. The overall ratio of contributing to noncontributing properties is 50-50. The presence of ex-urban development and extensive modernization of some of the farmsteads contribute to the 50 percent overall noncontributing properties. Within the study area, the infill of modern houses, either individually or in small clusters, prevents the area from qualifying as a historic agricultural landscape district. Agriculture is still prominent within the study area and several of the farmstead clusters retain good integrity, but modern elements are found scattered throughout the landscape. The evaluation of the area did not identify any portions of the study area that retained a significant concentration or continuity required for a rural landscape district.

Within the Southwest Carver County study area individual properties may meet NRHP criteria. Further research and site visits would be required prior to making a determination of eligibility. Potentially eligible farmsteads within the study area include:

  • ZumBerge/Kroells Farmstead (CR-BNT-016)
    13550 County Road 51

  • Lonely Oak Farm (CR-BNT-004)
    Highway 53

  • Farmstead (CR-BNT-090)
    County Road 152

  • Farmstead (CR-BNT-095)
    12330 150th Street

  • Farmstead (CR-BNT-103)
    14380 Highway 152

  • Farmstead (CR-BNT-024)
    11775 134th Street

  • Farmstead (CR-HNC-017)
    13825 Highway 50

  • Farmstead (CR-BNT-057)
    County Road 153

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Sogn Valley of Goodhue County

Mead & Hunt believe that part of the Sogn Valley study area qualifies for listing on the NRHP. The overall rating for the study area is 55 contributing properties to 38 noncontributing properties. They found a greater concentration of overall contributing properties west of Highway 14 and below the 1,150-foot contour. The eligible portion of the valley includes about 43 properties.

The entire survey area retains agricultural activities, spatial patterns, and circulation networks consistent with historic activities. They defined and evaluated the proposed National Register Historic District based on the concentration and continuity of the 11 landscape characteristics. The proposed historic district features a majority of farmsteads within an overall contributing character. Within the proposed historic district, they evaluated 31 properties as contributing overall to the landscape and 12 as noncontributing to the landscape. Seven of the noncontributing properties are smaller features such as culverts and bridges.

Preparation of the NRHP nomination of the proposed historic district will require an intensive survey of the area. An on-site investigation of all properties will assist in the preparation of the description of the rural district. By contacting owners and investigating each property, the surveyors will be able to complete a resource count for the proposed district and obtain family history on the properties. They will develop a historic context of the settlement and agricultural practices of the area to assess the period of significance of this rural historic district. Further research will include available census records and historic tax rolls to investigate the valley’s settlers and subsequent occupants, their ethnic origin, and the evolution of buildings on the farmsteads.

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