A long overdue update

It has been a long time since an update was published. There are no excuses except to say, that my day starts early, ends late and I’m getting older. The whole Peterson farm project has given me my fair share of gray hairs, but I can honestly say it has been worth every one.

The Peterson farm restoration work started almost five years ago with a three-year capital fundraising campaign. The Jeffris Family Foundation had offered to give us $250,000 if we could raise $500,000. Our campaign had hardly started when Covid hit, making it hard to ask for funds when food shelves were hurting. Foundations that had once met our giving criteria now turned us down to focus on the food shelves. Out of respect, we shut down our fundraising for several months.

I could go on for an extended period about fundraising during COVID-19, but suffice it to say, we ran very close to failure.  But I, our Board, and many other supporters were not willing to give up until the time limit, given to us by the Jeffris Foundation, expired. With just a month or two to spare, we succeeded in not only meeting our $750,000 goal but ended the fundraiser at just over $1.1 million. Out of the five organizations the Jeffris Foundation had given the same challenge to, we were the only one to succeed.

Today, two years after the fund drive ended, we are nearing the completion of the farmhouse rehabilitation. We will be finished at the beginning of June 2024.

What is next? The granary begins its rehabilitation in a week. It will include the addition of a handicapped ramp!

There is so much more to come, and in relationship to the past five years, it will be coming soon.

There are a lot of photos posted on our Facebook page. You can reach it by clicking on this link: https://www.facebook.com/historicandrewpetersonfarm/

In August, I travel to Germany and Sweden.  In Sweden, I will meet with officials from the area Andrew immigrated from and show them the work we have completed and what we have planned for the near future.  In Germany, I will escort home some Wendelin Grimm artifacts we loaned for an exhibit there.

One final note.  The Swedish Andrew Peterson Society is offering a two-week scholarship to someone who would like to learn about Peterson, Swedish agriculture or Swedish architecture.  You would be expected to return to Carver County to share the information you have learned.

Until sooner, rather than later,

Wendy Petersen Biorn

Executive Director

Carver County Historical Society




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