Almquist Farm - spanning five generations
My great-grandfather, Charles Almquist, came to America in 1878 at the age of 23 and homesteaded 80 acres in southern Dakota County. He was joined a few years later by his father and brother who helped him as he established his farm. In 1901, Charles married Hulda Carlson, who grew up on a neighboring farm, and together they raised six boys and three girls. Over the years, Charles and Hulda were able to acquire much of the land surrounding the original homestead. With the help of their sons and hired workers, they added barns and sheds built with locally quarried limestone and reclaimed lumber from an old warehouse near the banks of the Mississippi in nearby Hastings. If you look at the beams and joists of the old buildings that are still standing today, you can see drilled holes and mortise joints that remain from its original 19th century use as part of the warehouse.
With hard work and perseverance, Charles and Hulda built a prosperous farm that was considered large for the day. After Charles died in 1925, his wife and children continued to work the farm until they lost it in 1935 due to the economic hardships of the great depression. Their second son and his wife bought back the farm in 1949, making Dave and Marian (my grandparents) the second generation of Almquists to own the family farm. Working alongside them were their children, Gene, June, Faye, Maye, and Ferne. As my grandparents grew older, their son Gene was an integral part in keeping the farm running – all the while juggling a full-time job and family of his own. My parents, Maye and Chuck Curtis, built a home across the road so that they could also lend a hand, and provide my sisters and I the experience of growing up on the family farm.
My grandfather Dave passed away in 1986 at the age of 83. He and Gene were significant positive influences in my life as I spent my childhood years helping them on the farm and learning to work hard at an early age. I will be forever grateful for those years. My grandmother, Marian, stayed on the farm until 1991 when she sold the original 80-acre homestead to me and my wife, Kari. We have enjoyed the incredible blessing of being able to raise our four children on the farm that my family worked so hard to build. Johanna, Kate, Peter and Patrick, are the fifth generation to call this wonderful place home.
Johanna was married at our family farm in 2016. Beautiful rolling hills, oaks that pre-date the farm, and the rich legacy of Almquist Farm set the stage for a unique and memorable wedding celebration. So much so, we decided to share this beautiful place with others who appreciate the beauty and history of Almquist Farm. As you enjoy the casual elegance of our barn and granary and the beauty of the landscape, we hope you will keep in mind the legacy of Almquist Farm. It is a standing testament to the importance of family, and to the work ethic of all of those who have called it home over the years. We are glad to share it with you as you begin your family story where Charles and Hulda Almquist began theirs so many years ago.