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Paradise in the Pines: Uncovering its History

Dear Diary,
One quiet afternoon, I found myself researching the county’s property records.

(View from the back of our property, on top of the hill, with Buck Hill in the distance ...)

You see, at the end of our property line, on top of a hill, we found a rubbish pile of decaying pumpkins, downed tree limbs and other natural discard that caused us to question to whom it belongs.

It’s location is so close to the intersection of the neighboring properties that we were hesitant to impose, but also concerned our inaction was causing a slight annoyance.

I easily found our plat on the Web site, its straight-forward rectangular shape was easily recognizable on my screen. In the end I realized, we inherited the pile. A conversation with our neighbors, especially the cattle farmer next door, may still be warranted though for the sake of courtesy.

But the true purpose of this post is the curiosity that my research ignited.

Though our house was built in 1994, it goes without saying that our land has been in existence long before time.


We will likely not discover any surprises in our walls or clues to the past when we start our projects, and I confess to feeling a small pang of jealousy as I follow the blogs and Instagrams of those restoring historic homes.

No, our historical discoveries lie within the land itself.

I’ve hinted to our wandering minds here in this post, when we discovered the random collection of smooth stones and, thanks to 'The Curse of Oak Island', our imaginations were jolted.


I wonder if I could locate a historian or an archivist to help pinpoint our land’s story.

Thus far, I’ve been able to uncover a broad history of our suburb. In 1853, Captain William B. Dodd traveled from the East Coast to serve the military forts in the Minnesota Territory. He designed and directed the construction of a road that connected the forts in St. Paul (Fort Snelling, perhaps? Suddenly this historic site leapt to the top of my list of local sites to check out) to its southern counterparts.

That very road, the aptly named Dodd Blvd., bisects present-day Lakeville. Captain Dodd was killed in the Sioux uprising of 1862.

Without documentation to serve as proof, I’m beginning to hypothesize that perhaps there was a trading post of some sort on our property, as Landen had previously theorized. It’s known that there was both a military and a Native American presence nearby, so I don’t feel it would be a stretch to record this thought. Of course, it’s possible historical fact will disprove it, but I think that’s why I find this search so appealing. You just never know, until one day, you do and suddenly you have a chronological timeline of how things came to be.

It’s fun to chase the “a-ha!” moments.

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