Ard Godfrey House History




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·        Ard Godfrey was a millwright who built the first commercial sawmill harnessing the water power of St. Anthony Falls in 1847.

·        Ard Godfrey and his wife, Harriet, moved from Maine into the newly-built 1½ story Greek revival house near the falls of St. Anthony in April 1849 with their children — Helen, age ten, and Abner, age six. Baby Harriet was born a month later and Martha Ann was born in 1851. The family lived in the house for four years.

·        The house was moved in 1909 to its current site and given to the City of Minneapolis by the Hennepin County Territorial Pioneers Association. It was run as a museum from 1914 to 1943 when it was closed.

·        In 1976 The Woman's Club of Minneapolis took on the restoration project of the Godfrey house as a Bicentennial gift to the City of Minneapolis. Members furnished it with authentic period pieces, including many of the Godfrey's possessions.

·        Guided tours of the house, open to the public since 1979, are provided by Woman's Club members in 1850's period costume. Come and learn the dandelion story, see the Godfrey children's walnut cradle, and admire the Chickering rosewood piano.

·        The House and Chute Square are owned by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board.

·        Special events at the house include Dandelion Day in May and a Holiday Celebration in December.

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