Inviting natural light to fill wide open spaces, as well as private nooks for quiet evenings, the Asa Parker House is perfect for a bustling family. Do you like what you see? Contact us if you're interested to learn more about this sustainably renovated, energy-efficient historic home.
Photography by Joe Michl Studio, and Design EJ Hansen, AIA.
Jessie Diggins won America's first gold in Olympic cross-country skiing in 2018. She grew up learning to ski along the St. Croix River Valley with her teammate Kikkan Randall on historic ski trails carved out by locals themselves, which are open for all to enjoy.
Acres of diverse parkland and reserves preserve the natural fauna and flora of Minnesota. Parks such as Big Marine Park Reserve and St. Croix State Park allow visitors to engage in recreational and conservation activities and appreciate the natural world.
Do you binge watch renovation shows?
Intrigued by the idea of owning your own historical home?
Love the idea of a restoration project but hate the idea of living through it?
This house could be yours.
The Asa Parker House is looking for a new owner. We’re restoring the house, an 1850s' house in Minnesota, into a comfortable home a modern family will cherish. We're midway through demo, and the major works started Summer 2018. The house is slated for completion in 2019. After that, the house will be put up for sale to the public, and you'll have the chance to make it your own.
Come along on the journey as we renovate this historic building. What do you do with a cistern in the basement? How do you replace an old roof with a built-in gutter system circa 1856 with current roof designs? Most importantly, will this house be your home?
New Unique Features
The house will have an all-modern, eco-friendly touch to give your family the latest technological conveniences with exquisite historical flair.
All Architect Series products feature distinctive, fine-furniture detailing that adds drama and architectural interest to your home, inside and out.
Pella's Integral Light Technology® grilles create the realistic look of divided light while providing exceptional energy efficiency.
The windows will have stunning hardware in rich patinas from Pella's own collection of hardware styles and finishes
Learn about the people and events surrounding the house.
Then, Now, and Beyond
Parker and his group start the first commercial sawmill on the St. Croix River in 1838.
The house is built in 1856. The sister house is built later on an adjacent lot.
Minnesota becomes a state in 1858. The house receives an addition. The sawmill goes bankrupt in the 1880s and eventually goes out of business.
The Parker family sells the house to Charles Strand in 1901, and he and his family live there until the 1950s. The sister house burns down in 1954.
Jack and Janice Warren move to Marine. The house operates as a bed and breakfast for 25 years (1990 – 2015).
The house is bought for renovation. Arch work begins August 2016, and the first round of demolition begins.
A contractor is selected in the spring of 2018, and the second round of demolition begins in July. Hagstrom begins in August 2018.
Potential completion of the renovation is scheduled for July 2019.
We'll be preserving the character of the original structure while making it comfortable for a modern family.
1. Retain the main house and remove the decaying, out-of-character addition from 1890's.
2. Update and solidify the foundation to support the structure adequately.
3. Build an addition that is true to the original structure with modern services (HVAC, electrical, water, etc.) in the basement, which will include a state-of-the-art kitchen, bedrooms and bathroom.
4. Restore period details throughout the original house, including in the living room, office and spacious master bedroom suite. Also refinish wood floors and doors, and replicate period millwork.
5. Redo the roof and gutter system.
6. Add new windows custom-designed for the house (Pella Architect Series® hung windows) and spray foam insulation.
With a historic home in serious disrepair, where do you start? Hire an architect that specializes in renovating historic homes. Once you have plans, find a contractor with the same specialty.
Hagstrom - The Builder
Serving the Twin Cities, Minnesota and Naples, Florida, Hagstrom Builder constructs, renovates and remodels one-of-a-kind dream homes. No Shortcuts. Ever. The spread a culture of respect and kindness among their employees, their clients, and their community.
Eric Hansen - The Architect
Eric J. Hansen, AIA have been specializing in residential design, interiors, lighting, cabinetry and renovation for over 20 years. Their timeless designs endure through quality and excellent collaboration with their clients.
The modifications that turned the Asa Parker House into a bed and breakfast were the first casualties in the demo work. We also removed some fixtures and trim to use later in the remodel. We removed non-functioning chimneys, electrical fixtures, plumbing, and a lathe. It’s been a complete gut job.
Moving to Marine
The Asa Parker House comes with the beautiful community and landscapes of Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. Marine is located on the scenic St. Croix River on MN-95, 12 miles north of 36, 10 miles from Stillwater. It's the oldest civilian settlement in Minnesota and in 1838, became the site of the state's first commercial sawmill, which was also the state's first industry.
What is there to do in Marine when you're not cozy inside your Asa Parker House? The welcoming Minnesota warm seasons are crisp and perfect for hiking along the St. Croiz River or exploring national parks. You won't have to worry about the winter being dull, either. Marine has a rich cross-country skiing history, which includes the oldest ski race in the Midwest, the annual Marine O'Brien Cross-Country Ski Race.
Skiing is a big tradition in humble Marine. Olympic gold medalist Jessie Diggins, who won America's first gold in Olympic cross-country skiing with her teammate Kikkan Randall, grew up learning to ski along the St. Croix River Valley, including on William O'Brien State Park trails in Marine. In fact, long before these trails were groomed, residents made their own ski paths on and out of everything outside their front door, from the town streets to the railroad tracks. Marine's very own historic general store, open for nearly 150 years, has a ski shop upstairs.
Original Greek Revival architecture standing, Marine's historic downtown is a testament to the first lumbermen of its history and a preservation of old New England charm. The town square encompasses structures such as the old Marine General Store, the Christ Lutheran Church, and the Stone House Museum. Stopping by the post office, the library, or the ice cream shop, you'll feel transported to the 1800s, as the community--maybe including you--is proud to maintain its small-town, historic atmosphere.
Photo by McGhiever, Wikipedia.
William O'Brien State Park
William O'Brien State Park is a diverse ecosystem made up of a glacial moraine, riparian zones, a restored oak savanna, wooded areas, and bogs. It's also made accessible by walking and skiing trails, and you can catch a breath at the year-round, heated Visitor's Center.
The park accommodates several recreational activities, such as boating, fishing, camping, and swimming. Hikers may come across white-tailed deer, foxes, beavers, and woodchucks. Birdwatchers can spot various birds of prey and songbirds. You can have a picnic by a bench, or you can venture out and embrace the Minnesota wilderness.
Photo from www.marineonstcroix.org.
Marine Mill Site
Do you want to see where it all began and ended with the sawmill? The Minnesota Historical Society preserves what's left of the mill after its abandonment in 1895. Remnants of the mill can still be found on the site.
Photo by McGhiever, Wikipedia.
Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center
The Lee and Rose Warner Nature Center's mission is "to build lasting relationships between people and the natural world." The outdoor educational facility focuses on natural history and is situated on undeveloped woodland, marsh, lake, bog, and grasslands.
Their public programs include summer camps for kids and adults, birthday parties, and custom booking for canoeing, snowshoeing, raptor meetings, and maple syruping. You can get involved by donating and volunteering.
Photo from www.stcroixsplash.org.
Square Lake Park
Square Lake's exceptional water quality means it's the clearest Minnesota spot for scuba diving and swimming. Square Lake Park, conveniently stretching along a County bike route, also features a golden 950-foot sandy beach with full facilities and services, including restrooms and changing rooms, picnic tables, grills, and lifeguards. If you're wanting to make friends outside your Asa Parker House, this eco-friendly park attracts people from all over the Metropolitan Region.
Photo from www.co.washington.mn.us.
Big Marine Park Reserve
Big Marine Park, opened in 2008 and growing to be 1,800 acres of a natural upland and wetland habitat, with 80% set aside for preservation and protection, offers all-day family outings, including hiking trails, guided hikes, a picnic pavilion, and its iconic fishing pier. It also features a sprawling playground estate for kids.
Photo from www.co.washington.mn.us.
St. Croix State Park
St. Croix State Park is Minnesota's largest state park with over 34,000 acres and three family campgrounds, and there's no shortage of things to do. You can take a scenic tour using paved bike paths and trails for hiking, horse-riding, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. If water is more your element, there are sites for fishing, canoeing, and swimming. To get your educational fix, you can participate in some of the nature programs and visit cultural sites and more.
Photo from www.exploreminnesota.com.