The future of this interesting old building found behind the former Folkstad garage at 310 West Main St., Kasson is being discussed by the City of Kasson, the Dodge County Historical Society, the Mantorville Restoration Association and the Mantorville Theatre Company. Photos by Larry Dobson
By Gretta Becay
The unique carriage house behind the old Folkestad garage at 310 West Main St in Kasson will remain in its location for now. The board of directors of the historical society voted against accepting the building from the City of Kasson at a special meeting Aug 1.
The city purchased the property earlier this year and offered the structure to the Dodge County Historical Society along with $10,000 to help with the expenses of moving it.
Before the meeting, members researched moving costs.
The moving of the building itself would cost about $6,000, including moving permits but the costs of pouring a foundation for about $4,000, a deposit to Xcel Energy of $3,500, shingling the roof and stabilizing the base of the building for about $13,500 all added up to a sum well over the amount available for the move. Continuing upkeep on the building would be another expense.
The city purchased the entire Folkestad property to use as a "business incubator" where new or existing businesses can have space to start up or expand. The city plans to gut the garage and use that space, demolish the house on the property, and find a new home for the unique carriage house.
Greggory Nelson, president of the Society, received several letters about the building, almost all of which were against accepting the gift. David Grabitske, from the Preservation Office of the Minnesota State Historical Society, wrote, "While age may be a factor, age alone does not make something historic."
The history of the building before World War II is uncertain. Shortly after the war, Richard Folkestad moved it from the neighborhood of Third St and Third Ave Northwest to its present location near Main Street behind the Folkestad garage.
The carriage house has four different sides. It displays different architectural styles in its dormers and combines both Victorian and Federal styles. Many of those discussing the building have conjectured it was used as a "sampler" to show potential homebuilders what the carpenter could build for their home.
Was that carpenter E.E. Heulster, the builder of the iconic Kasson water tower? Or is it just an old carriage house?
Those questions may never be answered.
For now, board members suggested the city contact the Mantorville Restoration Association or the Mantorville Theatre Company to see if either of those non-profit groups would be interested in moving the building to their properties.