Windmills, a stone house and demolition derby

Antique Windmills of the Earth
Jasper, MN
1 mile north of Jasper on Hwy 24
Glance to the right as you are driving north on 24 and you will see a cluster of old windmills from all around the globe, from Brazil to Wichita, KS, in one farmer’s well-kept yard.  I suspect that these golden oldies will be finding a revival with gas prices being what they are.

Mr. Johnson’s Stone House
Hendricks, MN
Visible from the street
Alas, no one was home, but the wild flower garden was in full bloom.  (from

E.C. Johnson Stone House

1930’s folk art comes to life in this one-of-a-kind rock home which stands today in it’s original glory. Rocks and stones from all over the U.S. were gathered to create this unique house and garden.

A vintage postcard from the EC Johnson Stone House - view of the garden

Hendricks is home to a number of unique homes, which includes this one-of-a-kind home by local implement dealer E.C. Johnson. Built in 1902, the home was purchased in 1905 by E.C. for him and his new bride. It remained an ordinary wood frame house with stucco siding until business slowed down during the 1930’s Great Depression. With much time on his hands, E.C. began decorating his home with rocks gathered from his travels around the country. Pipestone, sandstone, granite, limestone, and other types of rocks were used for this creation. The home was studded on all sides with rocks and stones. The residence was completed by creating a large rock garden with many functional and ornamental rock creations. Rocks were used to create benches, a fireplace, a fishpond, sidewalks, fences, a gate, and many other ornamental objects for the yard. Rocks were also used to decorate the inside of the house, culminating in a beautiful rock fireplace.

Over the years, the home has drawn many visitors who pay homage to the unique creation. The home has been the subject of numerous photography and postcards. Local children have been drawn to the garden and spent countless hours watching the goldfish which inhabit the garden’s fishpond.

The E.C. Johnson family sold the home in 1957, and the ownership has changed several times since. Its current owner is Donna Hammer who has continued to beautify the place. The home is located on the corner of Hobart and Park in the northeast section of town, two blocks north of the public school.

Demolition Derby & County Fair
Meeker Co. Fair
Litchfield, MN
Too many years ago, when I was about 7 or 8, my grandma took me to a demolition derby.  For whatever reason, that memory popped in my head, and I had to see if it was really as fun as I remembered. Boy, was it.  It is loud, chaotic, and muddy.  And believe it or not, there are rules. You have to keep hitting others, or you get “timed out” and are no longer in the running.  If your car stops its ability to move, you “break your stick” (a wooden stick that is near the drivers window) to signal that you are out. And most importantly, you are out after your second engine fire.  (good news – the fire dept. is on hand.)  Best of all after a heat, bobcat bulldozers come out and push all of the incapacitated auto warriors out of the arena.  It was a blast!