General
Visitors who have toured the house know the Museum historians have adequate early records concerning the first families who occupied the residence.  Several colorful stories about John G. ("Land") Lund, his sister Mary Lund Hoel and her husband Reverend Olaf Hoel are always interesting!  Records for the later years are in the process of research concerning the names of the many renters and boarders who once called this house "home". 
 
Lund, along with his sister Mollie and her husband Frank, planted over 400 trees during the spring months.  In 1891, John Lund's "lot" covered more than half a village block, and his sister owned a charming corner house just a block away. 
 
In 1890, Lund planned his "palatial residence".  With the charm and style of a circus ringmaster, John G. Lund announced to the editor of the Canby News on the 9th of August that he "was thinking of building a residence" north of the park square. 
 
In the following year, Canbyans were not surprised to see that on April 4th lumber had arrived and was piled on Lund's vacant corner property.  The Canby News observed "Mr. Lund will put up a very fine residence from modern plans."  Thus, on June 5th, Canby's showman-salesman and youthful near-millionaire was ready to move his new wife into their new house built (with carpenters given Sundays off as days of rest) in less than two months!   Today tour guides refer to this first part of the structure as Lund's "49 Day" House. 
 
Although the "49 Day" House was brand new, it received the decorative balconies, the turret, and the "gingerbread" trim nine years later when whopping real estate sales by the Lund Land Agency made John G. famous throughout the state and a bona fide millionaire. 
 
The "landmark" fence of "hardheads" (field stones) appeared in the summer of 1900.  The fence was restored and completely rebuilt by Orlando Menk in 1986.  The Canby News states, "This stone is odd yet there is a charm about it which tends to make its surroundings home-like and unique." 
 
 
[As a side note, the Canby News has been in operation for over 130 years and is still the local center for news.]  
 
 
 
John G. Lund
John G. Lund was the builder and first owner of the house now known as the historic Lund-Hoel House.  He was a hustling, bustling dynamo of a man who lived a colorful but short existence of just forty years.  Self-made millionaire land broker, energetic mayor of Canby at the turn of the century, and founder-president of one of the three banks in town. 
 
John's parents & their family moved to Canby from Rushford, MN in 1876 to start up a General Merchandise Store.  John was 8 years old.  He was educated & grew to manhood in Canby. 
 
At age 20, he married Flora Miller, who was two years his senior.  The couple did not have any children during their marriage of 19 years.  The year he married was an ambitious one as he began a real estate business "on his own account in 1888.  He has sold a very great many farms during the time he has engaged in business and has probably done more to bring in actual settlers than any other firm or agency in Minnesota or the Dakotas."  (Quote from the Canby News Aug 18, 1893.) 
 
 
 
Reverend Hoel & wife, Mary Lund Hoel, and daughter Nella
In 1903, and anncouncement in the Canby News began an era of 55 years of Hoel ownership.  J.G. Lund sold his beautiful green residence to his sister, Mary Lund, and her husband, the Rev Olaf Hoel of the Norwegian Lutheran Church.  The price was $10,000. 
 
The Rev. Hoel had 8 children who were all born near or in Canby.  However, none of the Hoel children were born in the house--even Omer, the baby of the family, born 9 years before the 1903 purchase. 
 
Rev Hoel was the area's pioneer pastor, first living in a log house near Porter, MN.  Through his considerable efforts, several religious groups were organized.  Eventually his circuit ministry included 11 churches.  As the only minister for miles around, Rev. Hoel was called upon to perform pastoral duties among Norwegian settlers scattered over a wide area.  His first Canby congregation included only 23 families as members.  By the time of his death in 1930, this one congregation had sub-divided into seven congregations.  He served the churches at Wood Lake (the lake, not the town), Lake Benton, Porter, Hansonville, Our Saviour's in Fortier, and Bethlehem in Burr.  In South Dakota he organized 5 congregations, in Clark County, Watertown, Toronto, Holland, and Brandt.  In total, he served 11 congregations in 7-8 counties which encompassed a radius of 70 miles.  By his recollection, "There were no roads, but by aid of a compass, we were able to find our way over the prairies.  By starting at daybreak, we often did not reach our destination until the middle of the night."  
 
More on Reverend Hoel's Family...
 
 
 
The Piano Years --  Nella Hoel's 30 year ownership
Nella, had devoted her youth to caring for her aged parents.  She later married Andrew Berg, a Lincoln automobile dealer from Minneota, MN.  A year had passed since the death of the bride's parents.  This marriage was for each partner a late one, and no children were born to the Bergs.  Nells'a "children" were her many piano students who came to the Hoel House over the years for weekly lessons. 
 
"Miss Hoel" --a grown up title for a young girl barely in her teens, allowed Nella the authority she needed when she began teaching piano at the house around the year 1905.  Myrtle Craigmile took lessons at the house.  As a girl Myrtle showed skill with standard piano classics, but soon found that her talent for playing for silent movies (and later for church services and revivals) was her true calling. 
 
Later, when Nella & Andrew Berg left Canby, they moved to Minneapolis where they had purchased a house.  Nella packed up & took with her most of the original Lund-Hoel family furniture, family photos, and the unique stained glass window panel in the the front door was carefully stored in the attic to be found during the renovation into a Musem.  The MECCA (Museum Encompassing Canby Community Area) was 'lucky' to attend the 1984 estate sale.  Many purchases returned to Canby, with many of these "originals" from the Berg home in Minneapolis had originally been in the Lund-Hoel house earlier. 
 
After moving to the Minneapolis area, Nella retained ownership of the house (which had been transferred into her name in 1928) but leased it to various Canby families for more than a quarter of a century. 
 
More on the Piano Years...
 
 
Boarders who lived in the House:
 
The Maier Years:  1932-1937
The Charles Maier's daughter, Lorraine Maier Tone, recollects the Hoel House, and "the way we were in the 30's".  My father was born in rural Canby, about the time the house was built.  He recalled when he was a young boy the park-like grounds contained a grand real estate display, done in all flowers, which read, "Buy Land of Lund."  He dreamed of living in that home someday, and he did, about 30 years later. 
 
"My recollections of the home, as it was when we lived there, are still quite vivid.  The exterior of the house was then white with green trim.  The side yard was graced by a towering, specimen evergreen, perfect in shape.  Beyond that to the rear was a gorgeous mulberry hedge about five to six feet high and three feet wide;  this hedge ran the length of the driveway from the rear stoop at an angle to the carriage house barn.  There were large apple trees located in the eastern half of the rear yard. 
 
There were many unique features and architectural oddities in the Hoel House.  Some things seemed old-fashioned.  For instance, the pull chain flush on the lavatory and the strange wooden wall gauge with a weighted rope in the serving kitchen that measured the amount of water in a holding tank in a very small upstairs room. 
 
 
 
 
Crowley Years:  1938-1957
The Dan Crowley Family lived in the Hoel House from 1938 to 1957, occupying various apartments.  The family first moved into the back upstairs apartment.  Others who lived there included Mr. & Mrs. Vincent Domek, Martha Craigmile, Mr & Mrs Ault (he worked for W.G. Woodward), Mr. & Mrs. Torrence Carlson (he was music director at the school), Mr & Mrs. Howard Norman, a couple who worked for Otter Tail, and Francis & June (Qualley) Duis.  In 1940, the family moved downstairs to the front appartment, but kept two bedrooms upstairs (each extra room cost $10 a month to rent). 
 
The daughter, Margaret, married James McConnell in January of 1943.  The reception was held in what is now the big parlor.  The wedding gown was white satin complete with long train, ordered from Woodward's for $14.95.  the bouffant veil and headpiece cost an additional $4.95.   For the wedding dinner, go meet was rationed, my mother somehow managed to serve chicken.  Friends shared their sugar coupons for the wedding cake.
 
More on the Crowleys...
 
 
Other Boarders
 
Under Construction 
 
More on Other Boarders...
 
 
The Third Owner of the Hoel House:
 
Richter Years 
 
In the mid-50's Nella Hoel Berg's husband, Andrew, drove from Minneapolis to Canby to talk to Mr & Mrs William Richter about purchasing the Hoel House.  He had an idea about the Richters starting what he called "a board and care home" for Canby's growing population of elderly citizens.  This appealed to Bill and Minnie.  Berg, always a good businessman, figured out a by-the-month purchase plan (actually a Contract For Deed dated 1 April 1958) that worked out well for the Richters.  The house was theirs "free and clear" in less than 20 years.
 
More on the Richters...
 
 
Becoming the Historic Lund-Hoel House Museum:
 
The Restoration
 
Under Construction