Glenevis

La Crescent, Minnesota

The home, dating to 1861, was owned by D. J. Cameron, who named it Glenevis after Glen Nevis, a scenic area in Scotland. The grounds include multiple gardens and a granary.

It is unusual to find a Civil War-era home in livable condition or still standing, let alone thriving, which is one reason Glenevis is significant. Most importantly, the property's legacy gives it historical significance. D. J. Cameron was an influential man, and his family retained the property for 125 years. The home, the granary, and the grounds are living artifacts of D. J. Cameron's life in La Crescent.

Three fireplaces are in the home, their brick chimneys reaching the basement floor.

The fireplace, left, has a tall mantle of the same dark wood. The inlaid squares, right, adorn both sides of the mantle.

The remnants of a granary, including this chute, are in the barn structure.

The table, left, is original to the granary.

Two of D. J. Cameron's children died as infants. The stone obelisk, at left, is a grave marker; the actual grave is also on the grounds. Many horseshoes dating to the 19th century are found on the grounds; Cameron bred and raised horses for harness racing.

The foundations of the house and the granary (below) are stone.

Walking Tour Sept. 23

The La Crescent Area Historical Society begins an annual event, Walk with History, at Glenevis, the 1861 homestead of D. J. Cameron. The walking tour will be from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturday, September 23, at 1430 County Road 6, La Crescent, MN. Guests will receive a map of Glenevis and Regina Chihak will describe the inside of the home, while volunteers guide guests through the gardens and granary. Refreshments and live music by Chuck Chihak complete the afternoon. A $5 donation is suggested. Visitors to La Crescent should travel west on South 7th Street and watch for cars along the roadway.

September is the height of area apple harvests, so visitors to La Crescent--Apple Capital of Minnesota--can also enjoy several popular varieties.

HISTORY

Information gleaned from the History of Houston County, 1919, edited by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge, the property abstract, and a July 26, 1978 article published in the La Crosse Tribune

D. J. CAMERON. He was born in Ontario, Canada and found his profession in railroad construction as a contractor who graded and also constructed tunnels in many states. Cameron came to La Crescent in 1859 and bought land in section 9 of La Crescent Township.

Cameron developed the farm, but he continued railroad work in Michigan, Arkansas, Illinois, and other states. He gave up the railroad work to breed and raise horses for harness racing and he built a racetrack down the road. He is mentioned as a breeder in The Horse Review in 1902 and 1905. In his latter years, he moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin. He died January 4, 1911. One of his sons, Allen J. Cameron, took over the Cameron farm, eventually moving away from horses and on to cows.

D. J. Cameron and his wife Mary (née Rossiter) had eight children who survived infancy: Anna, Belle, Allen J., Mary, John L., Donald A., Grace, Catherine, and Susie. Two other children died as infants.

MILL. Historical records show that D. J. Cameron erected a flour mill on his farm in the 1870s. Unfortunately, the mill soon became idle because of a legal dispute regarding water.

DAIRY. A large barn was once across the road on Cameron property. It became a dairy in the 1930s, with milk routes in La Crescent. The dairy closed in the early 1950s, but several bottles from that dairy remain. The barn was dismantled in 1978 according to a La Crosse Tribune article (July 26, 1978).

CURRENT PROPERTY. 1430 County 6, La Crescent MN 55947. The property is in Section 9, La Crescent Township, NW1/4 SE 1/4.

HISTORY OF THE PROPERTY.

Daniel J. and Mary Cameron 1859-19908

Allen J. Cameron, 1908-1936

Allen J. Cameron's daughters (twins), Catherine C. Cameron and Margaret Cameron Yohe and her husband John, 1936-1986 [Maggie died in 1981 and Catherine died in 1986]

Charles and Shirley Rosendahl, 1986-1990

Chuck and Regina Chihak, 1990-present


END NOTES - The La Crescent Area Historical Society values both personal anecdotes and documentation.

1. La Crosse Tribune story, July 26, 1978: "It's reported that, in return for constructing the tunnel at Tunnel City, Wis., for the Milwaukee Road, that line gave him 1,000 acres at La Crescent." The abstract for the current property does not show a transaction between a railroad and Cameron. The La Crescent Area Historical Society continues to research this topic.

2. Maggie Yohe said that her grandfather, D. J. Cameron, bred or raised Dan Patch, the famous racehorse. Other people in La Crescent have similar stories about Dan Patch's relationship to La Crescent that have been handed down from previous generations. The National Harness Racing Museum in Goshen, New York and the Dan Patch Museum in Savage, MN have no mention of D. J. Cameron in Dan Patch's history. Dan Patch was foaled in Oxford, Indiana, where he was raised for four years before starting a racing career. The famous horse was named for his owner, Dan Messner, and his sire, Joe Patchen. The La Crescent Area Historical Society is not actively researching this topic but welcomes additional documentation.