One of my favorite things about the Anoka Heritage Home and Garden Tour is seeing previous residents and the descendants of earlier homeowners come on the tour and share their memories of the house with the current occupants. It is always a treat to see the the homeowners gain a deeper connection and appreciation for their own home. On this year’s tour the grandson of Harlan Thurston visited the home grandfather’s on Rice Street, a home he hadn’t been in since he was a boy.
It’s not always descendents either. Perhaps my favorite story was when a woman, a long time Historical Society member, when to a home on Fremont Street. The home was originally built by George Green, a man who many associate with the Anoka Halloween celebration. The woman told the homeowners how she and her friends took their high school prom photos in front of the house because they always admired it and the garden—they never even knew Green. She lived nearby and went home and retrieved the photos, probably 60 years old at that point, and shared them.
Another treat from this year’s tour was meeting descendants of the Woodbury Family. The Woodbury House, owned by Dwight Woodbury at the time of the Civil War, was featured on this year’s tour. One of those women wrote a great piece on her experience for the ECM publications, that own the local ABC newspapers.