Lee and Penny Anderson's family attended the Nisswa-stmman music festival Saturday, June 11. Shown with them from left are granddaughters Nicole Anderson, Gabby Groethe and Penny Groethe.
After being in the Anderson family for the past 70 years, the Pioneer Village property in downtown Nisswa now belongs to the Nisswa Area Historical Society.
Last Saturday, June 11, after musicians had paraded through Nisswa on their way to the Pioneer Village for the 12th annual Nisswa-stmman Scandinavian Music Festival, Lee Anderson of Nisswa gave the deed to the property to historical society president Dick Carlson in a presentation.
Anderson and his wife, Penny; daughter, Katharine Groethe, and grandchildren, Nicole Anderson, Gabby Groethe and Penny Groethe, had front row seats at the main stage on the historical society grounds.
Anderson gave the deed to the property to Carlson in a presentation, saying his dad, Reuben, bought the property 70 years ago.
"He was a wonderful Swedish dad whose mother came from a small town in Sweden," Anderson said, noting his father lost both his parents before age 14, had an eighth-grade education and was a plumber by trade.
"He was very proud to be a Swede," he said. "He was named Swede of the Year in 1970 by the American Swedish Institute.
"This particular piece of property brought him much joy," Anderson said, and if he were here today he would enjoy what the property was being used for.
"It was always our intent to pass the property on to the Nisswa Area Historical Society," Anderson said, noting he was proud of the work the society has done at the village to chronicle the area's history.
Carlson said the Andersons were responsible for the Pioneer Village's evolution. Anderson bought and moved the buildings onto the property over the years.
Opened in 1999, the Pioneer Village includes a homestead, bank, schoolhouse and livery as well as a history center. In 2002, Swedish, German and Norwegian immigrant houses were added to the village.
"Lee and Penny have done more to preserve the history of this area than anyone could possibly imagine," Carlson said.
"There's no words that can express the gratitude that we have for you," Carlson told the Andersons.
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