Thorstein Veblen Farmstead

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Thorstein Veblen Farmstead
ThorsteinVeblenHouse.jpg
The farmhouse in 2014
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Location16538 Goodhue Avenue
Nerstrand, Minnesota
Coordinates 44°20′52″N93°02′49″W / 44.34778°N 93.04694°W / 44.34778; -93.04694
Area10 acres (4.0 ha)
Built1867-1870 [1]
Architectural style Greek Revival
NRHP reference No. 75001024 [2]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPJune 30, 1975 [2] [3]
Designated NHLDecember 21, 1981 [4]

The Thorstein Veblen Farmstead is a National Historic Landmark near Nerstrand in rural Rice County, Minnesota. The property preserves the childhood home of Norwegian-American economist and sociologist Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929), best known for his 1899 treatise The Theory of the Leisure Class . [5]

Contents

Description and history

The Veblen farmstead stands east of Nerstrand in eastern Rice County, north of Minnesota State Highway 246. The ten-acre property includes a house, chicken coop, granary, and barn with attached milking shed. The house, granary, and barn were all built by Thomas Veblen, Thorstein's father, in the 1870s and 1880s. The house is a two-story frame structure, with a side gable roof, two chimneys, and clapboard siding. A single-story porch extends across the front, supported by square posts, with a balcony above. The granary is a small two-story clapboarded frame building, measuring about 25 by 30 feet (7.6 m × 9.1 m). The barn is two stories, and has a gabled roof. [5]

Thorstein Veblen, born in Cato, Wisconsin, in 1857, lived on this farm in his youth and returned often as an adult, due in part to his inability to find steady employment. The product of an austere agrarian upbringing, Veblen, who has often been called one of America's most creative and original thinkers, [6] coined the term "conspicuous consumption" in the widely influential The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899). [1] The property's simple vernacular styling illustrates early influences on Veblen's life as the son of immigrants, growing up in a tightly knit Norwegian-American community.

The Veblens sold the property in 1893 and it continued to be an active farm until 1970, when the buildings fell into disrepair. The house has now been restored, and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota holds a preservation easement on the property. [7]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 "Historic American Buildings Survey". Library of Congress. Retrieved December 13, 2010.
  2. 1 2 "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places . National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  3. "National Register of Historic Places". www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com. October 31, 2007.
  4. "Thorstein Veblen Farmstead". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Archived from the original on September 1, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  5. 1 2 James Sheire (May 21, 1981). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Thorstein Veblen Farmstead" (pdf). National Park Service.{{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help) and Accompanying 4 images taken in 1971  (2.33 MB)
  6. "Thorstein Veblen Farmstead". National Historic Landmarks Program. National Park Service. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved October 1, 2007.
  7. "Restoring a national historic landmark". Benchmarks in Minnesota's Historic Preservation. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved November 2, 2007.