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 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 # 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, United States. The property is nationally significant as the childhood home of Thorstein B. Veblen (1857-1929), an economist, social scientist, and critic of American culture probably best known for The Theory of the Leisure Class , published in 1899. [5]

National Historic Landmark formal designation assigned by the United States federal government to historic buildings and sites in the United States

A National Historic Landmark (NHL) is a building, district, object, site, or structure that is officially recognized by the United States government for its outstanding historical significance. Only some 2,500 (~3%) of over 90,000 places listed on the country's National Register of Historic Places are recognized as National Historic Landmarks.

Nerstrand, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Nerstrand is a city in Rice County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 295 at the 2010 census.

Rice County, Minnesota County in the United States

Rice County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 64,142. Its county seat is Faribault.

Contents

Description and history

The Veblen farmstead stands east of Nerstrand in far eastern Rice County, off Goodhue Avenue north of Minnesota State Highway 246. Now reduced to 10 acres (4.0 ha), the property includes a house, chicken coop, granary, and barn with attached milking shed. The house, granary, and barn, were all built by Thomas Veblen, 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]

Minnesota State Highway 246 (MN 246) is a highway in southeast Minnesota, which runs from its intersection with State Highway 3 in the city of Northfield and continues south and east to its eastern terminus at its intersection with State Highway 56 in Holden Township near Kenyon.

Thorstein Veblen, born in Wisconsin in 1857, lived on this farm (homesteaded by his parents) as a youth and returned often as an adult, due in part to his inability to land a job, despite college degrees. The product of an austere agrarian upbringing, Veblen has often been called one of America's most creative and original thinkers. [6] He coined the term "conspicuous consumption." 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. His book, Theory of the Leisure Class is distinguished by economic, social, and literary scholars. [1]

Conspicuous consumption Concept in sociology and economy

Conspicuous consumption is the spending of money on and the acquiring of luxury goods and services to publicly display economic power—of the income or of the accumulated wealth of the buyer. To the conspicuous consumer, such a public display of discretionary economic power is a means of either attaining or maintaining a given social status.

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 meticulously restored and the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota holds a preservation easement on the property. [7]

See also

National Register of Historic Places listings in Rice County, Minnesota Wikimedia list article

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Rice County, Minnesota. It is intended to be a complete list of the properties and districts on the National Register of Historic Places in Rice County, Minnesota, United States. The locations of National Register properties and districts for which the latitude and longitude coordinates are included below, may be seen in an online map.

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References

  1. 1 2 "Historic American Buildings Survey". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
  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. 2007-10-31.
  4. "Thorstein Veblen Farmstead". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-09-03.
  5. 1 2 James Sheire (May 21, 1981). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Thorstein Veblen Farmstead" (pdf). National Park Service.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 2008-03-15. Retrieved 2007-10-01.
  7. "Restoring a national historic landmark". Benchmarks in Minnesota's Historic Preservation. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-11-02.