Our Story

Welcome to a look at the many generations of Peterson’s connected with the Peterson Homestead a.k.a. Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center. The property first purchased in 1902 by Peter and Ella Peterson, was the start of what is now six generations of Petersons. What you will read and see below is the short story complimented by photos of the family through the years.

Peter and Ella Peterson moved to the Swanburg Minnesota area in 1902 from Wisconsin. Peter and his wife Ella had nine children. Peter and Ella purchase many properties in the area besides what is called now the Peterson Homestead a.k.a Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center. On other property in the area, Peter and Ella built a hotel for the workers logging the area called the Peterson Hotel.

For the sake of brevity and relativity, this story continues about Peter and Ella’s oldest son Oscar. Peter and Ella sold one of their properties now known as the Peterson Homestead a.k.a. Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center to their oldest son Oscar and his new wife Grace during 1908. Oscar and Grace had a Dairy Farm operation on this property for the next 50 years. Oscar and Grace had nine children, and the youngest child was named Dale and was my father.

During 1958, Oscar and Grace retired from Dairy Farming and put the 80 Acres Dairy Farm in soil bank. The Soil Bank Act was a government program which removed farmland from crop production to eliminate the large crop surpluses after World War ll.

During 1962 my father and mother Dale and Betty purchased the property from my grandfather Oscar, soon after my grandmother Grace passed away. My parents Dale and Betty had nine children, and I am the third oldest child and one of seven boys. My father Dale was a heavy equipment operator with Local 49, International Union of Operating Engineers, and my mother Betty was a housewife (of course) caring for nine children. Durning 1968 the farm was taken out of Soil Bank and became a hobby farm for the next years.

In November of 1986, Dale and Betty Peterson died in a house fire on the Peterson Homestead Property. Years later in 2004, the decision was made to rebuild the Peterson Homestead to what is is now for the purpose of making it a Family compound to serve the descendants of Dale and Betty Peterson and in memory of our parents.

2010, my daughter Molly requested to host her wedding on the property. It was decided then to share the beautiful property with the public for the purpose of hosting wedding. It was then that Pine Peaks Retreat and Event Center was established with my daughter Molly’s wedding in September of 2011. The rest is history…

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