This lovely old farmhouse in the picturesque hamlet of Franconia was purchased by my grandparents in the early 1950s.It is one of the remaining original homes in the village.

Taking it over from the farmer who owned it, they did a few upgrades such as adding an indoor toilet, and my grandmother set about furnishing it with the appropriate vintage antiques.Staying in the house is a bit like being in a living museum.Over the years a few more improvements have been made, including a large screened porch that looks out on a meadow full of native wildflowers and grasses.I have no idea how we ever survived the mosquitoes before having the screened porch!

Our family members grew up loving the St. Croix River, which flows nearby.I have spent many, many days exploring its sloughs and sandbars as well as hiking in the woods in the river valley.This place has been a welcome haven during difficult times.

Kate Lehmann, St. Paul