When Dan Petrick first saw the home that would become his life's work, it was in the early 1970s, and the rundown old house was inhabited by squatters, including a topless hippie trailed by a pig. There was no indoor plumbing and only one intact window.
But Petrick saw potential. The house was built of sandstone with a gingerbread-trimmed front porch and set on 30 pastoral acres near Jordan. He bought the house, improved it and lived in it for almost 45 years until his death in 2019 at 79.
"He was a visionary," said his daughter Kathy Petrick, of Chanhassen, who lived in the house with her family during her teen years. Her father could look at things and see what they would become. "His calling was to fix."
A carpenter and general contractor, Dan often recycled and reused materials that were being discarded by others. "He was resourceful. Dad was a collector of everything," said Kathy. "He saw the use in so many things."
Dan and his brothers had moved to the Twin Cities from the Iron Range when Dan was still a teenager. Seeking work and income, the brothers started buying homes in need of repair, fixing them up and reselling them.
"They were flippers before there were flippers," said Kathy. But instead of fixing up the old stone house and moving on, Dan decided to stay. He worked on the house for several years while he and his family lived on the third floor of a Loring Park mansion where he did maintenance work. In 1975, the family moved into the refurbished old house.
The original stone house was built in about 1860 by an immigrant family from Luxembourg. An addition about 20 years later increased the home's square footage to 2,112.
Her father devoted himself to the five-bedroom house, said Kathy, restoring it inside and out and adding modern updates, including a half bath off the master bedroom where an attic staircase was once located, and a paver patio using bricks salvaged from a job site.
He also transformed the entire property, converting the old granary into a 978-square-foot guesthouse, complete with kitchen and bathroom. The 1899 barn, 40-by-70 feet, became his workshop, also with its own kitchen and bathroom. And he built a one-room cottage, paneled in knotty pine, an outhouse and added stone retaining walls, a pond with a double waterfall, an orchard with 30 plum, apple and pear trees, paved walkways and groomed trails through his woods.
In his later years, her father used the property to produce income, renting out the guesthouse and leasing 18 acres to a farmer, Kathy said.
The whole estate is now on the market, priced at $1.125 million. "I would love to keep it in the family but it's not in my budget," she said.
Years ago, the property hosted weddings and funerals, and at least one prospective buyer has expressed interest in turning it into an event venue, she said. "It would be fabulous for that."
The barn/workshop, which has five overhead doors and a half-ton lift in one bay, would be "perfect for a car person," she said. "It could be a serious man cave."
With so much land, the property also could become a subdivision, she acknowledged, although she hopes to find a buyer who will want to preserve the estate.
"This was my dad's life's work, his crowning glory," said Kathy. "He was proud of it. I hope somebody can see what he saw."
Randy Kubes, 612-599-7440, Kubes Realty, has the listing.