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In the summer of 2014 just after we purchased the octagon house we had a typical summer storm. Awakened in the middle of the night I went out on the porch. A few branches were strewn about the yard. Commenting that we would need to clean up the side yard in the morning Lori said “that’s fine but what about the tree?”

Tree truck stuck on fence

It seems I was not looking at the front. A very large maple had come down, landed on our wrought iron fence. It broke a significant portion of the maple next to it. There were branches on the porch and part of the Tree blocked the sidewalk and 2nd street. Rivertown days was in session and the intersection is very busy at the time. Tourist’s and local town folk crossed into the park. Literally thousands of people use that sidewalk as they make their way to the festivities in the park.

We began cleanup which opened the street and sidewalk within a few hours but was not fully cleaned up for weeks.

The 1858 octagon-shaped Norrish House in Hastings, Minnesota. The two-story home was built of limestone covered with stucco. Special features include a windowed cupola and wrap-around porch.

A few years later we had the damaged maple tree removed along with another very old and cracked Boxwood. During cleanup of that tree my grandson and I took a break from moving branches and decided to create a little “Art”. Using a chainsaw we decided on a happy face for part of the trunk. It seems that Hastings was to be documented by a photographer and some of the Cities images were preserved in the Library of Congress including our home and the art project my grandson and I created.