Farmhouses of Richfield is a series of geocaches intended to highlight several old farmhouses still standing in Richfield. These farmhouses were all built between 1852 and 1918 by settlers who migrated to MN because land was affordable and fertile. Please take time to look at these impressive houses that have stood for over a century.
In 1855, Everett F. Irwin came to Minnesota from New York with his parents and settled in the town of Richfield. In 1865, Mr. Irwin settled on 140 acres of land owned by Joseph H. Pound, near the shores of Wood Lake. He improved his land until it became one of the finest farms in Richfield. Everett took many state and county fair premiums for his fine head of cattle.
In October of 1867, Everett Irwin married Martha Bortland in Iowa City, Iowa. Mr. Irwin served as Richfield Supervisor for many years and was Village Assessor in 1895. In 1898, he helped petition the City of Minneapolis regarding the hay, feed and livestock market as it affected Richfield farmers.
In 1913, Irwin bought a herd of Holstein cattle from R.B. Young of Iowa. John B. Irwin, son of Everett Irwin, asked Mr Young's herdsman if he would come to Minnesota and be herdsman on the Irwin farm. Axel Hanson consented, and he came to Wood Lake Farm in June. Mr. Hanson improved the producing capacity of the dairy cattle by proper feeding and care. One of the herd was registered with the name, Duchess Skylark Ormsby. Under Mr. Hanson's care, this Holstein broke the world's record for butterfat in milk, and Duchess Skylark Ormsby became known as the the "World's Greatest Cow", a record she kept until it was broken in 1921. Holsteins were generally low butterfat producers, and this honor was quite an accomplishment for the Irwin farm of Richfield.
Everett’s son, John B. Irwin became president of the Minnesota State Livestock Breeders and was known throughout the county as a prominent Holstein breeder. He also served as Mayor of Richfield and was a board member of the Oak Hill Cemetery Association.
When it became necessary financially to sell part of the Irwin farm, it was plotted into lots and sold by a real estate company.
The original homestead of Everett Irwin was on the west side of Lyndale Avenue but was torn down years ago. Nearby, however, at 7324 Aldrich Avenue (built 1916), stands the home of Axel Hanson, the excellent herdsman on the Irwin farm. The home of John B. Irwin, built in 1915, is also close by. In later years John's farm belonged to E. C. Kelley who operated a poultry farm there, known as the Bonnyview Farm.