Welcome to the Online Houglum Fine Art Gallery
Original Oil Paintings in the Tradition of the Old Masters
Great Grandmother, Elise Pederson and her son, Christian Pederson, bought this farm in 1910. When Raymond and Alice Houglum moved onto this farm in 1953, this is what the homestead looked like. The porch on the left side of the house was added on during the late 20s or early 30s. The addition on the right side of the house was added at the same time which included the new kitchen, pantry and back porch. The red building was the summer kitchen where the canning of vegetables was done. The garage on the right was added later along with the placement of the Outhouse. The Windmill was moved to this spot in the 30s during a major drought, during which the lake dried up into a series of ponds.
This is the view of the farmstead as seen from the Birch Hill, which was across the little slough just south of the house and garage. The red building on the right is the Summer Kitchen with an Outhouse attached. On the far left is the huge barn that Christian had built during the late 20s. The lower level was cement blocks. These blocks were made of sand from the shoreline of Big Cormorant Lake. The sand had not been cleaned of contaminates which rendered them soft. The remainder of the barn was built with wood. Between the barn and the silo stands the silo room, which joined the silo to the barn. Corn silage was blown into the silo during late summer or early fall, and was fed to the cows during the winter. This barn blew down in 1954 during a strong wind that came from the southwest. The red building just to the right of the barn was a chicken coup, and the unpainted sheds to the right of it housed either sheep or turkeys. The windmill had a number of bird houses on it. At its high point, we had hundreds of Purple Martins in residence. These Purple Martins would often target dog, cat or humans during their bombing runs.
This is Great Grandmother Elise Pederson. A woman who had a reputation as being as tough as a railroad spike. She is pictured here as she is returning from a walk into Audubon, a five mile hike. There was a lady in Audubon that sewed her full length black formal dresses. Elise preferred to be called "Elsie." Elsie was widowed in Norway in the very early 1900s.. To make ends meet for herself and her five children, she washed and ironed cloths for people. In 1900, she and her five children set sail on a steamer headed for Twin Harbors, Minnesota. Upon arrival, she began to wash and iron cloths for people. Her children ten years of age or older, which were her two oldest sons, got jobs on the docks loading and unloading ships. In 1910, she and her second oldest son, Christian, my Grandfather, bought this farm. It had only about ten acres that had been cleared.
This is the view of the driveway into the farmstead. The driveway was about three hundred yards long. This road was walked to and from the school bus which picked up the children at the mailbox, which was just out of the picture to the left. During the Spring and Fall, the walk to the bus was rather enjoyable. However, on some Winter mornings, the temperature could be below thirty below zero, but we would wrap up tight and make the walk. On days when the temperature was colder, we might get a ride to the bus in the car. During blizzard conditions, sometimes the bus driver would deliver us to our back door at the house. If you look close, you will see Kathleen and I walking out to the mailbox perhaps to deliver or to get the mail.
This painting was done from a photo taken in the 1930s. The location is on the East end of the slough just south of the house. The Birch Hill is out of the picture to the right. The view is to the East-Northeast. Henry's woods can be seen in the distance to the far right. The trees in the center were not there in 1953 when the Houglum family arrived on the farm and perhaps the rocks had been moved and used somewhere on the farm. The fence line continued on to the left all the way to the barn. The fields in the distance were in various stages of preparation for the annual crops. Grandpa Christian had a mixed breed herd of cows, as did Uncle Orfield, who farmed the land during the late 30s to 1953, when Raymond and Alice Houglum took it over.
This is the North end of Little Cormorant, as viewed from the County Road just North of the lake. The field in the foreground was about ten acres, and beyond that to the left was pasture for the cows. The first point on the left was where the swimming hole was for years, and eventually became the location of the dock where fishing boats were eventually launched. The point to the right was actually on Pederson land, but except for a period of time during the 30s, that land was accessible to Christian and his cows. During the 30s, Christian's cows were allowed to cross over and pasture on that point, but a fence had to be laid along the property line, give or take a few feet. The second point back on the left was part of the pasture, and was the site that Uncle Olaf would go during his visits to the farm. Roger named that point, Prick's Peak, for reasons we never understood.
HOUGLUM - PEDERSON FARM PAINTINGS
This is the view of the North end of Little Cormorant Lake as seen from Prick's Peak. This painting was done from a photo taken in the early 1930s during the drought that eventually lowered the water level to only a series of ponds which extended the length of the entire lake. The water level at the time this photo was taken was at about half way down. The water level continued to recede until the cows were able to access the land on the West side of the lake. Later on, during the late 30s and early 40s, the water level rose, thus no longer allowing the Pederson cattle to graze West of the lake. To the right side of the far end of the lake lay the Lester Nylander farm. To the immediate left lay first the Roy Nylander Farm, and just beyond Roy's farm lay Vanner Nylander's farm. All of these farms lay two miles West and three and a half miles South of Audubon, Minnesota.
Jon painted the paintings on this page from heirloom family photos. He is writing a book of the family history represented in these paintings. Jon will accept a commission for painting special scenes of your home place from photos or on location, where possible.