When most people talk about moving, they mean changing addresses. When Edina brothers Frank and John Garrison moved houses, they really moved houses — as in, they jacked up a house off its foundation, put it on a trailer and drove it to a new location.
They hauled many Minneapolis houses into Edina after World War II, after purchasing “pretty much what may be considered then-worthless land between two swamps,” recalled Frank’s daughter Betty Louisiana. “Now they’re lakes,” and the street that runs between them is called Garrison Lane, after the men who developed the former fallow land into a suburban subdivision.
The brothers were among eight boys who grew up on a farm in southwest Edina, near where Braemar golf course is today. They built the family farmhouse and later built homes as well as moved them to Garrison Lane, “doing whatever they could do to survive after the war,” Louisiana says.
Located south of Valley View Road and east of Wooddale, Garrison Lane was a dirt road into the 1960s and was surrounded by rural Edina, with the Miller and Haeg truck farms next door.
In the 1950s, the neighborhood transformed, with hundreds of new homes built on the Miller and Haeg farms. But the Garrisons helped ensure that a piece of Edina’s rural past survived by moving the Haeg farmhouse down Valley View Road to 6233 Peacedale Avenue, where it still stands today.
The Garrison brothers also helped save Cahill School, an 1864 one-room school that stood vacant at 70th and Cahill. After the area was slated for redevelopment in 1963, they were hired by the city to haul the school to its present location at Tupa Park. It is owned by the city, with information provided by the Edina Historical Society. For information on Cahill programs, see edinahistoricalsociety.org/cahill-school