As Edina transitioned from a small farm town to a metropolitan suburb, residential neighborhoods grew up next to cow pastures and horses shared the road with family sedans.
Paul and Mary Carson discovered the joys of country life when they moved to Edina from Minneapolis in 1940. Their Purcell-designed home at 6001 Pine Grove Boulevard shared a border with the Anna and Carl Carlson farm, located near Vernon Avenue and Dundee Road.
"Paul and Mary told stories of how Carl's cows and sheep grazed up the hillside to the point of peering into the windows and lower level door of their new home, until they eventually fenced their property after World War II," wrote daughter Margit.
Like many early suburban residents, the Carsons tried their hand at farming, keeping a small flock of sheep for a short time and chickens and bees for several years.
Their four children - Margit, Candace, Bobb and Cary - played in the woods and skated and boated on the small pond Paul dug to catch storm water runoff.
The neighboring farm inspired Bobb to paint the view of the barn and fields for his Edina-Morningside High School art class. The family recently donated the 3 feet by 3 feet painting to the Edina Historical Society.
By the mid-1960s, the farm was gone, sold off and subdivided for residential lots. "The background noise of our childhood summers was the sound of well drilling and pounding hammers as house after house filled the fields pictured in Bobb's painting," Margit wrote.
Although the Carlson farm is gone, the Carson home remains. Designed by well-known architect William Purcell as a wedding gift to the Carsons, the property is now part of the Minnesota Land Trust that ensures that the land will remain undeveloped.
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