Gunnerud House, Prairie Village Museum

Gunnerud Brothers at Prairie Village Museum!

What a delightful surprise yesterday evening to find a Gunnerud Bros. business in this wonderful scale model of Silva! Founded in 1912 as one of numerous railroad settlement towns, Silva had a peak population of between 100 and 125 around 1920.

(Click for a full size image.)

Below is a closer shot of the building itself. It was a bonus to find that it matches our house, and how fun that it is right next to the pool hall! Note the houses in the background. This is such a charming model!

The business appears to be a filling station. However, in an Allen’s Parlor Furnace brochure from the 1920s, I found: “Silva, N. D. We certainly think the ALLEN is the best parlor furnace on the market, and we intend to handle no other. It’s a line on which the dealer can make money. GUNNERUD BROS.” A parlor furnace seems the sort of thing one would purchase in a hardware store rather than from a filling station. Hence, this business may have functioned as both a filling station and a hardware store. I look forward to finding out!

The model was built by Bertha, Edith, James, and Lloyd, Lysne and completed in 1982. The model stands in the Silva School House which was moved to Prairie Village Museum in 1978.

Silva School House

Gunnerud House

Gunnerud House in Summer

From Earl Lokken, who has written a history of Brinsmade, ND, I learned that our home was built in 1914 or 1915 by E.O. Gunnerud. Gunnerud had a number of hardware stores in the area. Before building this house, he lived in a temporary shack for several years until he could afford to build. This was a common practice among the early 1900s residents of Brinsmade. The house was moved to its present location by Norell Lotvedt in, I believe, the 1960s. The view below is from the southeast. The southern section of the house was an addition in the 1990s. The section next just to the north used to be an open porch. Many originally open porches in North Dakota have been enclosed. Obviously, people found them entirely impractical for North Dakota’s long, harsh winters.

Below is a view from the northeast. The structure is probably a kit house like the Sears Houses that are so abundant in this region. The small north foyer seems to be a later addition. The central room downstairs, facing east, was the room where Lokken attended Lutheran youth parties when this house was in Brinsmade, ND. My hope is to document the history of the house as nearly as possible. More will follow.