An Historic Estate on the Banks of the Mississippi

1898 - The Pine Tree Bachelors start building their homes.

In 1890 Charles Weyerhaeuser and Richard ‘Drew’ Musser came to Little Falls to run the Pine Tree Lumber Company. The homes, designed by Minnesota architect Clarence H. Johnston, were built simultaneously in 1898. Johnston was the same architect that designed many stately homes throughout Minnesota during the early 20th century including many homes along Summit Avenue in St. Paul and the Glensheen Mansion in Duluth.

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1899 - The Weyerhaeusers move into their home.

Charles (32) married Frances Maud Moon (22) on December 14, 1898, and the couple moved into their home in early 1899 after their honeymoon. Drew Musser moved into his home as a bachelor around this same time.

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1901 - Carl Weyerhaeuser is born.

Carl was born on July 24, 1901, at the family home in Little Falls. He graduated from Harvard University in 1923. Carl married Edith Greenleaf, and together they had five children. Carl and Edith built The Art Complex Museum located in Duxbury, Massachusetts. Carl passed away in 1996 at age 95 in Boston.

Carl Weyerhaeuser as a young boy
Carl Weyerhaeuser as a young man

Photo(s) courtesy of the Morrison County Historical Society.

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Drew and Sarah Musser wedding 1903

1903 - Drew Musser marries Sarah "Sally" Walker.

Drew (37) and Sarah (24) were married on June 3, 1903, in Cloquet, Minnesota. Sarah was from Glen Falls, New York. She and Drew met at her sister’s (Jane Walker Taylor) home in Duluth.

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1907 - Sarah Maud Weyerhaeuser is born.

Sarah Maud was born on March 22, 1907, at the family home in Little Falls. She graduated from Vassar College and later married Walter S. Rosenberry Jr. Together they had four children. They later divorced, and in 1954 Sarah Maud married Robert Siversten. Sarah Maud was generous in her philanthropic giving with one area being Minnesota Public Radio. She passed away in 2008 at the age of 100 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Sarah Maud as a baby
Sarah Maud as a middle aged woman
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Alice (Avis Deppmen) as a young teenager

1908 - Alice moves to the Musser home.

Alice (Avis Deppmen), the niece of Sarah Musser’s doctor, came to live with the Mussers when she was 10 years old. Although never officially adopted, she was treated as a daughter.

Mary Musser as a baby

1915 - Mary Musser is born.

Mary Musser was born in Minneapolis and was adopted by the Mussers when she was 3 months old.

Laura Jane Musser as a baby

1916- Laura Jane is born.

Laura Jane was the Mussers’ only living biological child. Laura Jane was born prematurely and had some medical issues when she was born.

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1920 - The Weyerhaeusers move to St. Paul.

When the Pine Tree Lumber Manufacturing Company closed in Little Falls, the Weyerhauesers moved to Summit Ave in St. Paul to pursue other lumber interests. They sold their house to the Mussers for a "nickel and a handshake."

Weyerhaeusers 1920
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Alice Musser's wedding day 1921

1921 - Alice Musser marries Dr. Edward C. Davidson in the Musser house.

Alice was 18 years older than Laura Jane and Mary. Alice graduated from nursing school and eventually met her husband who was a doctor. They had one child, Drew. Alice Musser passed away at the age of 61 in Georgia.

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1939 - Mary Musser marries Roger King in the Music Room.

Sarah Musser had the Music Room built in the 1930s when Drew Musser was away on a business trip. It was then used to hold many gatherings including their daughter Mary’s wedding. Mary and Roger lived in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and had 4 children. They divorced in 1955. Mary married Allen Austin Gilmore in 1957. They lived together in northern California until her death in 1991.

Mary Musser's wedding day
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Dining room in the Musser mansion
Laura Jane Musser as an older woman

1953 - The Mussers celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Sally Musser passed away 2 1/2 months later at the age of 74. Laura Jane then moved home from New York City and lived in the Weyerhaeuser house to be closer to her father.

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Drew Musser as an older man

1958 - R.D. Musser passes away at the age of 93.

Drew is buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Little Falls. Laura Jane was 43 when her father passed. R.D. Musser was an accomplished businessman and banker with a lifelong commitment to his community.

Van Cliburn at Musser mansion

1958 - Van Cliburn holds a concert in Little Falls.

After classical pianist Van Cliburn won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Russia, Laura Jane Musser invited her friend to Little Falls to hold a concert for the community. Van made many visits to Linden Hill.

Laura Jane Musser as an older woman

1989 - Laura Jane Musser passes away at the age of 73.

Laura Jane was very involved in the Little Falls Community when she returned. She served on the school board for three years, taught piano lessons, and was a member of many civic organizations. Laura Jane passed away at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Little Falls in 1989.

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1995-1998 - The Musser Trust gives the Linden Hill properties to the City of Little Falls.

The Musser Fund Trust gifted Linden Hill to the City of Little Falls with an endowment to help with its upkeep. The city completed a number of repairs on the houses and had staff clean and organize the homes to be used as a retreat and conference center. In early 2005, the city felt it was unable to devote the necessary funds and time to use the property to its potential.

Aerial photo of the Linden Hill estate with the Musser and Weyerhaueser mansions
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2007 - The Friends of Linden Hill, Inc. is formed.

A group of concerned citizens formed a 501c(3) nonprofit corporation, The Friends of Linden Hill, Inc., and an agreement was entered into between the city of Little Falls and the Friends of Linden Hill for the management of the estate, including fiscal and maintenance responsibilities.

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Present Day - Today at Linden Hill...

Thanks to the ongoing efforts of the Friends of Linden Hill's staff, volunteer board of directors and volunteer committees, along with financial support from generous organizations, members, and donors, these wonderful homes are open for the public to enjoy in various ways.  The grounds are open to the public year-round during daylight hours, with the Weyerhaeuser (green) home serving as a seasonal historic house museum, and the Musser (white) home serving as a year-round event and lodging facility.

Summer photo of the Linden Hill mansions