The Bassett farm near Scandinavia was recently recognized as a century and sesquicentennial farm.
The farm, located at E2201 Elm Valley Road, is currently owned by Dorothy Bassett, Kelly Bassett and Leona Petersen.
“We felt honored to receive the awards,” Dorothy Bassett stated. “I only wish my father Axel Petersen and my brother Chuck Petersen had been there with us since they thoroughly enjoyed everything about farm life – from growing and harvesting the crops to hunting, fishing and just being outdoors in the country. However they are now both deceased and I didn’t know about the Century/Sesquicentennial Farm Awards until last year. I’m glad I made the phone calls necessary to find out about the program and submit our application and I urge others to do the same if their property is approaching the 100/150 year mark.”
The property was homesteaded in 1855 by Norwegian immigrants Tengal and Kari Larson. Since that time, the farm has been handed down from generation to generation. During a majority of those years, the property was a productive dairy farm.
The farm was hit by a cyclone/tornado in 1903, with many of the buildings destroyed and livestock killed.
“My mother has told me stories her parents told her about the cows and pigs floating down the river,” Dorothy Bassett said. “But everything was rebuilt and it became a profitable farm once again.”
Ownership of the land included: Tengal and Kari Larson, August 1855 through October 1875; Knud and Aslaug/Asle “Alice” (Larson) Olson, October 1875 through January 1902; Ole and Emma (Olson) Martin, January 1902 through May 1952; Irving Olson, May 1952 through September 1961; Axel and Della Leona (Olson) Petersen (sister to Irving Olson), September 1961 through September 1991; Charles M. Petersen, September 1991 through January 2007; Dorothy L. (Petersen) Bassett (sister of Charles Petersen), January 2007 to the present.
In later years, under the ownership of Axel and Leona Petersen, Axel and his son Charles “Chuck” crop farmed and raised no livestock. Axel and Chuck are now both deceased.
Currently three generations of women remain: Leona Petersen, age 96, her daughter Dorothy Bassett, age 62, and Dorothy’s daughter Kelly Bassett, age 33. Kelly presently resides in St. Paul, Minn.
Dorothy Bassett plans to keep the farm in the family and hopes her daughter Kelly will do the same.
A total of 31 farms were honored Aug. 10 at the Wisconsin State Fair by the Sesquicentennial/Century Farm & Home Award Program. A total of 555 properties have been honored as sesquicentennial farms since the program began in 1948.