Faribault’s Historic Hutchinson House Bed and Breakfast is now under new ownership. Dana Anderson and his wife Olena purchased the B&B last month and have begun hosting guests.

Olena runs the day-to-day operations of the B&B. A recent immigrant from Ukraine, Olena is an attorney by training with a focus on Intellectual Property Law. Before coming to Minnesota, Olena spent 17 years as an international business manager for one of the largest farms in the Ukraine. She’s fluent in four languages — English, German, Ukranian and Russian.

Dana Anderson works as CEO Living Greens Farm. Founded in 2012, the Faribault-based company uses cutting-edge technology, known as aeroponics, to grow its lettuce and herbs.

The Andersons previously lived in Minneapolis and then in Edina, which required Dana to commute one hour each way to Living Greens’ plant in Faribault. Dana got increasingly tired of the drive and the couple decided to look for a house someplace closer. At the same time, Tammy and Doug Schluter were looking for someone to take over the stately home and B&B.

The Andersons never intended to move into a B&B, but after taking a tour of the house, they were in awe of the historic Victorian features, all so beautifully preserved. Situated on a high lot, the “Painted Lady” is hard to miss from the street, with its three story octagonal tower and classic Victorian-style wraparound porch. It’s not at all uncommon for passersby to look up at the old house and stop by just to see what’s going on inside.

“Some just stop by they say, ‘I want to have a tour of the house,’” said Olena. “They’re curious, and they admire the house, and its history.”

Inside, many ornate architectural features have been preserved largely in their original form. From the pocket doors, to gingerbread trim, to the inlaid, floors, to two elaborate fireplaces, the house looks much the same inside as it did a century ago. The house’s ornate woodwork is standing the test of time. As a scientist, Dana particularly admires the durability of the wood, grown at a time when the earth was notably cooler than it is today.

“This house is almost 128 years old, it’s just in fantastic condition,” said Dana. “It’s going to last forever.”

Like the Schluters and previous owners, the Andersons are focused on preserving and restoring the house. They’ve freshened up the exterior with a new coat of paint and have several beautification and renovation projects planned.

Hutchinson House background

The stately old mansion was built in 1892 for successful local businessman John Hutchinson. Born in Canada in 1840, Hutchinson immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 11. In 1858, Hutchinson’s family settled in Rice County where he worked with his father as a farmer, contractor and builder. Hutchinson enlisted in the 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment, serving in the U.S.-Dakota War as well as the Civil War.

After completing his military service, Hutchinson began a career in the saw-milling and lumber industries. He briefly served as manager for the Flynt Furniture Co. before co-founding the Faribault Furniture Co. with Albert Stockton. Hutchinson’s company was a strong success, becoming the largest furniture manufacturer in the region. Hutchinson’s business success enabled him not only to build a stately mansion but also to diversify his economic portfolio. That he did, partnering in the Faribault Roller Mills and Faribault Loan and Insurance Co.

Hutchinson’s personal life proved more difficult. He lost his first wife in 1876 and his second just a few years after moving into the mansion. He married his third wife in 1902 and lived with her in the home until the family moved out to California in 1915. He died months later at the age of 75.

Reach Reporter Andrew Deziel at 507-333-3129 or follow him on Twitter @FDNandrew.

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