Grave obsessions

3820 37th Ave S – yup, that’s the place!
Lot 6. Block 6 Lawndale ad[dition] $850. John O. Veland bought this property in 1913, and the Minneapolis Morning Tribune published the transfer of real estate into his possession on the 5th of December.

Prior to purchasing this lot, on 22 September 1913 John Veland, my great-great grandfather, paid $800 to the building inspector for the construction of a 24' x 28' dwelling.   A carpenter, John built his family's home himself, having moved them from Tomahawk, Wisconsin to Minneapolis.  John's daughter, Sally, wrote a very detailed account of her childhood.  She depicted happy times growing up in the burgeoning city of Minneapolis, living near their place of worship, the Minneahaha Lutheran Church, which was a focal point of her family's life.  Nine years old when her father began construction on their house, she has vivid memories of those early years.  She wrote:

We moved in before the house was finished. School started before the plastering took place.  All ten of us were there. There was a large dormitory type of room upstairs and a smaller room facing our rear two windows in the back of the house. There was two bedrooms, a living room, and a large dining room with a large table where everyone studied their school lesson and where Mother would hold her Sunday service with songs and bible reading. Mother had our attention even though we had been to Sunday school earlier in the day. We did much of our living in that home.

Selma "Sally" Veland standing next to her father, John Veland, and the home he built for his family at 3820 37th Ave S, Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Photo courtesy of Sandra Hesse.

Not only did the Velands spend a lot of time inside their home, they also loved to take pictures at a certain spot outside near the front porch.  One of the first photos in this location is shown above, and would have been taken sometime prior to John's death 23 July 1923. 


Elisabeth (Gravdahl) Veland (center) with daughters Margaret Veland (left) and Selma "Sally" Veland (right), probably about 1918-1920.  Photo courtesy of Sandra Hesse.

John's wife, Elisabeth or "Lisbet", as family called her, was in many photos.  Above she is shown with her daughters Margaret and Sally, again in this oft photographed corner at the front of the home.  Many years later, in 1945, my grandmother and grand father would stand at that corner as well. 


Left to right:  Amanda (Veland) Cordes, and my grandparents, Harold and Goldie (Simpson) Uphouse, 1945.


Four generations of my family:  my mother, Patricia Uphouse, in the arms of her father, Harold T. Uphouse.  Harold's mother, Julia (Veland) Uphouse, is on the right, with Lisbet (Gravdahl) Veland, Julia's mother, on the left.  Photo courtesy of Sandra Hesse.

And tonight I am grateful for a very special lady, my grandfather Harold's cousin, Sandra Hesse, who has blessed me beyond measure with stories of my Norwegian family, details of their lives that I could get nowhere else, and to top all off, she's provided me with these precious and priceless pictures that I will treasure forever.