The Hellestad House is a beautifully restored Norwegian log cabin, nestled near Allen Lake Picnic Area. Over 1850 hours of volunteer time went into rebuilding the home of Ole and Anne Hellestad, immigrants from Norway in the mid 1800s, who settled in central Wisconsin.
In 1997 a sad little house lay along side a highway, propped up on blocks, looking for a lot of care and a new home. Hauled in on a semi-truck in pieces on a cold day in January, the little cabin found just what it needed.
The book, The Hellestad House: A New Beginning for an Old Homestead was written by Sue Eiler and published by the Friends of Hartman Creek State Park, with partial funding from the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the Jeffris Family Foundation. In it are the stories of the struggles to responsibly restore the building, the search for the original builder, and the results of all the efforts of the many volunteers who aided the completion of the project. It is available for $4 at the park office and Hellestad House.
In 1997 Bob and Christine Faulks donated a well-built, worn down little log cabin to the park. The Friends scrambled to get financing, log specialists and volunteer labor to restore it for public use. By October of 1999, it was gleaming with fresh pine ceilings, floors, new windows, and lantern-like lighting. Some diligent digging resulted in the discovery of the original builder, his family, and a treasure trove of history.
The Hellestad House has been used to educate school groups each spring on the life story of the family that journeyed so far to become citizens of our community. For several days each summer, the Friends group opens the doors to welcome visitors where they can see the Hellestad family heirlooms along with changing displays of animal and plant life in the park.
We would like to open the doors more often, and to do that, we need volunteers. Those interested need not have experience in public speaking or in interpreting historical structures. We will train you and hours are flexible. Would you help share this wonderful piece of history with our visitors? If interested please stop at the park to obtain an application or contact the park at (715)258-2372.