The Anoka County Historical will present an Anoka County Century Farm award to Melvin D. Gjertvig at the band shell on the Anoka County Fairgrounds at noon Wednesday, July 25.
The St. Francis farm was first purchased by the family by Melvin O. Gilson, Gjertvig’s great grandfather, in 1912 and has been in continuous operation ever since.
March 30, 1912, Melvin O. Gilson, who originally hailed from Illinois, purchased Section 33 of Township 34, Range 24, consisting of 40 acres for $400 from Charlie Streetly. In July of that same year, Melvin sold the 40 acres to his son, George G. Gilson. George, who was born in the Anoka area, had just returned to Minnesota after spending some time in Palo Alto, Calif., as a baker.
George worked the farm as a bachelor farmer until his death in 1935. His mother, Anna A. Gilson continued to live on the farm after Melvin died in 1916. After George’s death, Anna inherited the farm.
In July 1950, Anna’s daughter, Gertrude Gjertvig, purchased the farm from the estate for a cost of $600. Gertrude and her husband Harry operated the farm for a short time before ownership was transferred to their son, Ronald Gjertvig through a warranty deed in 1954.
Ron worked the farm and the adjoining 40 acres (which were also a family plot), until the land transferred to his son and the current owner, Melvin D. Gjertvig. Today some of the land is rented for crops and Melvin raises cattle on the property.
ACHS presents awards to farms that have been farmed within the same bloodline for 100 years or more and consist of 40 acres or more. This is the 36th Anoka Century Farm award given by the historical society since the program began in 1978.
The Anoka County Historical Society, organized in 1934, is headquartered in the Anoka County History Center and Library at 2135 Third Ave. N. in Anoka. For more information on its programs and activities visit www.ac-hs.org.