The history that started with the Gillette's continues in Michele & Jason.
The original 480 - acre Pine Brook Farm was owned and used as a retreat by Dr. Arthur Gillette, an orthopedic surgeon for whom the Gillette Children’s Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. was named.
At the turn of the century, Dr. Gillette brought his Twin Cities colleagues here to trout fish.
In 1914, the doctor hired great nephew Harvey Gillette and his wife Mary as caretakers. The farm was deeded over to them after Dr. Gillette’s death in 1921.
MARY SORENSON-GILLETTE, AGE 16 BORN JUNE 23, 1882 VERNDALE, MN
They couple raised five sons here: George (Bud), Berthel (Bert), Arthur (Art), Jack and Harvey, Jr. The 110-ft. barn, built in 1914, was central to their dairy and beef operations. The farmhouse was rebuilt in the late 1940s to early 1950s on the original foundation.
Harvey Sr. & Mary Gillette
THE ORIGINAL FARMHOUSE
After Harvey, Sr. was killed in a tractor accident in 1957 and Mary died in 1966, sons Jack and Harvey, Jr. took over the farm.
Jack was a Staff Sergeant in the Army 383rd Infantry in World War II. Harvey was the Crystal town chairman and a member of the Washburn County Board. There is no shortage of endearing stories about those two, eagerly shared by family, friends and neighbors.
The bachelor farmers lived happily here until they died in 2010 and 2011. The farm was left to their 12 nieces and nephews, who put it up for sale in 2012.
Michele Law and Jason Martell bought 85 acres of the farm, including all the buildings, the barn, the brook, and the spectacular views. They spent nearly a year cleaning up the property and remodeling the farmhouse into Pine Brook Farm Restaurant, carefully incorporating the original floors, radiators, fireplace, and bathroom sink into the design. The beautiful rough sawn wood used throughout the restaurant was milled on site.