John H. Stevens House

4901 Minnehaha Avenue S.
  Minneapolis MN  55418
  (located in Minnehaha Falls Park)


'The Birthplace of Minneapolis'

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John H. Stevens House


Storyteller, Larry Johnson - now available for presentations at schools and other organizations

In 1849 John and Helen Stevens built a small frame house where the downtown Minneapolis Post Office is now located, across the river from St. Anthony Main (then St. Anthony Village).  In and around that house, they helped organized the city of Minneapolis, Hennepin County, the first Minneapolis school, early support systems for agriculture, and the first State Fair.

In 1896 thousands of school children (with a little help from some horse teams) pulled the house from Cedar-Riverside (where it had been moved, rented, and then abandoned) to Minnehaha Park in an official act of historic preservation.

Now, Larry Johnson, Stevens House storyteller and guide, is able to bring this exciting history to your school or group.  Depending on time and age of the group, program can include:

  • The fascinating history of the Stevens' House and family.
  • Telling GERDA PULLS HARDER THAN THE HORSES, a historically accurate, fictional tale of how thousands of Minneapolis school children pulled the house across town to preserve it.
  • A math/science/physical ed activity where children actually calculate their own horsepower.
  • Learning to play some of the old time games and toys common at the time of the Stevens' work here.


Larry Johnson is with KEY OF SEE STORYTELLERS at

He taught storytelling/video/environment as a specialist for over 20 years in the Minneapolis schools.  Before that, he used storytelling to teach outdoor education as a camp director, and then with the GETTING WELL PROCESS by starting the first participatory patient TV channel at Minneapolis Children's Hospital.  He has taught and told stories at Cousin Camp, with his13 grandchildren, as well as at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, the Kennedy Center, the State Fair, Sweden and Norway, and many, many more. 

To book this special program, call 612-747-3904 or email
Program fees are $125 for one 45-60 minute program, or $300 for a full day. 
Full day can be presenting in multiple classes, or coordination with nearby schools.  20% of each fee goes into our general fund for operation of Stevens House activities.





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