HJ/EDJuly 3, 2006

Couple builds fence of all doors

By Roz Kohls
Staff Writer

Tom Veitch and Gayle Fuguitt wanted to give back to Dassel for all the joy they’ve had there the past year and a half. So the couple decided to re-invest in the town by helping to preserve its heritage.

The couple, originally from Minneapolis, erected a folk art fence along the side of their property at Spring Lake Farm on the east edge of Dassel. The fence is constructed all of doors.

Some of the doors come from Spring Lake Farm, some were given to the couple, and some came from old farmhouses in the Dassel area. Veitch said they wanted the doors they collected for the project to match the farm house they bought from Dale and Cheryl Nordstrom. The main building dates back to 1893. If those doors could talk, they could tell many stories, he said.

“We wanted to preserve the heritage of Dassel,” Veitch said.

The doors are in various styles, some have windows, some don’t, and the doors on the farm side are in various colors.

On the Highway 12 side of the fence, all the doors will be painted dark green to blend in with the trees, but they still retain the variety and charm of being doors and not planks of wood. About a third of the fence was painted by Wednesday, Veitch pointed out.

Why does Veitch love Dassel so much?

“This town captures the best of all small towns,” said Veitch, who also grew up in a small town in North Dakota.

The couple loves to shop in the local stores. “There’s good coffee in town,” he added.

When they were looking for a new home, after he retired from marketing, they wanted one in rural Minnesota, that was near a lake, “something that had some feeling to it,” Veitch said.

Spring Lake Farm fit the bill perfectly. In addition to constructing the all-door fence, they have been redesigning, renovating and preserving the farm house also. Jeff and Don Lind of Don Lind Construction of Buffalo constructed the fence and were working on the porch railing last week.

Construction of the fence began in June. The couple first contacted the highway department to make sure it was OK to build it in the proximity of Highway 12. The couple also received a permit from the City of Dassel and had the fence inspected, Veitch said.

“We wanted to make sure it’s built well,” he said.

A metal drip line is installed on top. Although all the wood is recycled, it is good quality to begin with. In the meantime, the couple has been praying it won’t rain until the project is complete.

“We’re very proud of it,” Veitch said.

The couple had Dassel City Administrator Myles McGrath look it over also. McGrath had suggested they paint the doors all one color on the highway side. He also mentioned that the fence might block some of the highway noise.

McGrath was right about the fence muffling the noise of the highway, a benefit Veitch said they didn’t expect.

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