Maple Grove's Earliest Settlers Made the Most of Winter.

Life-long resident Emily Kohlers Amann remembers an earlier time.
Early Maple Grove residents Gilbert and Ella Koehler enjoyed winter in high style on their way to church.

One of the earliest settlers of Maple Grove was the Koehler family. Gottlieb and Gottlieben Koehler came to the area from Germany by way of Missouri. “This was right around the Civil War time and it was too violent with all the fighting going on in Missouri,” says great-granddaughter Emily (Koehler) Amann. The Koehlers built a log cabin in 1855 just south of where Hwy. 30 crosses Dunkirk Ln. N. In 1887, their son Jacob built a barn on the land northeast of Rush Creek that still stands next to the house the Koehlers built in 1889, lovingly kept in its original period style by Emily Amann.
The original windmill, still visible on the far side of the barn, pumped water for twenty dairy cattle and three horses; the residents carried this water up to the house for drinking and cooking.  The horses pulled the plow to grow the feed to sustain the cows, but one of them was assigned to duty pulling the sleigh. “It was referred to as a cutter,” remembers Amann.
Jacob and Amelia had two sons and two daughters. One son, Amann’s father, raised his family in the upstairs portion of the house, while the other brother, Gilbert, lived on the main floor with his wife Ella. The cutter belonged to them. It was used to visit friends or go to church on Sundays at St. John’s Lutheran. “These are not everyday clothes in the picture,” assures Amann.” I remember her wearing those fun hats. These were ‘going to church clothes’.”
The cutter hung in the pump house for many years, its red velvet upholstery unused. “When I was a child, they sold it to a family in Lake Minnetonka,” Amann explains. For many years, the Koehlers received a Christmas card with the new family pictured sitting in the sleigh.