Lake Harriet Elf, Minneapolis, MN


The Lake Harriet Elf (aka “Mr. Little Guy”) lives at the base of an ash tree on the south shore of Lake Harriet in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He moved into the tree in 1995.

Although never seen by the public, Mr. Little Guy allows the public to post notes and letters by opening the 6-inch tall door to his house and placing them inside the tree for safe keeping until he has time to answer each and ever one of them.

Local legend says that notes left in the tree for the elf are always answered with a message. Each reply ends with, “I believe in you.” Sometimes children leaves gifts and candy for the elf, as well.

The content of the letters can range from the serious, “My parents are getting a divorce” to the whimsical, “Do you like Salsa?”

Although Mr. Little Guy is reclusive, certain facts have been garnered over the years from his letters:

  • He’s taller than his younger brother and shorter than his older brother.
  • He likes to eat minnow cake and pizza.
  • He loves baking chocolate chip cookies.
  • He gets a lot of his jokes from ladybugs.
  • He cooks on a grill made from a walnut shell.
  • His bicycle is the size of a mushroom.
  • His bedroom is wallpapered with notes written by “big people.
  • And lastly, his birthday is August 15th.

In 2014, it was reported that a special ceremony was planned to honor Mr. Little Guy upon the 20th anniversary of his service to the community.

The elf tree can be found between the bike and walking trails, just past South Oliver Avenue. If you walk the path by Queen Avenue you will come to a “T”.

During the winter season, the elf door is shut with a message reading “moved to his castle in the east.” It reopens around springtime.

NOTE: There is a similar elfin door at the base of a tree in Deming Heights Park in Minneapolis.

Lake Harriet Elf
1300 E 42nd St
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55419

Mr. Little Guy (Website)


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Thomasville, North Carolina.

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Posted in Parks - Municipal

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