Holt House – Granite Falls, MN


Holt House is bed and breakfast located on the Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway at 13035 30 Ave SE, Granite Falls, Minnesota. Opened in 2001, this charming rural getaway is the home of the Minnesota Grove Gnomes.

According to Innkeeper Mary Gillespie, The Grove Gnomes were once woodland gnomes from northern Minnesota. Some also immigrated with humans from Scandinavia and other countries, hidden in their luggage. The gnomes had the same reasons for immigration as the woodlands in their European homelands were getting crowded with humans.


By the 1920s, farm groves which had been planted in the past 50 years of settlement were reaching a point of maturity which was acceptable to gnome settlement. The HG (Head Gnome) then enlisted the help of loons and Canadian geese to move some of the Northwoods population to these farm groves. These Grove Gnomes gradually changed their attire to bib overalls and a cap with included a visor. Farming and machinery invention was added to their many talents. Gnomes could easily move between groves through the furrows and planted field rows.


The population of Grove Gnomes boomed when human Ben Frederickson lived at the Holt House. Being from Norway, he understood the ways of the gnomes and didn’t allow any hunting in his grove. They also helped him in his woodshop and he, in turn, gave them small scraps of wood to use.

The gnomes helped watch over Holt House when it was empty of humans. To repay their kindness, Mary Gillespie, the current owner of Holt House agreed to sell some of their products in her gift shop. The Gnomes have also kindly given access to a trail through their magic Grove where visitors perchance can catch a glimpse of these enchanted creatures.


NOTE:The Holt House was built in 1884 for William H. Holt, a Loudon, New Hampshire resident who came to Minnesota with his wife, Clara Susan Cate, daughter of John K. Cate and Amorette Eastman. Holt commissioned architect R.W. Crandall to build the unique octagonal shaped house, one of only 600 octagonal style homes constructed in the country.

In 1889, the Holts sold their estate/farm to Henry Cross. It stayed in that family until about 1918. Oliver Tedemanson owned the farm after 1918 for an uncertain number of years. In 1942, after damage by a tornado, Ben Frederickson bought it and lived there until his death. His wife Gladys lived in the house until 1988. In 2000, the Gillespie-Otaibi family purchased the house and turned the historic building into a bed and breakfast and antique shop.

Holt House
13035 30 Ave SE
Granite Falls, MN 56241

Holt House Bed and Breakfast (Website)
Holt House Bed and Breakfast (Facebook)


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Thomasville, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Hotels, Motels and Inns

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