The Bruentrup Heritage Farm was established in 1891. William Bruentrup married Ida Wagner and the bride’s family gave them 40 acres of land along White Bear Avenue as a wedding present. They added land until it reached 175 acres. Four generations of the family have farmed there. The farmhouse was somewhat modernized in 1912.
Over the years the surrounding land was being developed. A large part of the Bruentrup property had been sold, including the many acres where Maplewood Mall is now located. In 1997 the developers offered the Bruentrup family a very good price for their land. The Bruentrup’s offered the City of Maplewood the first chance to buy it. The City sent out a questionnaire to the citizens of Maplewood. The responses were very positive to the idea of saving the farm in that location.
The newly formed Maplewood Area Historical Society became interested at that time. Private citizens and local businesses were sent pledge forms. The Historical Society raised over $20,000, but time was running out and the developers purchased the property. A group of Society members convinced our State Legislators to carry a bill to fund the moving of the farm buildings on to City-owned Open Space. The bill passed with the help of many citizen lobbyists.