PHOTOS by Hillary Ehlen
BY Simone Wai & Joe Burgum
Even as a child, Brenda Weiler knew that her family’s historic Queen Anne home in the Hawthorne Neighborhood was something special. “We trudged through the snow to school, biked downtown and went sledding at the dike. Our whole existence was in this district,” said Weiler.
After moving back to Fargo with her husband, Derek Harnish, these fond memories led them to purchase their own home in the neighborhood. Soon after the couple moved in, the anxieties of caring for a home and preserving a piece of history led Weiler to consult her father on his experience. His advice? “Give yourself some time to live in it and get to know it. You’ll start to understand it and become friends with it.”
After 11 years, the friendship between family and home is still going strong.
The couple, with their daughter, Ruby, enjoy their home’s natural light and the open floor plan of the classic foursquare layout. The craftsmanship of the original stairway banister and fireplace mantle accent their minimal, modern style. Carefully curated furniture and accessories fill their space in a way that is comfortable and flexible. “We tend to have smaller pieces of furniture we can move around. Rearranging every year allows us to create new moments and memories in our space,” said Harnish.
Though the home celebrates its centennial this year, the current homeowners have not had to make many updates aside from painting and adding new light fixtures. They did have to replace the roof, but Weiler and Harnish simply consider this to be a part of owning a piece of history.
The Hawthorne Neighborhood Association brings together neighbors and business owners to create a strong and vibrant community. Join them for neighborhood socials, quarterly meetings and their biennial Historic Home Tour.
The Historic Hawthorne Neighborhood is part of Fargo’s original townsite and is at the core of the National Register Southside Historic District. It was named after Hawthorne Elementary School, located on 6th Street and 8th Avenue South.