About our place

This location has an interesting history. At the turn of the last century, a Norwegian woman named Aase Haugen gave her estate to the Lutheran Church to be used to build a home in the country as a place for elderly Norwegians who had no family left. It was called the Aase Haugen Home. In the 1970’s, a new Aase Haugen home was built in town, and local artist Dean Schwarz purchased the large brick country building.

The land on which the original Aase Haugen home was built in 1914 was also platted at that time to be a town, given the name of Haugendale. Until the 1980’s, this was a stop on the Northern rail line, and there was a little depot, known as Haugendale Station. Friends and relatives rode the train out daily to Aase Haugen to have tea and socialize.

Historic information and images of the Aase Haugen Home, please click here.

Photos of the interior of the Home today.

The cottage is situated next to the large historic building that was the original Aase Haugen Home. The cottage was where the caretaker for the Aase Haugen Home lived.

The old Aase Haugen Home is now home to South Bear School, since 1976 a pottery and art school based in the Bauhaus tradition. The founder of the art school, Dean Schwarz, and family members live and work in his studio in the “big house”. On nice days you may see pots drying in the sun. Dean’s studio is also frequently a stop on the NE IA Studio Tour in the fall.