Stone Mill Hotel & Suites
in Lanesboro, MN
& Kussmaul Seeds

A few days ago, some visitors were at the Feed Mill and were shopping in the Art & Craft Gallery.  As the ladies were leaving, they noticed the feed bag display we have at our front desk.  You may remember the display as I blogged about it earlier this year (May 17, 2012).  As the one lady was looking at the bags, she immediately said “My dad started Kussmaul Seeds.”  It was a heartwarming moment for the few gathered as she recalled how her dad started the business.

Jean Kussmaul Bula, the youngest daughter in the family, sent us the picture of her as she is pointing to the feed bag from the company that her father started.  She also sent us the following information about how her father started Kussmaul Seeds.

He started the business in 1934 with just one acre. That was before electricity came to the area and he built a shed with a slotted floor and he used a wood stove to heat it. It took about 10 days to dry the corn. He had a B tractor driving the fan. He used a gas engine on the sheller and fed it by hand. The seed grader was run by a gas engine too and he could grade one bushel in about an hour. He sold his first crop for $4.00 a bushel! A few years later electricity came to the farm. Someone from the University of Wisconsin drew up plans for the first forced air corn dryer. Several farmers close by started to raise a little hybrid corn and brought it over to Dad for him to dry. He made good money—$1.00 a bushel! In 1939 his brother came into the business. He was a natural born salesman. He is going to be 99 in Feb. Dad died three years ago at the age of 97. His name was Rudolph Willard Kussmaul. My Uncle is Allen Kussmaul. “Rud” and “Al”. Like I said, Dairyland Seed bought it in the early 80′s and now it is owned by Dow Chemical but still goes by the name of Dairyland. Needless to say, we are all very proud of him.  

The picture to the left is of Rudolph Willard Kussmaul at one of the displays at the Cattle Congress in Waterloo, Iowa, in the early years.  Rudolph is the one on the far right in the green shirt and cap just behind the guy with his back to the camera.      

From feed and seed to rooms and suites.  The Feed Mill has quite a history and the legacy continues.  Isn’t it amazing what a small world we live in!  Lanesboro is so fortunate to receive so many visitors each year.  

 

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Introducing Fosse! The Indelible Spirit of Stone Mill Hotel & Suites

Oh, Hello there!  My name is Fosse the Chicken!

How are you today?

GREAT!  I am so glad to have this opportunity to visit with you!  I have so much to share with you about myself and the history of this beautiful building that is now the home of Stone Mill Hotel & Suites.

I tell you, there is never a dull moment here, or in Lanesboro. And over the last 50 or so years I have gotten to know a lot about this area, The Lamon – Mortimer family that takes such good care of my home here at the Mill and all of the unique little nooks, crannies and people that make Lanesboro such a great place to live and visit!

Hum…. (Fosse takes a thoughtful pause….) 

What, sorry … I was drifting off thinking about all the fine grain I am going to have for dinner….  Oh, you want me to tell you how I got to be here at the Mill.  I remember it like it was only yesterday!

The first time I set eyes on Stone Mill (then it was SL Fosse:  Dealer in Eggs and Poultry) it was a beautiful summer day.  I was out in the coupe doing what chickens do best (pecking grain that is) and the next thing you know I was in a crate, on the back of an old 1930’s Ford truck.  That wind from the ride ruffled my feathers terribly!  Every feather literally out of place and then if that was not bad enough they took the crate inside and yanked me out and started to pluck out my tail feathers!  I had had enough!  I was not going to stand for such treatment.  So, off the table I hopped and flapped and squawked until I could find a place to hide.  After that I learned how to stay out of the way of you crazy humans!  But I won’t hold that against you.

Anyway, time passed and they forgot about little oh me, and I learned to survive on crumbs dropped from the workers lunch pails and then when the building became grain storage some time in the 1950′s when the Hager’s became owners of the Mill, well, I tell you I was the happiest chicken this side of the Mississippi!  I had all the grain that I could eat and there was so much of it, no one even realized that at night I would eat my fill.  I had to have put on a few pounds during that time of plenty!

That’s the short of it!  I just wanted to take a few minutes to introduce myself, and share with you that I Fosse the Chicken will be making a few public appearances on the Stone Mill Hotel & Suites blog.  I will be telling you about events that come to town, like the one I just missed the Ibsen Festival, but we have a quite a few others so don’t you worry your pretty little head about that.  I will share with you some of my explorations around the Mill and read those great Journals that folks write in sharing their favorite things they did here in Lanesboro and some of the great people that live and work in Lanesboro.

So, so long for now… there’s a grain truck passing by and if I hurry I might just be able to catch some extra BˑEˑAˑUˑTˑIˑFˑUˑL grain as an appetizer before dinner!  I am a  connaisseur of fine grains!

See Ya soon and when you visit Lanesboro don’t forget to stop by and take a tour of my lovely home, Stone Mill Hotel & Suites!

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