For some people, growing up and living in the same town is very common. But for New England resident Dan Gardner, he not only has lived in New England his whole life, but made his home on the same street, Main Street.
By RACHEL BOCK | Herald Reporter
Gardner was born in 1949, and attended St. Mary’s all through high school. While growing up, he lived in two houses on Main Street, one of the houses being owned by his grandfather William Gardner. William Gardner moved to New England from Blooming Prairie, Minn., and purchased a three story home located on Main Street in 1912.
After graduating from St. Mary’s, Gardner moved away to Fargo to attend college at North Dakota State University. He also was enlisted in the United States Army.
Gardner graduated from NDSU in 1971, and moved back to New England to live with his parents on Main Street, to help his father Leo Gardner farm.
In 1976, Dan married Maureen Beaudoin and as a young couple starting out, their first residence in New England was an apartment at Riverside Apartments, which is located on Main Street.
In 1979, Dan and Maureen purchased a house on Main Street, a house that was right across from his parents’ house.
In 1993, the Dan Gardner family moved again, but he found himself back where he originally started, in the house he grew up in.
The 1912 Gardner house has had three generations of Gardner families over the years. William Gardner (Dan’s grandfather) raised six children in that house, while Leo Gardner (Dan’s father) has raised seven children in the same house. Dan has raised nine children in the original Gardner house that he grew up in. Not only has he lived on Main Street his whole life, but Dan’s father Leo also lived on Main Street from the time he was four months old until his death in 1977.
“Just lack of originality,” Gardner said.
While living on Main Street, Gardner reminisces on how watching the train come into town as a young child was a special event.
He remembers when Highway 22 went through the town of New England. He recalls the first time Main Street was first paved and riding his bicycle down the newly paved street.
“I know growing up in New England, I was everywhere. I was in the lumberyard going up and down the lift they had in the back, trying to get kicked out of there. I robbed gardens, I lived down the river and built rafts,” Gardner said.
One of the nice things about living on Main Street his whole life, Gardner says, is how he is centrally located to everything. Gardner walks everywhere that he needs to go, and says that when he was attending school at St. Mary’s he would run because he was always late for school. Gardner said being late was a good thing, as he qualified for three state track meets, and his mile-relay team placed first and set a state record in 1967.
Gardner keeps himself busy farming and preparing taxes. He is also a member of the New England Fire Department, and the Ambulance Department. Gardner has also been the city judge for the past 15 years. As judge in New England he has heard traffic cases, and has performed two weddings.
“One time, my son Jack who is a priest was home helping me combine. I had to leave him on the combine, while I went home and did a wedding,” Gardner said.