Stories

“Five Points Crossing is a Historic Complex of Early Trails

When Chris Platz bought his house, the inspector said, “Daniel Boone must have built it” Chris and is fiancé, Jessica Pfeil, live at Five Points Crossing, a historic intersection in Stearns County’s LeSauk Township. The house stands on the edge of Sartell’s future development, where several farms, including four Century Farms, are clustered near County Roads 4 and 13.

In 1861, Mathias Staubach and his wife, Gertrud, purchased the LeSauk site from the federal government. Sometime between 1861 and 1878, when the Staubachs sold the property to Peter and Maria Schmitt, Staubach erected his house in a corner where two roads meet at Five Points.

When Florence and Clarence Heim bought the farmsite in 1957, it had, besides the house, a chicken coop, a barn, a granary, a blacksmith shop, a machine shed, and a sawmill. Florence said that when the couple occupied the house it had been used as a granary and had no running water. The Heims razed all of the buildings, except for the house.

The house retains many of its original features today, including rough-hewn rafters, plank flooring, and a fieldstone foundation. A first-floor support beam shows ax marks on two sides and bark on the others. At the time when it was used as a granary someone nailed Copenhagen tins over the floor cracks to keep oats from filtering through. Florence said her husband and her father-in-law, William Heim, both chewed snuff, so the plugs may have been signs of their handiwork.

Like Clarence and Florence Heim, Chris and Jessica share a connection with the pioneer past. Tired of paying gas bills, Chris hooked up a woodstove that he feeds from the woods behind the house. Because so many people stopped to ask about his woodpile, Chris set up a mini, self-serve wood business in his yard, using a coffee can to collect change. Chris, who works for Schwan’s Fine Foods, and Jessica, an SCSU senior in elementary education, hope to restore parts of the house to their pioneer appearance.

Behind the house is a stand of oak trees, a tiny remnant of the Big Woods that once covered eastern Stearns County. Today, these woods shelter deer and turkeys, and until recently, coyotes. With access to both town and country, Chris says he and Jessica have the best of both worlds. Today, only four roads meet at Five Points Crossing. An 1874 atlas shows dense woods and a handful of dwellings, an indication that Five Points Crossing may have been a Native American site. Florence and William Heim found a pipe carved from a bone when the barn was razed. A neighbor, the late Veronica Lahr, told Florence that she fed Indians who came to her door in the 1890’s. The proximity to the 19th-century Oxcart Middle Trail is an added historic dimension to the Five Points area.

I would like to see the county erect a permanent marker to honor this unique Central Minnesota Landmark.”

Morgan, William Towner. Earth, Wood, Stone Vol. II, Central Minnesota Lives and Landmarks, pg. 122-123.