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A man and his historic land

CARNATION - When King County named the Hjertoos Farm in Carnation a landmark in 1986, owner Roger Thorson thought it was "cool." Nearly 20 years later, and with the prestigious addition of being listed on the National Register of Historic Places, he has a lot more to say.

"I did learn there's a big sense of responsibility. It doesn't sound fun but I'm beginning to learn how to relate to a sense of place," he said. "It's deeper than I ever thought it was."

His introspection began in 1996 when he traveled to his family's hometown in Norway. Thorson stumbled upon a family reunion and reconnected with relatives his side of the clan hadn't seen in a century. After visiting the 400-year-old Norwegian family farm, Thorson vowed that his land would have a similar future.

"You don't just sell the property to fund your retirement. That's my commitment. I won't sell the place," he said. "I'll starve in retirement."

Thorson's efforts to preserve two key landmarks on his acreage, known as the Carnation Tree Farm, has won him national and county recognition. The barn and the 1907 home recently have joined about 1,000 other properties in the state to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Broadacre Farm in Carnation and the Laura and Horatio Allen Farm in Duvall were also added to the National Register this year.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this weeks Valley Record

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