The Dragon Tooth Walls


In 1968 Dr. Charles W. Mayo (Dr. Chuck), published details of several of the memorable aspects of the landscape in Mayo: the Story of My Family and My Career. He mentioned the characteristic curved approach drive edged by” a low stone wall topped with flat stones standing on their edges, like ragged teeth.” Locally called the dragon’s tooth wall, it was Charles H., according to his son, “from an English fence he had admired.” Several other unpublished sources have mentioned this dramatic wall. Mrs. Charles Sandberg  ttributed their construction to Robert Walde, who also built the Damon Hotel in Rochester (the E. A. Knowlton House). According to Sandberg, Walde owned a stone quarry on Highway 63 N. and was educated as a mason and forester in Germany.

Another local source, Gwen Edwards, suggests other Mayowood stone walls were built by the family of Albert and Julius Donnack. The stone walls that line Mayowood Road give definition to the entire estate and the gates and various other transitions are marked by graceful curves. Still another source, notes of a conversation on August 18, 1972 with Gerald Dreblow, suggests that his father, farm superintendent Elias R. Dreblow, built the walls (and, in fact the whole garden and the stonework in the conservatory).

Stone Barns

1907 – Dr. Charlie commences land purchase that would become a 3,200 acre estate. He acquired land to preserve views and trees also so he could take long walks without walking on another man’s property.

cir. 1910 – Dairy Barn constructed. (Farm No. 2). Became Mayowood Dairy. Dr. Charlie started Mayowood Dairy in an effort to show farmers they could produce pure, clean milk that could be sold at reasonable prices. Silo and milk house were a part of dairy operation. Barn demolished 1969.

cir. 1918 – Stone Barn constructed. Stones used in the foundation from quarries in the area and river bed nearby. Erected by 40 men over a two year period. Wood floor, installed because of Dr. Charlie’s love and respect for horses. Barn used to store carriages. Second floor used to store feed for horses, later (1940’s) used for dances and local festivals.

cir. 1920 – Stables constructed. Stables housed horses used for riding and to pull carriages. Stables used to raise ponies from breeding operation.
Sulky track to north of barn used to exercise and train horses. Storage on second floor for hay to feed horse.

Stone Fences

Stone Fence built in 1910 by Juluis Donnack, and his sons Alfred, Edward
and Juluis’s brother August Donnack.

Dragon tooth fence copy fences used in England to keep sheep in designated fields.
Purpose of fences; to channel water into roadside ditches, reduce flooding in pastures, block snow from drifting onto road.

More Information

cir. 1870 – Greek Revival House constructed.

cir. 1903 – White Gables south of farm. 1928 pillars added by Dr. Charlie, when 1909 Mayo Clinic Library was demolished. Dr Charlie’s daughter Edith (married to Dr. Fred Rankin) lived in the house. 1932 home deeded to Dr. Charlie’s daughter Louise Mayo, married to George T. Trenholm.

1901 – Farm House south of Maywood Road constructed. 1908 – Tea House AKA Ivy Lodge constructed.

1910-11 – Big House constructed.

1910 – Carriage House AKA Garages for Ivy Lodge constructed. 1915 – Greenhouse constructed.

Dr. Charlie claimed to be an Agriculturist. He said; “A farmer makes his money on the farm and spends it in town while an agriculturist makes his money in town and spends it on the farm. A farmer eats all he can’t sell, while an agriculturist sells all he can’t eat.

Horse Racing History

All the street names are named after mayo family women/wives.

Louise Lane

Hattie Lane

Alice Street

Edith Lane

Mayowood crt – ode to the location