“It’s just always been there; children of our families would swing on it; we played ‘train’ on it with one of them being the conductor handing out the tickets and the others would be the passengers. Those boards in the seats have been replaced and repainted many times,” remarked Grace. And although she doesn’t remember who actually made the 7-plus foot tall metal structure, this two-seater swing still stands proudly in the back portion of her yard at 201 N. Main St., Westby.
Known by many longtime Westby locals as the Hagen house, this three-story majestic home has been and continues to be the residence of Grace Peterson. Many readers will recall her late husband, Roger, who worked at the former Erickson Hardware store following his service in the Navy. He was then employed for 31 years at the Westby Bank. The couple married at Our Savior’s Church in Westby in June of 1957.
The home was built in 1903 by Roger’s grandfather, Otto Hagen; he gave the home to his daughter, Lydia, who was Roger’s mother. Solid oak woodwork can be enjoyed throughout the home’s interior and a large stained glass window can be seen at the stair’s mid-landing on the north-facing side of the house. Again, many long time Westby residents might recall that Otto owned and ran the Hagen Grocery Store and was married to Mina. They had five children: Phillip, Ruben, Lydia, Wilbur and Harriet.
The swing, with it strong bespoked braces and metal star on top, now stands quite motionless most days. But it is a loving reminder of the family that called this place home over the many decades. Grace put it very well: “ There certainly was a lot of living in this home over the years.” Grace herself just celebrated her 70th Westby High School class reunion in August of 2019 and stays very active in her community.