Location: 19185 Akin Road
The Daniel F. Akin House holds a unique position in Minnesota and national history; it has been the site of continuous weather observation since 1885. Coupled with Fort Snelling weather observations, the area surrounding the Twin Cities can boast over 160 years of continuous daily weather records free from urban “heat island” effects. Daniel Akin (1828-1909) was born in New York state, educated at Yale University, and came to St. Paul from Virginia in 1856. Soon after, he settled in Lakeville Township (that part which was later annexed by Farmington) and built his limestone house between 1856 and 1860. Akin began his weather observations for the Army Signal Corps, then continued with the National Weather Bureau when it was established in 1891. A farmer and surveyor, Akin also served as president of the Dakota County Fair Association from 1872 to 1876.
Akin’s descendants kept up the tradition of weather observation. Perhaps the most famous of these descendants was Jerome Akin (1896-1985), Daniel’s grandson, who kept weather records for sixty years. (He also served as county commissioner from 1949 to 1968.) In 1975 Jerome Akin recalled some weather highlights, citing 1936 as the most extreme year. That year he recorded 40 days of zero or below including one day of 40 below. He also recorded a summer shade temperature of 110. The worst winter storm he recorded was the 1940 Armistice Day Blizzard and the worst summer storm was a storm that struck north of Lakeville on May 9, 1973.