Explore this authentic farm site, built in the 1850s, that will take you back to what life was like on the farm when the state was first founded. After the signing of the Treaty of Traverse de Sioux in 1851, settlers from the Eastern United States and Europe came by boat, ox cart, covered wagons, and on foot to this newly opened land seeking a new life for their families. 

The Dugout

For some pioneers, a dugout was their first home in Minnesota. Pioneer farms were “people-powered” with assistance from farm animals. Children helped wash clothes by hand, sow seeds in the fields, churn butter, and carry water.  

The main crops grown in this region were wheat, corn, barley, and various root crops. Most of the settlers were farmers during this time period in Minnesota.

The Hovel

The early settlers built their homes out of whatever resources were available in their area. Wooden homes and animal shelters were constructed out of trees in wooded areas, and dug-outs and sod buildings were constructed on the prairie.

The Log Cabin

When enough logs were leaned and squared off, the log cabin was built, often with the help of neighboring farmers. Building a cabin was a fun social activity when the neighbors were involved.  The two windows in the log cabin were a luxury. They had to be imported by rail or steamboat from hundreds of miles away. The log cabin, hovel, and dug out would serve as shelters and storage for pioneer families for generations.