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

A dugout may have been the first shelter for pioneers. Pioneer farms were “people-powered” with assistance from farm animals. Children were essential workers on the farm, where clothes were washed by hand, seeds hand sown, butter churned, and water carried from the creek or well.

The main crops grown in this region were wheat, corn, barley, and various root crops. At this time in our state history, most of the settlers were farmers.

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.