Pioneer Village

Pioneer Village

Our diverse village has buildings from numerous eras and offers a unique glimpse into what life in Cass County and early North Dakota was like from the mid 1800's when the Dakota Territory was first organized up until today.

To learn more about each building and see pictures, click on the title of the building. 

Arthur Town Hall

Built in the 1890s at a cost of $1,000, the city of Arthur, ND held plays, meetings, graduations, and movies in this building. The stained glass windows are from the Little Theater Company at NDSU.

Blacksmith Shop

Originally from Tower City, ND, it includes the original furnishings and tools such as the trip hammer and forge.
Buffalo Bandstand: Bandstands, like this example from Buffalo, ND, were found in most towns in the Nineteenth Century.

Bjerklie Drug Store

The interior of this building displays the furnishings of the former Bjerklie Drug Store in Gilby, ND.

Brass Rail Saloon and Hotel

A typical late Nineteenth Century small town hotel, café, and saloon from Page, ND. This building is furnished just as it was 100 years ago, without indoor plumbing.

Buffalo Bandstand

 Bandstands, like this example from Buffalo, ND, were found in most towns in the Nineteenth Century. 

Case Eagle

This 1911 eagle, known as “Old Abe,” was originally found on the former J.I. Case building on NP Avenue in Fargo.

Cass-Clay Creamery

Replica of a common 1920s small town creamery. Many of the furnishings are originally from the Kenmare, ND creamery– the last of its kind.

Cass County District Courthouse

The furniture displayed is from the original Cass County Courthouse and the interior is arranged as it appeared in 1904. However, this building originally served as the Hagemeister School in Berlin Township from 1930-1956.

Checkered Years House

This home is from a bonanza farm in Mapleton Township. Mary Dodge Woodward, the first resident of the home, moved it west from St. Paul. After her death, her granddaughter compiled her diaries into a book entitled The Checkered Years, which is for sale in the gift shop.

Dawson Hall

This building is used for demonstrations and programs during the annual Pioneer Days celebration. It can also be rented for wedding receptions, corporate gatherings and meetings. Remodeling, funding and much of the building contents were donated by museum patron Jim Dawson. 

Dobrinz School

Built in 1895, the school served Mapleton Township well into the Twentieth Century. The school was named for John Dobrinz, a farmer who lived near the school and father of thirteen of its students.

Eagle Air Museum

The Eagles Air Museum exhibits a collection of over a dozen aircraft and related artifacts, as well as other vehicles.

Embden Depot

The depot was built by the Northern Pacific Railroad in 1900.

Eugene Dahl Car Museum

This building houses a collection of over sixty vehicles from the early years of automobiles to more modern vehicles. Many of the vehicles were donated by Eugene Dahl and Lester Melroe who purchased a large collection of automobiles from the Paul Hemp Automobile Museum in Rochester, Minnesota.

Fargo’s First House

The first permanent house in the Fargo area built by immigrants in 1869 near Fourth Street and Second Avenue South. It also has served as a jail, hotel, and home to the Martin Hector Family.

Forness Log Cabin

Patterned after the ranch style log cabins of the Nineteenth Century, this house was moved from rural Fargo and is one of Bonanzaville’s first buildings.

Furnberg Store:

This building was built in the late 1800s by Christian Furnberg near the train stop at Osgood, ND. The store provided settlers with necessary supplies and also served as a post office. The store closed in 1953 after nearly 75 years in business.

Great Northern Gate House

Habberstad Cabin

Built by a group of Finnish settlers in 1874, it was originally located northeast of Kindred, ND, on the Sheyenne River.

Hagen House:

Built by Martin Hagen in 1897 near Horace, ND. four generations lived here without electricity or indoor plumbing. Of note is the summer kitchen behind the house.

Harness Shop

From Addison, ND, this building was used for harness repair and oiling, and horseshoe repair.

Horse Drawn Building

This museum houses Bonanzaville’s wide collection of horse-drawn vehicles and equipment. Buggies, sleighs, farms wagons, drays and a milk wagon are just a few of the vehicles located here.

Houston House

This beautiful bonanza farm house was built in 1881 by David Houston south of Hunter, ND for $7,000. Houston was a Scottish immigrant, farmer, poet, and inventor of the roll film camera. This was truly an elegant home for its time with maple floors, cherry and oak wainscoting, walnut stairs, and large bay windows.

Hunter Times:

Originally from Hunter, ND, the newspaper flourished until the 1940s. Among the machinery on display here is a strip casting machine, hand-operated press, flatbed press, and linotype machine.

Kathryn Depot/Spud Valley Railroad Club

This building is home to the Spud Valley Model Railroad Club which operates a model railroad inside.

Land Office Bank

This is a replica of a Cogswell, ND building. The land office was where hopeful new land seekers would file their plots and after proving up their land would receive titles to their property.

Law Enforcement Museum

The Fargo Auxiliary Police Association joined with other law enforcemnt agencies to furnish and maintain the exhibits in this building. 

Maier House

This house was built by John and Dora Maier in 1896 on a site south of Moorhead, MN.

Martinson Cabin:

Former home of the North Dakota poet and labor organizer Henry D. Martinson.

Melroe Tractor Building

This building shares the rich history of American agricultural innovation. It features many manufacturers including Case, Hart-Parr, Rumley and Allis Chalmers. J.I. Case was a prolific steam engine builder. Steam engines were heated by a variety of fuels ranging from wood to coal and even straw. Two of the earliest steam engines built by Case are in this building.

Moum Agricultural Building

Early agricultural technology as well as more recent inventions are housed in this building. Farm machinery implements ranging from threshing machines to plows to seeders, walking plow and diesel- driven tractors can be found in this building. The very first Steiger tractor is Housed here.

Pioneer Fire Company

Built by area firefighters as a replica of an 1890s station, this building contains several hand pulled carts, one of the original horse drawn wagons of the Fargo Fire Department, and replicated living quarters upstairs.

Railroad Museum

The railroad museum houses an 1883 Northern Pacific steam locomotive, caboose, Russell snow plow, and a 1930 eighty-passenger coach. The water tower and column were used by the Northern States Power Plant in downtown Fargo.

Steam Engine Museum

Steam Museum

Telephone Museum

Enter the first telephone museum in North Dakota. The Telephone Pioneers of America converted the old Tower City, ND, hardware store into a communications museum.

Thue-Brink Store

A general store from Horace, ND, built in 1896 by H. H. Thue and C. O. Brink. The post office was also part of the building and was operated for 56 years by the Thue Family.

Trangsrud Elevator

The Trangsrud elevator was originally built as a granary in the early 1900’s near Kindred, ND by Amund Trangsrud and his son, Henry. The scale and elevator were added later, around the 1920’s.

Trangsrud  House

The Trangsrud House was constructed between the late 1860's and 1871. Amund and Rikka Transgrud lived in the house for seven years then moved out. The house continued to be used as a bunkhouse for hired men during the summer and eventually used as storage.

U-R Next Barber Shop

Built in 1900 by Buffalo, ND, many of the objects on display are original to the shop, including the back bar and wooden barber chairs.

Water Tower

Wheatland Town Hall and Jail

Built in 1905 in Wheatland Township, ND, the building housed two constables, a justice of the peace, and lawbreakers.