FARM + HISTORY

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Our Mission: Conserving, interpreting, and sharing the heritage and legacy of  the Randolph M. Probstfield family farm.

Founded by Randolph Probstfield in 1868, the Probstfield Farm is the site of the oldest standing home in the Red River Valley.
We are located north of Moorhead along the Red River on Oakport Street (11th Street) in Oakport Township.  The farm features several historic buildings, working antique tractors and machinery, 118 acres of farmland, a 2.5 acre organic community garden, and a “Pick-Your-Own” pumpkin and squash patch.

We host variety of living history activities during the year. Visitors can watch antique tractors at work during our Historic Plowing Bee; feast in the farmyard on the finest local foods prepared by the communities best local chefs during the Sunday Supper; or pick pumpkins, enjoy a hayride, and feel the repercussion of gunfire and artillery blasts during the civil war re-enactment lead by the 5th Minnesota Company D and 3rd Minnesota Artillery reenactors during the annual Harvest Festival.

Restoration, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects are underway. Several of the buildings need significant repairs in order to keep them standing.  In recognition of the farm’s 150th Anniversary, we are replaced the roof on the Probstfield’s log home (circa 1868), the oldest standing structure in the United State’s Red River Valley. We will start restoration of the Old Trail Market–the regions oldest gardens and roadside vegetable market–shortly after.

2 thoughts on “FARM + HISTORY

  1. dermotmonaghan

    Is this the Probsfeld farm written of in “The Great Lone Land” describing a visit in 1870, with few details, but predicting an increase in the family presence in the Valley. ?

    Reply
    1. Probstfield Farm Post author

      Hello Mr. Monaghan, I took the liberty of looking up “The Great Lone Land” and specifically the chapter where the author is traveling overland by oxcart with the Captain of the steamer “International” They are driven to seek shelter by storms and mosquitos at the home of “Prussian” Probsfield on their way to Georgetown, which was considered the head of navigation on the Red at the time. The author does not speak very kindly of Herr Probsfield (though he did speak well of Mrs. Probsfield) and he misspells the name Probstfield. However, the time, location, and details are such that it is impossible to dismiss that he was indeed visiting the Probstfield Family at their farm. The farmhouse at Probstfield Farm is today the oldest known standing farmhouse of that era on the American side of the border (dating to 1868). R.M. Probstfield would’ve been known to the steamer captain as they were among the people who cut firewood to supply the boilers of the steamers that would call on the river south of Georgetown when navigation was opened into Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN by the dredging of the Red River. Even with dredging, the steamers could not fully load until they had passed northward out of the shallower parts of the river. Once past the shallows, the steamers would stop at the farms along the river like the Probstfields’ (Probstfield’s Landing) who had firewood to sell. Today the road that runs past the farm is called Oakport Road for that very reason. It is also known that the Red River Oxcart trail passed very close to the Probstfield home.
      As to the family presence, Randolph and Catherine Probstfield had 13 children, 10 of which survived to adulthood. We are honored to have Randolph’s Great Granddaughter as one of our board members.

      Regards,
      Paul Sando, VP of the Board of the Probstfield Farm Living History Foundation
      Assoc. Professor of Geography at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

      Reply

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