1873 Lysgard Farmhouse & Summer Kitchen

EMT Ft lygard home 08-15-06

In 1867 Norwegian immigrants, Andrew Olson (Lysgard) and Mary Solsten sailed on the same ship from Christiania (now Oslo), Norway to Quebec. They traveled to Decorah, Iowa, where they were married. In May 1870, they loaded their possessions into a covered wagon, pulled by two oxen, and came to Delafield township, Jackson County. A sod house was constructed and became their home for the next 3 years.

In 1873, lumber was hauled from Lake Crystal to construct the 14' by 22' two-story home. This is the center section of the house, consisting of the dining room, a lower bedroom, small pantry and two upstairs bedrooms. In 1890, a parlor and additional bedroom were added. In 1895 they added the kitchen area. Electricity was added in 1920, but the family always depended on a kitchen pump for water. Andrew and Mary had 3 daughters and lived out their lives in this home. Descendants of the Lysgards lived in the home until 1958.


Until relocating the house to Fort Belmont in the year 2000, it was maintained as a family museum near Wilder, about 20 miles northwest of Jackson. Interior surfaces had been painted only once or twice until restoration in 2001. The colors and wallpaper used, closely match the original paint.


The summer kitchen built in 1900, was the site of canning, drying, smoking, pickling, butchering and summer cooking. They also used it for laundry and soap making. Early pioneers produced almost all of their own food, consequently, much time was spent preserving food for winter months.