Created By: North Dakota State University
Bergquist Cabin in Moorhead, Minnesota is a small, 14’ x 20’ log cabin made with hand-hewn oak logs, the largest of which reaches one foot in height. Its original brick chimney and shingle roof is still intact, although the placement of its windows and doors has changed over the years as the needs of the cabin changed. It is located on a bend of the Red River, today on the edge of a park. What makes this cabin special is its place in Moorhead’s history as the first permanent settlement structure in the town. Prior to its construction, Moorhead was filled with tent buildings and poorly constructed wooden homes that did not last long. It was built not as a subsistence structure, one that was built without ideas of permanence, but as a home, a place for a family to live permanently.
John Gustav Bergquist came from Sweden c. 1870 and built a cabin with the intent to farm the area around it. While he did farm for several years, eventually he moved to a different home in the early 1880’s, near his new brickyard business on the east end of town. He then divided the land he had once farmed, giving some of it to the city so that they could build a new courthouse in 1882-1883. The cabin was restored in the 1970’s by John Bergquists son, Jim, and his grandson, a local news weatherman, Dewey Bergquist. The Bergquist cabin today stands as testimony to the early lives of Moorhead settlers and to the man who helped build the town.
For more information on another of Moorhead's early settlers, Randolf Probstfield, viist site 37.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Moorhead Historic Preservation Walking Tour