Created By: North Dakota State University
Built in 1989, this building is a replica of land office that once stood in Cogswell, North Dakota and was a project of the Bonanza Belles (an auxiliary group of Cass County Historical Society).
Land offices were vitally important to the early Dakota pioneers. After the Homestead Act was passed in 1862 by President Lincoln, anyone over 21 years of age, men and women,could pick 160 acres and file with the local land office for a $14 processing fee. The settlers then had 6 months to "prove up" the land, which meant they had to improve it by building a house of some sort and break or plow at least 15 of thier acres. Once they had proved up, they could buy the land for $1.25/acre or farm the land for 5 years and recieve it for free.
The replica was a long-time dream of Carl Stenhjem, who also donated the Habberstad Cabin. The grillwork inside is from the treasurer's office at the County Courthouse and the desk was donated from an old land office.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Bonanzaville Full Village Tour