Bonanzaville Agriculture Tour

Explore the history of bonanza farming in the Red River Valley and the impact bonanza farming had on small-town life.

Bonanzaville Agriculture Tour

West Fargo, North Dakota 58078, United States

Created By: North Dakota State University

Tour Information

Beginning in the 1870s, bonanza farming revolutionized the landscape of and life in the Red River Valley. This agricultural craze brought new people, jobs, profits, and technological advancement to the area and impacted many facets of rural community life. Take this tour if you are interested in hearing more on the days of bonanza farms and this industry's impact on community life in the Red River Valley.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

From the 1870s through the 1920s bonanza farms dominated the Red River Valley. These large, wheat-growing farms each covered thousands of acres and brought rapid development and change to all aspects of life in the Red River Valley. The Nor... Read more
The Trangsrud Elevator was originally built near Kindred, ND as a grainery in the early 1900's by Amund Trangsrud and his son, Henry. In the 1920's, the elevator and 10,000 pound scale for grain were added.  The elevator stands at 30 feet ... Read more
The grain harvested on bonanza farms would then be taken to flour mills like those in Minneapolis, or as the postcard above shows—Kindred, ND. The most efficient form of transport to do so was by train, like the Northern Pacific locomotiv... Read more
In the Horse-Drawn Building you can view a number of pieces of  equipment necessary to operate a bonanza farm. Though the industrial revolution had begun by this time, much of the equipment was still reliant on horsepower, like the threshe... Read more
General stores like the Furnberg Store were the one-stop shop in the 19th century. They sold everything from milk and foodstuffs to machinery and tools, to household goods and clothing. In addition to selling this ‘general’ merchandise ... Read more
In the Land Office Bank, settlers could file the claims to get their property through the Homestead Act of 1862. When the Northern Pacific Railroad planned its route through the Dakota Territory, it bought thousands of acres, which the comp... Read more
The Checkered Years House offers us a peek into daily life on a bonanza farm in more ways than one. The house was built in the 1870s or 1880s on a bonanza farm in Mapleton Township. In 1882 Walter Woodward moved into this house with his mot... Read more
The Houston Mansion, a bonanza farm house, was built by David H. Houston in 1881 near Hunter, ND. Houston was a Scottish immigrant who, upon settling in the U.S., became a farmer, poet, and inventor. The elegant house included maple floors,... Read more
This building was constructed to house Bonanzaville's large collection of early tractors. Tractors on display in this building span over 100 years and include manufacturers such as Case, Rumley, Chalmers, John Deere, Fordsons, McCormick Dee... Read more
In the Mourn Agricultural Building, you will find more examples of equipment used on bonanza farms, like the thresher and hay baler pictured. There are also examples of later equipment that followed, like the red thresher machine made about... Read more
Bonanza farms had large crews of workers who helped with all aspects of farming, from planting to threshing, but women had an impact on bonanza farms as well. They were most often responsible for feeding the crews of 20, 30, or even 50 men.... Read more


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