Christmas in Siouxland, Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve

11 Nov

The Adams Homestead and Nature Preserve in North Sioux City, South Dakota, held a Christmas at the Homestead this past weekend with the various buildings decorated in a more subtle earlier Christmas decor. The Siouxland preserve spans 1,500 acres along the Missouri River and came into the possession of the state through the donation of the land by Mary and Maud Adams, granddaughters of the original homesteader Stephen Searl Adams. Mary Adams lived on the homestead until recent years when she passed away. A variety of trails traverse the wooded area allowing visitors to walk a few miles of level terrain, some of it along the river and other parts cutting through a cottonwood grove that had been a favorite of Mary’s when she was a child.

The Adams farmhouse was built in the 1880’s and moved to its current location in 1929 by Stephen Adams as the Missouri River’s channel kept migrating from its river bed, and before a U.S. Corps of Engineers tried taming the river to stay within a set channel. Also on the preserve is the Brusseau House, build in 1865 by Tophield Brusseau who came to the Dakota Territory as a homesteader in 1862. It serves as an example of what a home was like for early homesteaders in the territory.

Also at the the preserve is the Stavanger Lutheran Church and the Lamont Country School.The church was built in 1902 by immigrants from Stavanger, Norway and originally located north of Platte, South Dakota. Maud and Mary Adams purchased the church building in 1993 and had it moved to the homestead for restoration. The school was built in 1908 and closed in 1970. It was moved to this location and renovated in 1991. All together, the homestead provides visitors with a look back in time which some might consider simpler, but then again, earlier settlers faced their own set of problems.

Inside the church a group of carolers sang Christmas songs and inside the school youngsters created their own Christmas ornaments from arts and crafts supplied to them. Santa also paid a visit to the kids in the Welcome Center at the preserve where treats and hot cider and hot chocolate was served. More images can be found here.

Jerry Mennenga

Sioux City, Iowa

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