Our Artisan Barn was built in June/July 2009 and with the grand opening on July 19th.  During our annual County Fair in July, we will have crafters; Wood Carvers, Potter, Gords, Basket, Caning, Candles etc,  making and displaying their wares.

    Six forges in the blacksmith shop come alive with items being made for use by both the pioneer men and women. Items include spoons. Forks, candleholders, pans for cooking, hammers, nails, hooks, horseshoes, etc.. The blacksmith was the most important shop in town because he could make anything needed. A good blacksmith could make link chain welding each link to the next.

    This log building constructed by the Amish, houses several antiques and furnishes milk to visitors during the county fair.

    The general store sold sugar, flour, honey, and sometimes meat. Mostly food items not needing refrigeration. As more goods came from the east by wagon or later by train, materials for sewing, brooms, skillets, and other homemaking items were sold. A good shipment of goods included candy.

    The cabin was entirely built by volunteers.  Trees were cut and logs were hand hewn to build the 24’ x 24’ structure.  The cabin porch extends on two sides and is 14’ deep to allow several people to view demonstrations  of spinning, quilting, and other skills of the period.  Inside the cabin is a walk-in fireplace, sleeping loft, and furnishings of the period.

    The school depicts how schools would have been in the early 1800’s.  Desks and benches seat 4 students each with 3 rows on each side of the room. A pot bellied stove sits in the middle of the room for heating, and for cooking lunch. A large teacher’s desk, which is tall for the teacher to stand behind, is at the front of the room next to the slate blackboard for lessons. Horn books were used for reference and slate boards for exercises by the students. An original school bell on the roof lets the community know when school is in session and is also rung in emergencies. The school was also used for town meetings and served as the church if there wasn’t one in town.

    The garden, surrounded by field stone, is tended by our Master Gardeners organization. It is divided into four areas. Herbs for seasoning, vegetables for food, flowers for making dyes, and plants used for medicine. All plants have been researched and include specimens from specially secured seeds of the 1800’s.

    The Amish built barn has massive beams pegged together. A solid oak stairway leads to the hayloft where the underside of the hand split shingles are visible. The barn houses many antique farm equipment and home use items. Most impressive is a miniature goat wagon and a half size Birds Sell grain wagon. Many of the demonstrations are housed in the barn.

    The small Post Office includes original pieces from an old U.S. Post Office. Items include: leather and canvas mail bags, trunk on wheels to retrieve mail from trains, mail sorting table, cancellation machine, and chairs of the period. A most wanted picture board of criminals informed residents to be on the look out. Mail came by stage coach and later by train. The building was also a loafing place for news and gossip.

    A one time fund raiser for Pioneer Land in the form of a quilt for auction during the annual Pork Chop dinner in 2006 traveled along into 2007 with another quilt for auction and again in 2008 with yet another for a quilt raffle.

    A group of women, met in the Pioneer Land school house in January and February of 2006 three times a week and finished the first quilt in a month. All were hooked and The Pioneer Land Quilters were born. A unanimous decision was made to do another quilt and work on quilting demonstrations during the LaPorte County Fair. Word was sent to quilt guilds in LaPorte County to ask if they would consider making a top as a group project and send it to the quilters for hand quilting then on to auction. These guilds have all individually united in the Pioneer Land project. The rest, as they say, is history.

    Upcoming Events

     Our Christmas Open House will be 12/4-5/21 from 3:00-8:00 P.M.  There is going to be a light show going on during our open house that is not part of Pioneer Land.  Due to the light show being held on the Fairgrounds, any car entering after 5:00 P.M will be charged $35.00 per carload.  Pioneer Land will receive none of the funds generated from the light show.  





    Want to Volunteer?

    Want to get involved at Pioneer Land during the Fair, School Tours, or Christmas Walk?

    Send us an email by clicking this link!

    Please include your name, address, and a phone number where you can be reached.

    Contact Us

    Dick Reel (219) 575-7758

    Carl Schultz (219) 380-5678

    © 2019 LaPorte County Pioneerland