This Spring, Discover 19th Century Dakota Daily Life at Gibbs Farm – Ramsey County, MN

Apr 3, 2022 | events/locations

Ramsey County Historical Society: Preserving our past, informing our present, inspiring our future!

Gibbs Farm is unique: The powerful story of Jane Gibbs and her friendship with the Dakota people of Cloud Man’s Village covers more than history. Gibbs Farm’s interpretation of the story of Jane and her friendship with the Dakota people emphasizes cultural sharing and respect and shows that not all interactions between pioneers and the Dakota were negative.

Gibbs Farm History

Following a tragic accident suffered by her mother, seven-year old Jane DeBow travelled west from Batavia, New York with a missionary family.  Jane lived near Cloud Man’s Dakota Village at Bde Maka Ska  from 1835-1839, where she became like family to the inhabitants.

Years later, in Illinois, Jane married Heman Gibbs.  In 1849, when Minnesota opened as a territory, the newlyweds purchased 160 acres on the north edge of Saint Paul.  Heman built their first home, a 10′ x 12′ soddy. That autumn, Jane was reunited with her Dakota friends as they crossed the farm on a trail to their annual wild ricing camp.

In 1854, Gibbs built a larger cabin.  With a growing family, additions to the Gibbs farm house were made over the years. The tipi and bark lodge allow you to explore the traditional life-ways of the Dakota.  You can stroll through our native prairie, medicine garden, and traditional Dakota and pioneer crop gardens.

You can also visit the original white barn used for animal care, and the red barn used for programs. You and your children will be fascinated by the one-room schoolhouse, moved from western Minnesota, furnished with wooden school desks, a pump organ, and a working school bell.

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