History

The Struckmeier family moved to the area known as Hoosier Grove in the 1870s. It was there that they originally built the Hoosier Grove Barn in 1888. The barn and surrounding land was originally used to raise dairy cows.

In 1955, the farmstead was acquired by the Landmeier family. They incorporated modern farming techniques that enabled them to raise large crops of corn, soybeans, and pumpkins. The Landmeier family established an annual tradition of selling pumpkins.

 

Eventually, the Park District purchased the 19 acre parcel of land from the Landmeier's in 1988.  To preserve the history of this farmstead, the Board of Commissioners decided to restore the barn and surrounding buildings. These buildings include the areas original one room school house, horse barn and farm house. They continued to sell pumpkins in honor of the Landmeier’s tradition.

 

Renovation of the barn began in early 1993. This 35-ton barn was raised

and moved off its cobblestone foundation.  The original structure remains intact, including the support timbers and interior siding.  The exterior was repainted, returning it to its initial brick red color.

In honor of the original residents, the 'Legacy of the Land' exhibit is located on the lower level of the barn which depicts the history of agriculture in this area.