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Horse Power Event is Saturday

Horse-drawn equipment used in the early days of farming will be demonstrated Saturday at the Swensson Farm site in Chippewa County. (Submitted photo)

MONTEVIDEO -- The Chippewa County Historical Society will host the sixth annual "Horse Power Event" from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the historic Swensson Farm Museum. The 17-acre museum site consists of the 1880s timber-frame barn, grist mill remains, family burial plot, and 22-room family home.

Celebrating farming in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the event will focus on horse-drawn equipment. More than 15 teams of draft animals, including horses and mules, will be on hand throughout the day to demonstrate plowing, disking, mowing, raking, feed grinding, sorghum press, planting, digging, hay loader, corn binder, hay tedder and potato digging. Horse-drawn wagon rides will also be available all day to move people throughout the site.

Freshly dug potatoes will be sold to the public beginning at 11:30 a.m. and again at 1:30 p.m. Additional featured horse-drawn events include using the gang plow and the walking/sulky plow.

Activities will be held in and near the preserved 1880s timber-framed barn including rope making, floral arrangements, children's crafts, farmer's market, how to harness a horse, blacksmithing, and a prairie display. Small animals will also be on hand for everyone's enjoyment. The horse-drawn parade which will begin at 3:45 p.m. near the barn and will showcase all of the teams and equipment participating in this year's event.

To fully encompass early farming life, demonstrators and artisans will be located throughout the home. Enjoy a taste of freshly made lefse, krumkake, bread, butter and ice cream in the family home. Additional demonstrations will include knitting, cross stitch, spinning, hardanger, embroidery, home-made card making, quilting, wheat weaving and Olof Swensson's rug loom will be in use. Many of the artisans will have items available for sale.

Guides will be situated throughout the Swensson family home to answer questions about the family and the site. Many fascinating stories will be available about the family including how Olof Swensson and his daughter Katie built the large two-story brick family home, and why Olof Swensson preached to feed sacks in the home's private chapel. The Swensson's home, family legacy and history are unique and inspiring.

Lunch will be available on the grounds. Admission for adults is $5 and students 17 and under will be admitted free. The site is located 11 miles west of Clara City on Highway 7, then 5 miles south on Chippewa County Road 6 and Z, mile east on Chippewa County Road 15. Signs will be posted.

For more information or if you would like to bring a team of horses for the day, call the Chippewa County Historical Society at 320-269-7636 or e-mail at