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Wadeson Cabin State Historic Site

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A hand-hewn oak log cabin, with dovetailed corners, stands on its original fieldstone foundation at Wadeson Cabin State Historic Site. It was built in 1876 by Carl Jenson and his nephew Jon Bjerke on the east bank of the Sheyenne River near Kathryn, Barnes County. The cabin has served as a community hall, country store, pioneer home, and, finally, as an icehouse. A marker, beside a small parking area on the north side of the building, presents a short history of the site.


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The original one and one-half story cabin contained a single, rectangular room on the main floor. Later, a lean-to was added to the north side, as indicated by a shadow mark (line on the exterior wall) on the gable end. The lean-to is missing. At one time portions of the building were covered with brick-patterned pressed metal, and later the gable ends were protected with tar paper. The only openings in the simple building are a door flanked by a window on the east side, a window on the south side of the main story, and one above in the gable end.

Archeological excavations conducted in 1980 and 1981 uncovered a flagstone threshold in the doorway. Little else was found due to the installation of a deep cellar when the building was used as an icehouse. The building was restored in 1981.

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612 East Boulevard Ave.
Bismarck, North Dakota 58505
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SHSND Hours:
Museum Store: 8am - 5pm M-F; Sat. & Sun. 10am - 5pm.
State Archives: 8am - 4:30pm., M-F, except state holidays, and 2nd Sat. of each month, 10am - 4:30 pm.
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Contact SHSND:
phone: (701) 328-2666
fax: (701) 328-3710
email: histsoc@nd.gov