The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.




College of Liberal Arts

First Advisor

Mark Muñiz

Second Advisor

Rob Mann

Third Advisor

Debra Gold

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

Minnesota, farmstead, Irish diaspora


The late 19th century in Minnesota was largely shaped by immigration, and Benton County was no exception. The region was a prime location for families, providing land that was both fertile and abundant. It was common for a couple members of a family to head west first, the rest of the family joining at a later time. Families could find land near each other and stick together in a new country. Benton County boasts a number of farmstead sites from this period of time. In 1873, John Keefe homesteaded one of these farms.

Diversity in population was not the only change happening in the region during this time. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Minnesota saw a shift in agriculture, with the trend moving from Wheat Monoculture to Dairying and Diversification between 1875 and 1885 (Granger and Kelly 2005). Historical archive research, research of archaeological data, and artifact analysis were all applied to answer the research question: was the Keefe farmstead originally built for a Wheat Monoculture economy, or as part of the shift toward Dairying and Diversification? Through the research involved, we see that the Keefe farmstead was built as a diversified farm, and can also achieve a richer understanding of the Benton County landscape during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.



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