Where We've Been

Our beautiful barns were once part of a working farm that fed more than a thousand people for over 80 years.

Making progress on site

2000  Ideas form to save the buildings & start education programs.

2003  Eight acres are leased for $1 per acre.

2004  Eight acres are purchased. Grounds enhancements begin.

2005  Prairie Loft gains 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

2006  House and livestock barn are moved to the site.

2007  Regular education programming begins.

2008  Major building renovations begin.

2008-2017  56,000 visitors experience Prairie Loft programs & events!

Historic Prairie Loft

The land where Prairie Loft sits was once part of a farm operation that was part of the state mental hospital once known as Ingleside, and later as the Hastings Regional Center. At its peak, the farm housed cattle, horses, hogs, chickens and ducks. Produce ranged from acres of cabbage to banana trees in the greenhouse. Folks in Hastings remember this as the best dairy operation in the state at one time. If you have stories or memories to share of the farm, please email info@prairieloft.org or call 402-463-0565.

Special thanks to Bob Frank for sharing some of these photos taken by his late wife, Blanche Schuman Frank. Blanche was a housekeeper for the site superintendent from 1941-1942. 

This postcard from the early 1940’s shows the Hastings Regional Center grounds. Ingleside farm is at the top of the photo. The future Workshop and Loft Barn are visible top center.


Farm work in the 1930's

This photo shows workers in the field at Ingleside. The crop may be sugar beets. Note the horse-drawn wagons in the background.

Reports from the early 1900's show that the farm produced a variety of goods, including fruits, vegetables, pickles, sauerkraut, chickens, calves, hogs, field corn, and millet.