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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.