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G. B. Gunlogson Homestead and Nature Preserve, Icelandic State Park

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1880 and later; 1985 Pioneer Heritage Center building, Magnus Geston and KLJ Architects. 13571 ND 5, 5 miles west of Cavalier
  • (Photograph by Steve C. Martens)

The Gunlogson homestead consists of a farmhouse, barn, outbuildings, orchards, and grazing areas in important connection with the Tongue River. The farm was homesteaded in 1880 by Eggert and Rannveig Gunnlaugson (original spelling), immigrant refugees by way of Gimli, Manitoba, from Iceland’s earthquakes, volcanoes, and flashfloods. The homestead reflects the culture of Icelandic American immigration to North Dakota, and the site affords an intimate glimpse of the process of acculturation in its rich collection of furnishings and household goods. Among Icelandic vernacular traditions are the layout of the homestead, use of adjoining land for communal grazing of sheep, and earth-sheltered outbuildings. The two-story gabled house furnished with fixtures and artifacts from the pioneer settlement period is an early balloon-framed structure over locally milled oak beams. An earth-bermed livestock and hay barn was constructed in 1922 over concrete blocks that were produced locally of material from a short-lived nearby cement mine.

G. B. Gunlogson was important to North Dakota’s history for his inventive engineering of several agricultural harvesting devices for the J. I. Case Company, for his marketing on the company’s behalf, and as a lifelong advocate for the progressive populist countryside development movement. In preserving the Tongue River area that he loved, Gunlogson’s writings reveal him to be a lifelong advocate for appreciation of North Dakota’s settlement history from the 1880s to 1910. Icelanders still celebrate their national constitution day on August the Deuce (and Norwegians commemorate their independence from Sweden on Syttende Mai, May 17). The Pioneer Heritage Center features several restored pioneer buildings, including Hallson Icelandic Church and an exhibit building.

Writing Credits

Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay



  • 1880

  • 1985

    Pioneer Heritage Center built

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Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay, "G. B. Gunlogson Homestead and Nature Preserve, Icelandic State Park", [Cavalier, North Dakota], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of North Dakota

Buildings of North Dakota, Steve C. Martens and Ronald H. L. M. Ramsay. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2015, 97-98.

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