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Carlstrom Farm Has 100 Years of Colorful History

By Jordan Williams
The Carlstrom family farm is located in
Spearfish, South Dakota. This farm has
been in the Carlstrom family for over
one hundred years and has a colorful
history.
Spearfish, also known as the Queen
City, is ideal farm land as it sits in a
valley and is surrounded by the Black
Hills.
One hundred sixty acres of the land
that is now part of the farm was
included in a grant issued to John
Dervin and signed by President
Chester A. Arthur in 1888 when the
area was still the Dakota Territory.
The land had many owners before the
Carlstroms, some of the notable ones
being Sol Star and Seth Bullock.
Bullock was a famous U.S. Marshal.
On May 2nd, 1906 Andrew Carlstrom
bought 319 and acres from T.O.
Mitchell, Angie Mitchell, T.W.
Thompson, and Ellen Thompson. He
paid $6,500 with a down payment of
$2,000 with the remaining balance to
be paid in 8 installments at 7%
interest.
Andrew was born in Finland and
immigrated to the United States when
he was 18. Andrew and his wife,
Hilma, came to the Black Hills in 1898
from Cokato, Minnesota. Andrew and
his wife lived in several places in the
area. He worked for Homestake Gold
Mine. He also prospected for gold.
Andrew was referred to as the potato
king of Centennial Valley as noted in
the local paper, the Queen City Mail,
as he shipped train car loads of
potatoes to Chicago. Cattle and grain
were also raised on the farm.

He donated part of the land for use as


a school house.
Andrew eventually retired and deeded
the ranch to his son, Richard and his
wife, Daisy, in 1931. They broadened
the farm and raised grain, cattle, hogs,
chickens and turkeys as well as ran a
dairy farm.
In 1941, Richard and Daisy sold some
of the land to Lawrence County for the
Black Hills Airport for $734. The airport
also took the land that Andrew had
donated for use as a school house.
Since the school house was taken,
Richard donated more land for a new
school house and school was held
there for several 7years. Eventually
the school was moved and the land
reverted back to the Carlstroms.
In 1948, Richard and Daisy retired and
deeded to ranch to their son, Bill and
his wife, Jane Carlstrom. They began a
Grade A dairy farm in 1950. They
operated the dairy for 43 years along
with their six children. The raised
parlor type of milk barn on the
property was designed by Bill, who
was one of the first to join the Black
Hills Milk Producers, along with other
members.
Water has usually been plentiful on
the ranch. It had six wells at one time
which were hand dug. In the 1930s,
neighbors hauled water from the
Carlstrom ranch as their own wells
were dry.

Carlstrom Farm Has 100 Years of Colorful History


More change came along in 1972
when Bill had to provide land from the
south part of the ranch for the
construction of Interstate 90.

Many things changed in the century


the family owned the farm, but the
family continues on.