About Heritage Park

Berdahl-Rolvaag House

Heritage Park is a collection of historic Great Plains buildings dating from the late 19th to early 20th century and is located south of 33rd Street between Grange and Prairie Avenue.

  • The Beaver Creek Lutheran Church is one of the oldest churches established in Lincoln County. It was completed in 1892 in LaValley Township east of Sioux Falls. The architectural style is Vernacular Gothic Revival, which attempts to combine European attributes with the prairie experience. The church is made almost entirely of wood, the main building material available on the prairie at the time. As the rural population declined, the church's congregation voted to close its doors in 1978. It was then offered to Augustana and was moved to its present location in Heritage Park in 1985.
  • The Berdahl-Rolvaag House was named for the Berdahl family who built it in 1883 and for author Ole Rolvaag (1876–1931), a Norwegian immigrant, whose novels "Giants in the Earth," "Peder Victorious," and "Their Fathers' God" tell the stories of Norwegian immigrants who came to the area in the 1870s. Rolvaag, a 1901 graduate of the Augustana Academy in Canton, married Jennie Berdahl while she was living in this house with her parents. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Eggers School House is an example of early South Dakota educational facilities. The school was built in 1909 on an acre of land near Renner Corner. After serving as the daily social gathering place for an average of 15 students for nearly 50 years, only four children were enrolled in 1957. The school eventually closed and was purchased and preserved by James Wehde, a former student at the school.
  • The Rolvaag Writing Cabin, in which the best-selling "Giants in the Earth," called a "moving narrative of pioneer hardship and heroism," by Atlantic Monthly, was written between September and October 1923, was a gift from the Rolvaag family. The family believed it was appropriate to have the cabin close to the Berdahl-Rolvaag House in which Ole Rolvaag heard many of the stories that were incorporated in his novels. The cabin stood on U.S. Forest Service land on Big Island Lake in northern Minnesota and faced destruction if it were not moved. Two Finnish carpenters dismantled the cabin and reassembled it in Heritage Park.
  • Heritage Park building drawing