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Frontier Log Cabins


PIERRE, S.D. – In the center of Oakwood Lakes State Park sits a very interesting and historically significant log cabin. This style of cabin served a variety of purposes for many different people, as it was used in the 1800s as a school house, as storage for soldiers, and as a look out post.

The first cabin, originally located 2 miles south of Brookings, was built by Hans Rovig in 1876 after he traded Eric Trystgad a milk cow for the building materials. The original served as the first Norwegian school house in the Brookings area and eventually closed due to social restraints. 

A similar structure, built at the current Oakwood Lakes site, was used as a supply station for two companies of soldiers who camped there in 1859. This site also served as an Indian scout camp for Fort Sisseton, located 90 miles north, in the 1860s.   

The Marks of History series is a project of the South Dakota Office of Tourism designed to highlight historical markers all across South Dakota. Click on the special “Marks of History” link at to access the complete list of articles.

The Marks of History series is part of Goal 1 of the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota and Goal 4 to enhance history and arts as a tool for economic development and cultural tourism in South Dakota. The Office of Tourism serves under the direction of Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development.


Note: The South Dakota Office of Tourism is not responsible for the text included on these markers. Some of the language used at the time of production may not be appropriate by today’s standards. Please view the markers at your own discretion.