Wessels Living History Farm - York Nebraska Farming in the 1920s
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Step back in time to rural York County, Nebraska, in the middle of the Great Plains during the 1920s -- a time and place of contrast and change. There were stark differences between the social, economic, and cultural lives of town residents and farm families. In rural Nebraska, there was no electricity, indoor plumbing, refrigerators, or other modern inventions enjoyed by city dwellers in the 1920s. The gangland crime, flapper fashions, dance marathons, and Jazz Age glamour were far away from the sunrise to sunset labor of York County farmers. But they saw these lifestyles in the movies.

This web site lets you walk in the shoes of Nebraska men and women who came of age during the 1920s when farmers made the transition from horse-drawn plows to steel-wheeled tractors, from outhouses to indoor plumbing, and from praying for rain to controlled irrigation.

Hear dramatic stories about the daily lives of children and adults as they go through the cycle of seasons on the land. See the equipment they used. Hear first-hand how they battled weather, insects, disease, and accidents to raise their crops and their children. Learn how they overcame obstacles and drew strength from their families and neighbors. As the decade ended, the increased use of automobiles began to connect these farm families to towns, changing their lives forever. The history of rural 1920s Nebraska comes to life -- told by the people who lived it.

Start exploring now by clicking on one of these seven sections.

Machines Farm Life
Crops Pests & Weeds
Making Money Water
 
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Contact For photos and primary sources, Nebraska Studies web site.
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