In the spring and fall of 2022, we surveyed and excavated historic farm structures north of the Olin Farmhouse, purchased by Carleton College in 1916 from the Kelley family. The Olin Farm was originally homesteaded by Thomas Olin in 1857. The Olin Family lived there until 1912, when they sold the farm to the Bennett Family. Two years later, in 1914, it was sold to the Kelley Family. The Kelley Family farmed it for two years, and then sold it to Carleton College in 1916. Carleton has now managed the property for over 100 years.
Following the purchase of Olin Farm by the College in 1916, it was used to raise hogs and chickens for many decades. By the 1960s, Carleton farm operations ended and the land near the Olin Farmhouse was used as a storage area for Carleton facilities. Student dining hall and residence hall trash from the 1960s and 1970s was also dumped in this area. The land was eventually turned into forest in the 1990s.
This website presents the entirety of the work carried out by our Spring and Fall 2022 classes at the Olin Farmhouse. This includes areas that used to be the barn, machine shed, hog pen, chicken coop, trash dump, and storage area. This work included a variety of archaeological fieldwork (mapping, survey, test pits, excavation, lab analysis, and curation), which is presented by the students in their weekly lab reports (below). Finally, all of the students’ final projects are also included on this website.