England Prairie Pioneer Club is a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization of about 150 members from central Minnesota.
England Prairie Pioneer Club was founded in 1979. The idea of three farm families to start a club was to preserve and restore old machinery found in the area. Children could learn and respect the grueling ways their grandfathers earned a dollar; such a club would give the oldsters a reason to meet and converse with friends --a chance to relive the past.
The first Pioneer Days celebration was held in 1980 on a private farm. In 1981, the Club purchased land from Chester and Hazel Cain near the southern border of Wadena County.
An 80' x 64' building was erected, complete with a kitchen.
In 1983, the railroad icehouse from Staples, MN was donated and moved on the grounds; the building was cut down the center in order to move it. Half of this building became the saloon, which a few years ago was changed into an exhibit building. The other half of the building is used for storing gas engines.
In 1989, a museum and blacksmith shop was added.
In 1998, Don & Elaine Schmitz donated a building for a chapel, which we now have outgrown.
In 2006, this building was changed into a first aid station.
In 2000, we built modern bathrooms with showers.
In 2002, a tractor pull track was built, "one of the best around" so say the tractor pullers and a scale for weighing the tractors was donated from a feed store in Sebeka.
In June 2003, England Prairie was broken into, many dollars worth of food items were stolen that we had just bought as we were preparing for activities. We had a security system installed.
In 2004, we moved in the Hewitt "Deep Rock" Filling Station, donated by Jerry and Sonja Stilwell, which many of the members bought gas at during the many years of operation by Elmer Arndt and Alan Smith and we are in the process of restoring it.
A new playground was added in 2005 for the children, a new swing set, new seesaw and a used slide.
A commercial dishwasher was put in and a room was built to enclose it.
In 2006, we bought a cabin style building from Eli Zook to be used for our ticket booth.
In August 2006, a log Chapel was built. During Show Days of August the dedication and first service were held.
We had a couple of pickups pull at the tractor pull on August 26, 2006.
On August 27, 2006 we held our first ATV pull.
In 2007, we made a memorial flower garden; it contains rocks from Hassa's farm, Norton's farm and from Uberto's farm and flowers from Elaine Schmitz and Shirley Rokes.
Each year we keep working on improvements to the existing buildings.
In 2010, we moved in a little white building, that will become a barbershop/beauty parlor and we also moved in a depot from Philbrook.
In 2011, we moved a corn crib from Hewitt.
England Prairie Pioneer Club is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Verndale, MN.