Renovating the Past at Marbold Historic Farmstead

The historic Marbold Farmstead is in the process of resuscitation. After years of being left dilapidated, this house that was formerly known as a ‘Palace on the Prairie’ is getting the tender loving care it needs to be a functioning historic site. While the place is currently under construction and renovation, the owners have big plans moving forward.

The main house at Marbold Farmstead.

Built by German immigrant John Marbold in 1850, the home, originally called Elmwood,  was one of the biggest farms in the area. The Marbolds were driven and had a knack for business. Quickly, their meager farm expanded to 4,000 acres. They raised dairy, sheep, chickens, pigeons, and they kept a smokehouse, an icehouse, and the revolutionary boiler room that allowed the house to be heated with steam. The family lived there for many years, and John’s son renovated the home in the 1880. Later, the home was abandoned until 2012, when the Marbold Association acquired the property. They have been renovating it ever since, and are making progress in restoring it to its former glory.

Marbold Farmstead, in it’s condition before renovation efforts began.

The house is currently under renovation, and there are several ways to help contribute to the house. The Historic Marbold Farmstead Association are selling bricks will be used to pave the front walkway of the home, and will engrave the bricks to the wishes of the buyer. Donations are being collected to fund the windows of the conservatory that is in the process of being built, but their biggest event of the year is coming in June. The Marbold Farmstead Summer Fest will offer live music, good food, Civil War presentations, tours of the home and grounds, and fun for the whole family! Don’t miss the chance to see this beautiful home in the midst of its historic renovation. For more information on this historic home, visit

Recent photo of the Farmstead “mansion” after major renovations.


–Katie Brethorst