Urjans Iverson Cabin, Gilchrist

While the Pope County Museum is closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will be highlighting historic sites around Pope County. We hope that you can walk or drive to visit these sites while maintaining appropriate physical distancing.

Urjans Iverson Cabin


The Urjans Iverson Cabin was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.  

Urjans and Brita Iverson came to Pope County in 1866, about the time Fort Lake Johanna was abandoned. They used the logs from the fort to build their cabin. This fort was used by Federal Troops after the U.S. – Dakota War.
The Iversons left Pope County in 1868.  The next owner of the cabin was Knud Vaa / Knute Torgeson.

Knute Torguson Vaa came to Pope County in 1869. He was a Civil war Volunteer who served in Compay D. 50th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. His Company was sent west to the Dakotas in 1862 during the U.S. – Dakota War.  He was married to Bergitte Sandvig, who was a sister of John Johnson Sandvig, one of the first settlers of Pope County. 

Once the Iverson family left, the cabin was converted to a school house for district #13 in 1869. It was also used as the first West Lake Johanna Church. The benches were built by Ole Kittelson. A new church was constructed in 1874 and a new school was constructed in 1886. Once the building was no longer needed by the community, the Vaa family used the cabin as a blacksmith shop.

The Iverson Cabin was restored in the fall of 1991. The restoration used logs from the original Gregor and Svanaugh Halvorson Stordal cabin. The Halvorsons were the first settlers in the area. According to their homestead patent, they resided on the land starting May 23, 1865.  and constructed a comfortable house 15 x 20 feet one story high, with a double pitch turf and board roof. The house had 2 floors, 1 door, and 1 window. Logs from that original cabin can be found in the current Iverson cabin.



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