Wessels Living History Farm

David Wessels lived from 1917 to 1993, and was involved in farming most of his life.  When David passed away, he left a large portion of his estate to the York Community Foundation, including 160 acres of farm ground. In his will, he directed that the Foundation use proceeds from the sale of assets for agricultural education to create a living history farm to be constructed on a portion of the 160 acre farm.  He believed that present and future generations would benefit from knowledge of what it was like to farm in his lifetime.  The farm is located in York County, one-half mile south of the interchange of interstate 80 and highway 81.  

The Wessels Living History Farm Board of Directors, formed in 2000, carried out David’s wishes by creating an educational history of farming web site which was unveiled to the public in 2003.  Wessels Living History Farm web site was recognized as “one of the best online resources for education in the humanities” by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The web site averages 70,000 to 100,000 visitors per month. For more information, visit the web site at www.livinghistoryfarm.org.

The grand opening for the farm was held in October 2005.  Dale Clark served as director from 2004 to 2016.  Work completed to date at the farm site includes a house, garage, barn, granary, tractor building, church, schoolhouse, and other outbuildings.  The farm equipment building houses over fifty antique tractors, stationary engines and other farm equipment. Special events are held each year.  Lesley Steider is the current director.  Visit the web site to view a current schedule of events.            

The Farm has received a number of awards including the 2009 Outstanding Tourist Attraction by the Nebraska Department of Tourism; the 2010 Rising Star Award from the Nebraskaland Foundation, and one of the top destination places of 2012 from Heritage Nebraska. The address for the Wessels Living History Farm is 5520 South Lincoln Avenue, York, NE  68467.  The farm is open to the public from May through October.  For questions about the farm site, including educational programs, tours of the farm, special programs, or to rent the farm for parties, reunions, weddings or other special events, contact Lesley Steider at wesselsfarm@gmail.com.