Friends of the Welk Homestead

The Ludwig and Christina Welk Homestead, was restored by a non-profit organization in 1990-91 and operated by volunteers until it became a North Dakota State Historic Site on July 1, 2015, thanks to action by the North Dakota Legislature in 2013.

Now, in addition to celebrating the legacy of world-famous Champagne Music Maker Lawrence Welk, the site is interpreted as a pioneer farm under the Homestead Act, as a focal point of the Germans from Russia who immigrated to south central North Dakota, and as an example of ethnic architecture, including the only sod (Basta) house in the inventory of the State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND). The homestead is the only state historic site in the Dakotas along a 200-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 83 between Pierre, S.D., and Menoken, N.D. (12 miles east of Bismarck).

Visit the SHSND website for more information about the site.

Friends of the Welk Homestead, Board of Directors, June 2017, Welk Homestead State Historic Site, Strasburg, ND.

(l-r): Gary Keller, Michael Miller, Brian Grove, Robert Hanna, Dr. Tom Isern with Jeff Malm, Kulm, ND, wrought-iron cross maker.

The Friends of the Welk Homestead, Inc., a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, was established to support the State Historical Society of North Dakota in the fulfillment of the historic site’s mission.


The Friends’ vision is to help SHSND make the homestead an exemplary historic site that anchors heritage tourism in German-Russian country. Goals of the Friends of the Welk Homestead are to support a rich program of interpretive activities, to encourage robust public recognition and support of the importance of the site, and to enhance the preservation and development of an effective infrastructure of the site.

Some recent accomplishments of the Friends are the purchase of two antique farm implements for display at the homestead, funding for acquisition of historic items such as replica German-Russian food items for the sod house, funding for the creation of two iron crosses, assistance for an annual event at the homestead, funding for new and expanded signage at the site, and funding two Talking Points for the Talking Trail app.


The group has also helped with volunteer efforts such as work done by Dr. Tom Isern and his students from North Dakota State University, Fargo.

Members of the Friends’ Board of Directors are Michael Miller, President; Dr. Tom Isern, Vice President; Allan Burke, Secretary-Treasurer; State Senator Robert Erbele, director; Gary Keller, Director; Carmen Rath-Wald, Director, and Acacia Stuckle, Director. Ex-officio board members are Dr. Bill Peterson, Executive Director of the SHSND, and Robert Hanna, SHSND Sites Manager.

Friends of the Welk Homestead

P.O. Box 222
Strasburg, ND 58573-0222.