“Women Behind the Plow Exhibit

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There are 17 panels on display for the “Women Behind the Plow” exhibit, each with a different story about life on North Dakota farms in the early to mid 1900’s. 

“I think it’s important that we know where we’re from what it took to bring us to this point,” said North Dakota native Mary Ebach.

Ebach is no stranger to the many stories told through the exhibit and while she’s not pictured in the display she was one of those women. 

“Our farm was 9 miles north of Rugby, during their time, they had to make the things,” said Ebach.

She remembers being one of the smaller children and always helping out.

“They had a very primitive way of farming but they got it accomplished and they survived they built up many of the farms,” said Ebach.

“These are stories from North Dakota women, what their life was growing up on the farm. Their background is specifically Germans from Russia but even if you’re not German from Russia some of these stories would really be relatable to anyone who had family who was a pioneer out here,” said Executive director for the museum Stephanie Steinke. 

Each panel tell one woman’s story.. 

“It’s a picture of her now and a picture of her or her family back when in the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s or even earlier in some cases,” said Steinke. 

“Some things are bizarre and that will just kind of strike you as you know that doesn’t happen now that’s different other things are so strikingly relatable because we live in rural North Dakota,” said Steinke. 

Steinke says the exhibit shows that living on the farm was a lot of work– and many women helped get it done.

“It wasn’t mans work or women’s work if you lived on the farm there was just work and it had to get done,” said Steinke.

“Women Behind the Plow” is on display now through January at the Prairie Village Museum in Rugby.

This is the first winter the Prairie Village Museum is open during the winter months and admission is free.

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