A potent symbol of the area’s contested history, the June 17, 1876, Battle of Rosebud Creek occurred near here. Eight days before the infamous Battle of the Little Bighorn, Crazy Horse’s warriors attacked General George Crook’s encampment, fatefully delaying Crook’s rendezvous with Custer’s Seventh Cavalry. Twenty years later, Alvin Young and his brother Charles took out 160-acre homesteads on the battlefield. Alvin steadily increased the size of his holdings. By 1928, he had amassed 970 acres of grazing and agricultural land. With improvements—particularly a massive stone barn and “hall-and parlor” cabin—his property valued at $9,380 (approximately equivalent to $100,000 in 2009). Constructed of square-hewn logs, the 16-by-20-foot log cabin is an excellent example of a homesteader’s first dwelling, and its dovetail notching reflects the work of a particularly skilled builder. The cabin was moved to its present location prior to 1920. Faded red painted numbers reveal that Young numbered each log before dismantling the cabin for the move. In contrast to the modest log cabin, the massive stone barn reflects the emphasis ranchers placed on protecting livestock. A local supply of tertiary and red clinker sandstone, and a shortage of timber, made stone the logical choice for the gable-roofed barn. The substantial sandstone barn, constructed c. 1896-1902, exhibits a high level of craftsmanship. So does the red clinker stone loafing shed extension, which provided the stock shelter in harsh weather. Likely they are the work of Frederick Kollmar, Young’s closest neighbor and an experienced German stonemason.
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