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Olmsted County History Center holds food tour to remember Stoppel family

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- On Sunday, the Olmsted County History Center celebrated the history of the Stoppel family and their centuries' old barn through a food tour. The Stoppels immigrated to Minnesota from Germany in the late 19th-century.

"We've got hundreds of artifacts in our museum, but this is the largest one and it's the most important one," said Wayne Gannaway, executive director of the History Center.

The Stoppels' barn is one of the oldest establishments in the city of Rochester. Built back in the 1860s, the Stoppels didn't have the traditional methods of preserving foods such as refrigerators. Instead, they had innovative ways on how to keep their food fresh.

"They would have preserved their food either through pickling or canning, and also through smoking their meat," said Abby Currier, the community engagement and events coordinator at the History Center.

"We are still as dependent as they were on food, it's just our relationship with food is changed completely from the 1850s to today," said Gannaway.

The food tour was a way for the History Center to raise money and awareness for historical landmarks such as the barn.

"Historic farms are disappearing in Southern Minnesota, and especially in Rochester," said Gannaway.

"We really want to be able to preserve it. Both the house and the barn have been standing for over a hundred years, and we want to make sure they're standing for another hundred," said Currier.

According to Currier and Gannaway, the smoked apples and sausages were some of the favorites.

"The apples? That is also the first snack on the tour, but the sausages have also been going pretty well," said Currier.

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Noah Caplan

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