In 1856, two Stoppel brothers, Joseph and George settled side by side in Rochester Township. The George Stoppel Farmstead stands today as a national register historic site to commemorate the early pioneers and agricultural history of SE Minnesota.
George left Germany in 1834. After spending several years in Switzerland and France, he sailed to the United States in 1848 to join his brother in Ohio. There he met and married Maria Ann Faber. Seeking affordable land, the families came to Minnesota. On April 28, 1856 George Stoppel filed for 160 acres of land. His cost was $1.25 per acre, for a total of $200.
The family built a barn, back barn, and stone house. The farm stayed in the family for 100 years, until it left family control in 1956. The farmstead was purchased by the History Center in 1976 as part of an expansion of the property.
The barn contains displays of agricultural equipment used by early farmers from Southeastern Minnesota.