John Thoreson and Ingeborg Sakariasdatte emigrated from Norway in 1877. Although they crossed the Atlantic on the same boat, family lore has it that they never really met on the boat. Ingeborg resided with the higher-priced ticket-holders, while John remained below deck with the lower-fare travelers. They first settled in Suttons Bay, and arrived in Port Oneida in 1880. The family initially rented the Kelderhouse/Baker farm until 1883, when they moved to Minnesota for one year. After returning to Port Oneida, they rented the old Burfiend house. Around 1900, along with their sons Ole and Fred, they built their farm on 160 acres of land purchased from the Andersons.
Ole and Fred Thoreson and Ole's son Leonard ran the farm at different times. Leonard farmed from 1947-1952 after he returned to Port Oneida from service in the U.S. Army. Electricity was brought to the farm in February 1945. The Thoresons bought their first tractor on 1 April 1947, and obtained a milking machine in 1949. Ole Thoreson sold the farm to Art Huey in the 1960's and Huey then sold it to the National Park Service.