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«HISTORY OF EMIGRATION FROM NORDMØRE - Stangvik and Surnadal parishes»
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ELBERTA AND FRANKFORT
If one imagines the Surnadal fjord reduced in size to about 1/3, with none of the surrounding mountains more than 1/3 the height of the slopes around the fjord, then it would be rather like Betsie Bay, with Elberta corresponding to Surnadalsøra and Frankfort to the North Shore from Glærum westward.
Harrison Averill was the first resident in the region. He arrived in 1851 with his wife, child, and a work crew, and started a dam and sawmill near Lower Herring Lake south of Betsie Lake.
The next settlement started in Elberta in 1855 when the Robarge family settled there.
The third settlement arose in the Betsie River valley, where a group of 10-12 people established what they wished to develop into a Christian community with a campus at the college/academy level. Today the town there is called Benzonia.
The fourth settlement appeared in 1859 where Frankfort lies today. Two agents for the "Frankfort Land Company" intended to work for commerce and development. Dauby and Dow were going to widen the outlet to Lake Michigan with a channel for boat traffic, build a pier and sawmill. The man who became the first permanent settler was named Coggshall, for with construction finished in 1860, the workers left, some moving over to Elberta.
They had underestimated the power of Lake Michigan, the pier washed away, the channel gradually closed up again and then the Civil War began in 1861, halting all further development. After the conclusion of peace in 1865, Congress granted funds to resume work and there was a large and rapid growth of the population and commercial activity. In 1869 Frankfort had 500 inhabitants, 8 stores, 3 hotels, 2 smiths, one gunsmith, 1 tinsmith, 1 meat market, 1 furniture store, 1 dentist, 1 doctor, 1 lawyer, 1 photographer, 2 clergy, and a sawmill with a capacity for 3 million meters of lumber per year.
The first white men who came to the Benzie area, according to recorded history, were Father Marquette and his two guides, Pierre Porteret and Jacques Largilliers, who landed near the mouth of the Betsie River May 18, 1675. Father Marquette died there and was buried on a 30-meter high mound south of the river's mouth. The mound was removed for construction of the Royal Frontenac Hotel ca. 1900. Marquette's remains were moved to St. Ignace, north of the Straits of Mackinac.
In 1697 Henri de Tonty journeyed by.
In 1721 the priest Pierre François-Xavier de Charlevoix stopped to visit Father Marquette's grave. The priest had been sent out by Ludwig XV to resume the search for a route to the Western Sea (Pacific Ocean).
In 1838 inspectors/explorers from the American government arrived - one year after Michigan had become a state. Between 1721 and 1838 the region was presumably visited by trappers and missionaries and other travelers - but in any case they would have passed along the coast.
Photo reference 146/1: The entrance to Frankfort. Elberta is just across Betsie Bay on the left.
The person considered to be the first white inhabitant in the region, apart from those at the Lower Herring Lake sawmill, was Joseph Oliver. He came to the Manitou Islands in 1846, to Manistee in 1848, and was the first to procure land for himself near Betsie Lake in 1851 or 1852. He built a cabin where the center of Frankfort lies today. He sold this in 1853 and in 1855 he acquired land in present day Elberta - and sold it again to the Robarge family in 1858.
There were few individual land sales in the region before the 1860's.
Joseph Oliver had the designation 'hunter' when he died. He must have had several trapping huts along the Lake Michigan shore. He also bought (and sold) land up in Wakazooville (Northport) in dealings with the Indian chief Peter Wakazoo.
Oliver came to Frankfort with his first wife, an Indian, Lydia Wasrage from Muskegon and a son Joseph Jr. When she died, the Indian hatred of the sawmill owner Averill was demonstrated: Oliver asked about having a coffin made for Lydia. He received neither materials nor the loan of tools, and the sawmill worker who took pity on him and made a coffin was immediately fired. Lydia died during the birth of her second child.
Oliver married Margaret Robarge in 1859.
Oliver is the one who plowed and leveled the Gilmore cemetery up the Betsie River valley. He fetched stones from Elberta and erected a fence. He planted 105 maple trees around it. In 1879 he was paid S40.50 for the work. It is here we find the graves of Nils Glærum, Jakob Glærum (Oppistua - Vika)), Kristen Kaarvand Oren, Peder Bævre Utistua, John Holden and many others, with their families and descendants. Oliver died in 1898, 78 years old. Devoting so much space to him may seem a considerable digression, but by 1871 we know that Sjur Glærum (Oppigard) and his wife, Eli Kaarvand Oren were living in Frankfort, for they registered a stillborn son in the death records of Benzie County, February 16, 1871. The Norwegian colony must therefore have personally known Oliver for thirty years. Consequently we may appreciate this was a brand new community which our people were coming to. The history is quite recent.
In the Ottawa language Betsie Lake was called: Un-Zig-A-Zee-Bee, which in French became Aux Bec Scies, and this was then anglicized to the present Betsie Bay. Today Betsie Bay is so well connected with Lake Michigan that it has become a bay instead of an inland lake.
The Indians in the Betsie Valley were farmers and fruit growers, and their well-filled winter coffers were often visited by less industrious Indians staying farther north.
In 1867 a large influx of stage-struck Indians gathered to watch the machines at the channel. Indians were still in the area in 1890, and they continued living and dwelling in the old manner. It is said they set up their tents between the charcoal mills at the Frankfort iron works during the winter to make good use of the warmth. Today nothing is known about the descendants of the Betsie Indians.
Elberta is often confused with Alberta in Canada. When the town was organized and laid out in 1867, its name was Frankfort City. In 1894 it received small-town status and the name became South Frankfort. In 1911 Elberta got its present name from a variety of peach which was then a very common crop.
Frankfort, on the north side of Betsie Lake, received small-town status in 1865 and city-status in 1935.
Today Frankfort is a larger place that depends on tourism during the summer.
Elberta, which was a thriving small town with a great variety of businesses at the turn of the century and several decades thereafter, today is a ghost town with abandoned buildings where the original dwellings were located. The railroad made this residential section unpopular, and people built new homes farther up the road. Today the place is a semi-rundown community without a self-sustaining way of life. When the time comes that permission is granted to tear up the railroad tracks, plans will be ventured for a tourist center and artists' colony. One individual hopes to set up a restaurant in the original buildings. One of the death blows for Elberta was the closing of the Lake Michigan carferries in 1982. Elberta has purchased one of the ferries to be used as a museum, combined with a hotel and restaurant. Betsie Lake may become a fashionable place if these plans are realized. One hopes the museum people will be able to bring old Elberta back to life for visitors.
Sources: "Our Land and Lakes" by Sivert N. Glarum/"History of Elberta" by Allan B. Blacklock/Diverse conversation partners in the region and a personal visit.
Our First in Benzie County
Eli née‚ Kaarvand and Sjur Glærum
Eli Kaarvand Oren and Sjur Glærum (Oppigard) must have been the first, or have belonged to one of the first groups coming down from Northport. They probably moved to Benzie County about the same time the Bæle family moved to Suttons Bay. Certainly they would have arrived by the fall of 1870, for it can hardly be true that they moved in midwinter with Eli near the end of her pregnancy. Did their child die stillborn due to "rocking chair syndrome", as in the case of Gjertrud Garthe and Ole Martinson Halle in the lumber camp in Northport? Sjur worked in the woods, so Eli stayed either in the shanty - or perhaps she got to be cook?
A local history in Willmar, Minnesota, where they later settled, says Sjur was a master sawyer at the Follerø-mill before going to America, and he fished at Smøla the last winter before leaving. The same book says he was a woodsman in Northport. When the ironworks in South Frankfort opened in 1870, work became available for many people cutting the wood that the charcoal kilns devoured. We see from the letters printed below, that during the winter of 1872 the brothers Sjur and Nils Glærum worked together with Gudmund Kaarvand Oren (Sjur's brother-in-law) and Ole Glærum (probably Ole Bendiksson from Glærumsdalen) cutting wood for the kilns at the works, while Gudmund's brother Kristen was at the smelter. From Gudmund's next letter in 1875 we see that Sjur had bought woodland and employed 30 workers and 24 horses. Gudmund indicates that, when times improved, Sjur would have made it “exceedingly well".
The Willmar local history also states that Sjur was foreman on a fruit orchard in Frankfort. He worked two and a half years clearing land and planting fruit trees. It was after this experience that he began independent timber operations, according to the book.
Eli and Sjur left Frankfort in the spring of 1878 and went to Minnesota. We shall meet them there later.
Letters between Michigan and Ora in Stangvik
At Ora in Stangvik, Ingeborg took good care of the letters from America, and here are three letters printed in their entirety. Eli writes the first and the great secret she has is undoubtedly her engagement to be married with Sjur over Christmas. It seems she lived a distance from Northport, together with her sister Guri married to a Qvande and her family, whom she came with in the spring of 1869. (Assume it is Guri she lives with.) They went on to Fergus Falls later. "Maria B." is also mentioned in the letter. The B stands for Bæle. "M. H." in the letter is quite certainly Maret Hagen, married to Ole Hagen. We recall that both these women were on the "Johan" with Sjur.
A few periods have been inserted in the texts of these letters to avoid major misunderstandings. Otherwise everything is as in the originals:
(Undated, but must have been written before Christmas 1869 in Northport)
As we are so far apart from each other, I must send you some lines so you can see I have not clean forgotten you. But you surely must think so when I did not write home. I wrote a letter in August but it was so poorly written I could not send it afterwards. At the time I was sick and I was so queer that I could not think. We had nice weather on the trip and arrived in good health. Crossing Canada it was so funny for each time the train stopped, then the rest got off and bought things (alternative interpretation of the handwriting: for each time the train stopped, then it would start off and drive some more) so the trip to America is not anything to be afraid of. I have so much to tell you both about the trip and other things that I can not write it all at once. I must tell you that I have been to Northport three times and one night I stayed where Maria B. works. Maria came one day and went home the next and I followed her and it was very pleasant for me. Likewise MH has been to see us twice and I went there one Friday and stayed until Sunday. Dear Ingeborg you can not believe how much I long to talk with you for there is something which I so really want to tell you, but I can not now, but next time I shall tell you about it. When you write me, you must tell me what you think about coming here so I can help you anyway I can. Greet all the Hoaas for me, especially Daardi. Next time I write, I shall mail some lines for Kristen and Eli Marit Karen Einer Ole Gudmund. I had such a strange dream about him together with the Husbi's and everyone asking about me, and last of all you are greeted by your sister Eli. P. Stangvik.
I wish you all a merry Christmas.
Dear, write as soon as you can. You must inform me what Gudmund is up to. Give Eli Tøndergaar my regards so she will write a few lines if not more.
Address my letter to Norport in Misigan.
Frankfort, Nov. 15, 1872
Since I have arrived here safely and have a spare moment, I shall write a few words so you can hear how life here is. The whole summer I have been with the same captain and have done remarkably well. I have a good offer from him for next summer. For two days we have had an extreme snowstorm here, quite like a Norwegian winter.
I haven't begun working here yet, but next week I plan to start cutting wood. I arrived here November 10 quite unexpectedly and everyone was clearly surprised. As it was dark, no one recognized me.
It will probably be a long winter for me as I think that, for one thing, the the ax is going to be heavy.
My sister Eli and Sivert are also doing very well. Nils Glærum is here. I, Sivert, Nils and Ole Glærum will cut wood together this winter.
But Christen has steady work at the ironworks. Little Hanna is healthy but Ingebær cries all the time.
And with that I must end my simple note with a final greeting to all from your affectionate son, Gudmund.
As there is good space I must write a few lines here. We have had remarkably fine weather upto now. Yesterday we got snow and I expect now there will be a break in masonry work and probably daily wages will drop to $1.75. I recently had a letter from Smedling but he has heard nothing from you. Gudmund arrived Sunday and he probably plans to work with Sivert as he has no interest in punching a timeclock. We arrived Sunday evening and have been to Sivert's and were going to row across the river. Eli and Nels Glærum followed us nearly to the town and then turned back. When we were going to the boat, we met Gudmund - he came across the street and would speak in Norwegian. He followed us across and then we went to see Sivert. Last night Gudmund stayed here.
I can itemize some typical prices - butter 25, fresh cod 13, bacon 10, salt and wheat together 4, sugar 14, coffee 30, tea 1 to 1½ dollars a pound and you should know that 10 pounds here is no more than 9 Norwegian pounds so everything is rather expensive but, if one is healthy and willing to work, he can buy food even if it is somewhat expensive. We hope to hear from you soon. Greet all your friends for us. Hanna and Ingeborg are healthy and clever and they have received so many greetings from your nieces and nephews in Minnesota.
Frankfort, Benzie County
Michigan, April 11, 1875
I received your most welcome letter yesterday evening and I thank you very much. Indeed, it was a great surprise for me to receive a letter from home. I was beginning to think you did not get my letter since the Stangvik postoffice is not one of the best. I think it odd that Einar will not answer me as I have twice written to him. I see from your letter that mother is in poor health, which grieves us, would that she soon becomes better. We hope that she becomes better by spring. You write about good times at home but it is otherwise here as it is hard to earn enough to live on. But we shall be optimistic and hope for better times.
We recently received a letter from Knud and Guri. They are living well. They now have 12 milch cows and can count themselves lucky they are outside the grasshopper district which so many here are plagued by. Christen is living well with a family. Hanna now goes to school. Our sister Eli has also been passably well in the winter but she still limps a lot. Her husband Sivert is exceedingly kind. He is respected by everyone.
He bought himself a lot of woodland to be cut for wood. He has had 30 men at work in the winter and 24 horses. If times begin to pick up, he will be very well off. As for myself, I am not prospering in this country and that goes for many who wish themselves out of this Eden and back to poor old Norway. I rather think I will not spend all my time in this country here but will see the west first, perhaps a way may open up there, better than the drudgery in Michigan's huge forests which demands a strong constitution.
Spring has already started here and the snow is gone so we have bare ground. We have had an excessively cold winter and no one can recall such a one before. Thank Tøndergaarden for their greetings, and give them our warmest regards. Eli says she will try to write now as it is a long time since she has written.
Here in Frankfort it is very lonesome as there are not many Norwegians and not one girl.
With that I conclude my simple letter for this time as I have nothing to relate.
Give father and mother my best regards and also Karen, Einer, and Ole and with that you are greeted by your affectionate brother,
Tell Einer he must write soon as he owes me two letters.
Give Gunder and Dørdy Hoaas my regards. Also greetings to Brøske.
Don't forget to write to me soon dear Sister.
Eli and Sivert are sending you a photograph.
Has father received the newspaper Sivert sent home last year? Tell us if you have received them, 2 per month,
G. P. Karwand
It was Sjur's brother Nils who later became the leading figure in the Norwegian colony in Frankfort City, later Elberta. But we find Nils in Minnesota, November 22, 1871. He has recorded the time and place in his Bible. Gudmund Kaarvand's letter in November of the following year has him chopping wood in the Betsie valley together with others from here. It appears he lived with Sjur and Eli.
In Northport, November 19, 1874, he filed an application to become an American citizen.
Nils arrived in the spring of 1869, together with his brother, Lars, newly married to Margrete Jonsdatter Aasen. They belonged to a group recorded at Trondheim May 6, all with the destination Sarnia in Canada - except Marit Beraugsdatter Glærum who was going to Lansing, the state capital of Michigan.
From Sarnia all undoubtedly went to Northport.
Finding Nils in Minnesota in 1871 implies he accompanied his brother Lars and wife when they traveled westward. Lars and Margrete settled in Minnesota.
Nils must have traveled around a good bit in the first years, or so it seems. When he settled permanently in Elberta is not completely clear. He worked in lumber camps the first years, and there he picked up the tuberculosis that he would later die of. Nils was also foreman at the warehouse for the wood supplies burned in the kilns at the smelter.
It is thought provoking that Nils would go to America. He had graduated from the Klæbu seminary the previous year, and had a secure future in Norway as a teacher or parish clerk. Much is implied - his family maintains as established fact that Nils was strongly at odds with the theology of the Norwegian State Church. He professed himself a freethinker and probably realized that life at home as a teacher or parish clerk would be intolerable. He had very good papers from the seminary and, as he participated in the establishment of the church in Frankfort, it appears from the records that he was asked to deal with difficult problems whenever they arose.
Later he married a Belgian Catholic. The children were baptized Catholics, except a son, Marius, who was dying at birth. The family grabbed the nearest preacher, and Marius was baptized a Methodist! In the same vein, Nils' widow continued to financially support the Lutheran Church that Nils belonged to, even after he died. His funeral was at the Methodist Church in Elberta - undoubtedly for practical reasons. Really an ecumenical man!
A letter from teacher Rokstad in Nordvik to Bastian Nilsson Nordvik in Wisconsin in 1885 indicates freethinking was 'popular' in Stangvik/Surnadal. In any case it is something people find engrossing. Ingeborg Bergheim, daughter of "Old Øye", ends a long reflection in her diary with the conclusion that her father was a freethinker.
Bastien Søyseth writes to Bastian Nilsson Nordvik, March 8, 1885: "Nils Glærum has been home from America this winter and has been to our home. He talks a lot about America, for he has been there quite some time, but it was mostly about the advantages of America his conversation turned to in one or another way."
Nils was a fiddle player and on this visit he probably taught his nephew Ola to read and his nephew Anders to fiddle. The family in the USA asserts this was the second visit Nils undertook to the old country, but nothing else is found in the emigration records. He also would have taught Anders to read. Probably he was home for the first time ca. 1880.
Nils married Jowanna Maria Claessens (Mary Jane Claessens in the USA) in 1881. The minister was not particularly formal in his language, and he asked Nils: "Will you have those women standing next to you?" "No," said Nils, "I will only have Mary!"
Children: Sivert Classens/Catherine Maret/Cornelius Classens/ Marius Nelson. 7 grandchildren/10 great-grandchildren/13 great-great-grandchildren.
In 1887 Nils bought a commercial building together with his brother-in-law, Leonard Classens, which they managed as partners. In the newspaper, "El Dorado", a few years after they began one can read: "Like most of their competitors, they have in stock nearly all possible and common wares, and sell cordwood and hemlock bark. They also deal in forest products seasonally, and have a dozen teams of horses on the roads to the shipping piers in South Frankfort. Their business and office are clean and well organized and make an inviting impression. Leonard Classens tends to the office work, while Mr. Glarum keeps everything bustling outside."
At this time Nils owned a large wooded region where Peder Bævre, Utistua, was foreman of lumber operations. It is reasonable to suppose that Nils bought Sjur's property when he moved farther westward.
The first business establishment was located next to the lake but, when the railroad arrived in 1892, they had to move across the road and bought Crandall's building. In 1896-97 they built the largest and finest business on this site, specializing in clothing and shoes. When they had sales, people came all the way from Traverse City - in spite of difficult roads, for the store was renowned for value and quality.
They also built a large warehouse about 1895, which they used for the storage and shipment of farm produce.
Glarum & Classens also built up a large business on the Frankfort side. When Nils died in 1899, his widow and her brother continued the partnership and managed both stores. Mary Jane must have been quite a girl. She sat on the family's money chest when they fled Paris just as the gates were being sealed when the Franco-Prussian War broke out in 1870, and she was the first woman on the town council, where she sat at the same time with her youngest son, Marius. She was the family's matriarch for many years. Anna Holden Olsen characterizes her as "a lovely lady." This partnership ended when Leonard Classens died in 1910. Sivert, Nils' son, continued the Elberta establishment until it burned down in 1944, and a large firebrand was tossed two blocks and set fire to - of all places - Sivert's house. It is a somewhat amusing that ripening bananas caused the fire.
Cornelius and his brother-in-law, Louis Stall, managed the Glarum Store No. 2 until Cornelius died and Marius took over for his brother. From 1950 to 1956 the business changed from Glarum & Stall to Stall's Store, and that ended the commercial dynasty.
In 1896, one John Perry writes about, among others, Nils Glarum: "For several years since entering the mercantile trade, he has been very successful. Mr. Glarum is a man of strong convictions who believes in America and American institutions and the protection of America, and he has a strong interest in all questions concerning education. No better firm is to be found in Benzie County than that managed by Mr. Glarum and his gentlemanly partner, Mr. Leonard Classens."
In the "Benzie Banner" this appears - June 1, 1899:
"Mr. Nils Glarum died May 29, after a year's illness with tuberculosis. (We skip over his life’s résumé.) In business Mr. Glarum was honest and forthright. In daily life, he was good-natured and kind towards all, and everyone went to Mr. Glarum when they had difficulties for he was always prepared to offer assistance. Mr. Glarum was a man it is difficult for the people of South Frankfort to lose.
Mr. Glarum became ill in the spring of 1898 and went to Ann Arbor. Doctors informed him that his lungs were afflicted and recommended he go to Arizona. He left in the fall of 1898 and improved towards Christmas, but then began to fail. He returned home from Arizona in April and spent a month with his family.
Monday, 2 o'clock at night, he died peacefully as if falling asleep, after having taken farewell of his family and friends.
His funeral was held at the M.E. Church, Wednesday at 2 o'clock, Pastor Morris presided. He was buried in the South Frankfort cemetery with a Maccabean honor guard."
Photo reference 150/1: The second shop of Nils Glærum and his brother-in-law in Elberta. Today, only the staircase is left of the house, hidden in the bushes. Nils holding his hand to his hip in front of the entrance on the right. (A close-up photo of Nils can be found under Willmar, Minnesota.) | Negative belongs to: Sivert N. Glarum | Copy: Børre Strand.
Photo reference 150/2: 'Sivert L. Glærum delivering goods to Margrethe Bæverfjord' is written at the back of this photo. Margrethe later is the 'Miss Margrethe' who built a house by the Åsskard church (Surnadal, Norway). | Belongs to: Lars Bæverfjord.
Photo reference 151/1: The Glarum Store - Elberta. Previously Glarum & Classens. | Belongs to: Allan Blacklock | Copy: Bud Palin.
Photo reference 151/2: Advertisement for Glarum & Classens.
Kristen Kaarvand Oren
Kristen and family are mentioned in the "History of Elberta" as inhabitants of "Copenhagen" a small community of Swedes, Danes, and Norwegians who lived in quickly thrown together small homes near the smelter in Elberta. The residents did not have much time for their own home construction as they worked around the clock in the available daylight constructing the smelter. On July 1, 1870, it began operation and in 1883 it halted for all-time. According to letters of Gudmund and Kristen, Kristen worked here.
Later Kristen ran a passenger transport with his own ferry - or some sort of ferryboat across Betsie Bay between North and South Frankfort. - Or Frankfort and Elberta to use the present names. There circulates a good story that when Gudmund came to Elberta, he was not recognized by Kristen and he had to introduce himself to his older brother when they reached the other side. Letters support this event a bit.
Kristen and his family later lived directly across the road from Nils Glærum in Elberta. As Kristen's sister was married to Nils' brother, these two families were more than neighbors.
Letters place Kristen at the smelter in 1872. He was one of the early emigrants. That he lived in "Copenhagen" implies he could have arrived as early as 1870.
Kristen's wife was named Eli, and would have been from Straumsnes. Kristen worked at Bolga on Frei before emigrating.
Children: Ingeborg/Alette (Lala)/Louise/Hannah Petrina.
Kristen's younger brother Ola, born 1864, probably died in Frankfort of typhoid fever at age 18, or in North Dakota when he worked on the railroad. This is not verified, but the family puts Ola in Frankfort.
Kristen died in 1916, Eli in 1918.
Louise, who didn't marry, was a court stenographer and notary public, and had her own used clothing business in Chicago.
Photo reference 151/3: Eli and Kristen Kaarvand | Belongs to: Marit Vassli | Photo: Banister | Copy: Vassli.
Photo reference 151/4: Advertisement Louise Kaarvand.
Guri née‚ Johansdatter Mogstad and Jakob Glærum, Oppistua Vika
In 1983, no one in Elberta could answer who these were. The names on the tombstones were noted, and after referring to HH upon returning to Norway, it became clear to whom the tombstones belonged.
In 1983 I brought a pile of pictures to Elberta for identification and on the back of one was written: "Splendid people with splendid hats." What information! Great was my surprise after Christmas in 1985, when the great-granddaughter of Nils Glærum put the 'hat picture' on the table with a complete identification - in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Cathy had two pictures showing the family in two towns.
Guri was 52 and Jakob 50 when they departed. Brit, Ingri, and Jonas, 11, 10, and 8, were with them when they left in 1886 through Kristiansund - destination Frankfort, Michigan. The oldest daughter, Johanna, must be the Johanna recorded in 1888 at Kristiansund, together with five other youths from Stangvik. We see they traveled together with Johannes Melhus, who had been home for a visit. One may wonder about the reason Johanna came two years later. Perhaps her parents did not have enough money for her ticket? Perhaps she was in service and could not quit? We note that all these youths left after 'moving day' in April. Probably all were in service.
There is no information as to what this family did in Elberta, supposedly they worked in the woods of Nils Glærum. Quite certainly, their emigration is a result of Nils' visit home to Glærum the preceding year. Jakob surely had an agreement with Nils regarding his going. When the Utistua people from Bøvra arrived later in 1888, they were met by Nils at the pier in Elberta and he led them to Jakob and Guri where they slept the first night before Peder began work as foreman in Nils' woodlands and his wife Marit as camp cook. Perhaps Guri and Jakob had a boarding house? Jakob died in 1904 on the way home from Crystal Lake north of Frankfort. He was carried into a house after having collapsed on the road. Guri died the next year. She lay in bed and at the end she said: "I see you now, Jesus."
No one knows about descendants of this family in the region.
Photo reference 152/1: 'Good looking people with pretty hats' it said at the back of this photo. No one could identify this group of people in the US in 1983. However, the photo was put on the table by Nils Glarum's great-granddaughter Cathy, at Christmas in 1985, and it turned out to be Jacob Oppistua Glærum and Guri born Mogstad. The children are probably Brit, Ingrid and Jonas. | Photo: W.M. Hall, Frankfort.
Marit and Peder S. Bævre (Bergheim)
Here we meet a more thought-provoking emigration: Marit and Peder owned Utistua, Bøvra, one of the finest farms in Surnadal, and already had seven children.
We note HH describes a difficult economic period and, while Peder stripped the farm to essentials, he still could not make ends meet. If we read HH's sober description of the family's status and add in basic elements of human nature, we realize that the family's state was not at all simple: Marit was the sole surviving child of her mother's first marriage, and circumstances at the home of Maret and Peder placed her mother along with Marit's five half-brothers and sisters beside her new husband, who surely believed he had a farmer's candidate, making Marit's position sticky. In any case, much must have gone on around the dinner table given the complex relationships at Utistua.
The oldest daughter, Eli, who married Dr. LaRue, told Bernice Smeltzer Mead, who married a nephew of Harold Mead, that her father wanted to come to the USA as early as 1880, but her mother was reluctant to leave. Eli herself says, in an interview that Bernice wrote down, that family objections were the reason. Realistically, both the bad economy and family opposition mattered. Nils Glærum promised Peder help when he was home in 1885.
They held an auction to raise travel money, and Utistua went to Marit's half-brother, Peder. There still wasn't enough money for everyone, so Synnøve and Maret had to stay home, each with her grandmother. Maret remained at Bøvra and said later, when she couldn't sleep at night, she traveled the road to Bergheim from memory to her father's mother and Synnøve. When her son's daughter, Pauline, later came to Surnadal, she recognized it from Maret's descriptions.
Those leaving packed dishes, clothing, and bedding in two large chests, and traveled "steerage", that is, in the cheapest location in the bottom of the boat. They went via England and, after three weeks, landed at Castle Garden in New York. Emigration records say they departed Kristiansund, August 9, 1888. Listed are Peder S. Bævre, wife Marit, children: Eli age 16, Sivert 4½, Ole 7, Ole 3, and Margrete 3/4.
Synnøve, 15, and Maret, 11, came afterwards in 1890. On August 14 they left from Kristiansund, in company with five others from Surnadal. Records show only Synnøve and Maret were going to Michigan. But onward they went! They took the same route as their parents. The train from New York to Saginaw in Michigan, where they had to wait one day before continuing on a new train to Manistee. From there they went on the boat, the 'John D. Dewer', to Elberta on Betsie Bay. "True to his word, there was Nels Glarum, an old friend, waiting for them", relates Eli to Bernice who wrote this down.
"Nels Glarum took them to the home of Jacob Glarum (no relation), and there they spent the first night."
The family then moved to the Classens farm near Clay Cut (between Elberta and Frankfort) and was there the first winter. The Classens were Nels Glarum's in-laws. Nels would also have loaned Peder money in the course of the emigration process.
Peder worked at a sawmill and Eli (Ellen in the USA) at "The Cranes" for $1.50 per week. That was considered good pay at the time. The Crane family had two large homes and were considered rich people. Later Marit sewed for them and Margrete also had a household position with this family.
Norwegian domestic help was sought after in the USA. Healthily complexioned, clean, clever, and hard- working - those were some of the things said of them.
In the spring the family moved into the "Ewald House" in Elberta. Pettrina was born there.
When Synnøve and Marit (Susie and Mary in the USA) arrived, the family moved into the more comfortable "Hansen House" across the street. They lived there for two years. Then they moved out to the "Drago Place", where Nels Glarum had a stand of timber - 2-3 km from where the "Baver Farm" lies today. Peder was foreman in the lumber camp, Maret was the cook. Provisions for the worksite were sent from the store Nils owned in Elberta - about 5-6 km.
The urge to be a farmer again led Peder to make an agreement with Nels Glarum about taking over the land in return for managing the woods. Peder cleared the land of stumps and roots and began to create his farm.
Peder and Maret lived the rest of their lives at the "Baver Farm" on "Baver Road" in the USA, and they celebrated their 65th anniversary here. All their children left home, except Sivert who remained and took over the farm. He built a retirement home for his parents. There are impressive dairy and barn buildings still standing on the farm. Pauline, Sivert's daughter, says that a master joiner who they called Ingebrigt went about putting up barns, but Harold Mead thinks that Peder himself was responsible for most of them.
Sivert and his father ran a dairy operation. When Peder started, he had 150 acres. Pauline has bit by bit bought and sold neighboring farms. It now amounts to 15 acres. Peder built the dairy barn and the living quarters together initially, and later erected the buildings there now.
They produced cream and butter for sale, and usually had 9-10 cows. Other products sold included potatoes, oats, rye - and after 20 years they switched to apples, peaches, cherries, and plums for prunes. Fifty vines, now 50 years old, still bear abundantly every year without having frozen, but newer plantings have frozen several times. They also sold fresh raspberries that they shipped to Chicago.
Peder continued as foreman in the lumber camp a while after starting the farm, and they had lumberjacks living in the loft on the farm for many years. (The author stayed there one week while work on Elberta and Frankfort was under way.)
Children of Peder and Marit:
Eli married Dr. Frank LaRue and is mentioned under Empire. They lived in Elberta in 1906, and he was the last permanent physician to settle in Elberta. It is said that the pair delivered 3000 children and that many thousands of dollars went uncollected when the doctor died. He never collected fees that were overdue. Several months before LaRue died, 300 people held a celebration day for him.
Children: Charles/Enslie/Alice Marguerite/Ralph.
Synnøve married Ole Sivertson from Øran, Bæverfjord. See Sivertson.
Marit got TB in her hip and lived with Andrew Holden in Elberta while the others were at the lumber camp. Eli LaRue accompanied her to the University Clinic in Ann Arbor. Despite long odds, she eventually discarded her crutch.
She worked as a seamstress for Madam Ripley in Chicago and was an unusually clever tailor, sewing mostly dresses and hats. Pauline says she could sew what was needed just by looking at an item.
Marit married Dr. William Kibbin, no children. She stayed in Chicago but came to Elberta in 1948 and lived at Margrethe's home.
Ole: One of the brothers named Ole was killed on one or another holidays when he was run over by a wagon. He is not mentioned in the death records of the "Norwegian Church" in Frankfort, which start in 1881, so it must have occurred soon after they arrived.
The other one was called Willie and he lived in Montreal, married to a Swedish girl from Muskegon. They were childless, but were "second parents" for the children of a Jewish family in the same house. One of the boys was called Baver as his one given name: Baver Salomon! Baver has also been used as a given name in the Baver family: Baver Karl Todd.
As a side note, it might be mentioned that, when the Jewish children who lived next door to Willie Baver and his wife were "confirmed", they could no longer share dinnertime with their father's business partner and neighbor living in the same house!
Which Ole was Willie is not clear.
Sivert married Anna Olson, born in Benzonia of parents from Høyanger. Their daughter Pauline today lives on the farm and their daughter Dorothy Ellen lives on a farm farther up the road to Benzonia.
Marit, Willie, and Sivert were all married in 1913.
Margrethe married Frank Mead and settled on his farm - 7 km from home near Upper Herring Lake. They engaged in "general farming" and turned to fruit growing. Their son Harold lives there now. Children: Harold Francis/Azel Nevin/Arthur Paul/Olga Lois/Peder Ira/Mary Ellen/Pettrina Marie.
Margrethe died March 18,1985, while the author was collecting information in the area. Nearly 100 years after crossing as a baby!
Pettrine is really not an emigrant, but it can still be noted she married Rufus Putney and had a farm 12-km from the Baver farm, "Putney Corner". No children.
Peder gives his name as Bovre in papers concerning citizenship in 1890.
Peder and Maret could not understand why their son's daughter Pauline wished to visit Norway. "We came here to stay", they said to her, "why need you go?" Pauline has been to Norway in 1954/62/71/78.
On the boat over the first time, Pauline met many who lived in order to save money their entire lives to travel to Norway and they did it again and again. Pauline has not heeded her grandparents' suggestion.
Pauline is a retired business teacher from the college in Traverse City and today lives alone on the farm on Baver Road.
Photo reference 153/1: Signpost Baver Road.
Photo reference 154/1: Peder and Marit Baver (Utistua Bævre) with their children. | Back row from the left: Ellen, Mary, Ole, Sivert, Pettrina, Synnøve (Susie) | Margrete between the parents | Photo: O.E. Hensen, Frankfort | Belongs to: Olga Meade Granfors | Copy: Bud Palin.
Synnøve née‚ Baver and Ole Sivertson (Bæverfjord-Øran)
Probably the Ole Sivertsen Bæverfjord in the emigration records of 1887 - age 20, is the same Ole S. His brother, Sivert, appears to have come in 1889, born in 1879 according to the records. Sivert drowned in Elberta.
When Ole Sivertson arrived, he first worked in the logging forests, but a falling tree injured his back.
In 1896 Ole married Susie (Synnøve) Baver. They went on a year's honeymoon trip to Norway. One reason for the trip was to offer Ole's daughter, whom he had with Kristina Nilsdatter Gravvold, to come with them to America. But Margrete remained at home with her mother. (Sjøhaug, Hakstad)
March 17, 1897, Ole and Synnøve returned to America, together with Ole's stepbrother, Lars Jensen Hakstad and John Bævre, "unmarried worker", age 22. Who John is leaves much guesswork among the John's in the Bøvra area. There is a Jo born in 1874 in Jostua among many. Ole later ran a slaughterhouse in Elberta along with John Baver, and this is presumably the same John. John Baver from Torestua in Bæverfjord was in the same area, but it wouldn't have been him. He is buried in Thompsonville between Elberta and Traverse City. There is no John Baver in the church records in Frankfort or Elberta. So this John Baver must have journeyed farther west.
Elberta local history says that in 1898 there was a firm called "Thompson & Sivertson". In 1900 the name is "Glarum & Sivertson". In 1902, Sivertson bought a site and erected a two-story building with a meeting room above and a butcher shop on the first floor. The firm was now called "Sivertson Brothers". The business was sold in 1905.
According to the family, Ole traded the business for a farm in 1903, and moved his house from Elberta to the farm in one piece: It was pulled over logs that they laid across the road - and it was drawn by horses. The distance is about 2 km!
Children of Ole and Synnøve: Signor/Mildred/Stella/Joseph/Marie/ Dorothy/Bonnie.
They had 6-7 cows on the farm and sold milk, cream and butter. They raised raspberries for sale and engaged in "truck gardening" - i.e. raising vegetables - carrots, onions, leeks, tomatoes, cabbage, etc. They grew potatoes just for their own use.
When Ole purchased the farm, there was just a garden around the house, so he had much tilling to do. He built all the buildings standing on the farm today. Mildred has enlarged some a bit. She and Marie are both widows and live together on the farm today.
They tell that Synnøve learned to cook American food in jobs she had before she married, but that Nordmøre fare dominated the menu. In the Nordmøre dialect it amounted to: feskbaill, sildbaill, kjøtt å påsse, blodkårv, syltaflesk, spikkekjøtt, potetlabb, potetlefs, mårr, saupgraut, mølsgraut, fløtegraut - often it would be mølsgraut underneath with rømmgraut on top.
Signor spoke only the Nordmøre dialect when he started school. All the children spoke Norwegian with their parents until they died - Ole in 1930, Synnøve in 1939. Mildred still speaks (86 years) a good bit of Norwegian (Nordmøre dialect).
Photo reference 155/1: Ole and Synnøve Sivertson born Bæver | Children - from left: Stella, Mildred, Signor, Joseph and Palmer | Photo: O.E. Hensel, Frankfort | Belongs to: Pauline Baver.
Photo reference 155/2: Advertisement John Baver.
Beret Sivertsdatter Hakstad
Beret was a full sister of Ole and Sivert Sivertson. Beret moved to Hakstadbukta (Heim) when her mother's second husband, Jens Johannesen Snekkvik of Hakstadbukta died. When her mother died in 1921, Beret auctioned the houses and went to America, according to HH. Ole's daughters confirm she arrived in 1921, but records indicate she was a returnee, already living in the USA.
Pettrina Baver, who was a schoolteacher, needed a housekeeper so Beret obtained a position with her, but to everyone's astonishment she married the carpenter Ernest Ross, who had come to repair the house. They had no common language, so people asked how he managed to propose. "We looked at pictures in the Saturday Evening Post," they said!
They dwelt in Elberta, and he was a much sought after carpenter and paperhanger. He was known for his sense of humor and always had beer in his pack during Prohibition. Beret learned bits and pieces of English from her husband, and several times she shocked the women's association when she tried out newly acquired phrases and expressions.
Beret was 51 when she left in 1921, so she married in middle age.
Lars Jensen Hakstad (Snekvig)
Half-brother of Ole, Sivert and Beret, as mentioned, he came to America when Ole and Synnøve returned in 1897. Lars was born in 1881.
He was a seaman on the ferries in Frankfort. He picked up consumption and went to Mexico to regain his health. He didn't become healthier and he returned to his relatives in Elberta. They built a house for Lars on the farm with a special air-circulation system. Synnøve carried food out to him, with a mask over her mouth, for he never came inside their home. But both Ole and the children would visit him, and they never became sick. Lars never married. Lars is recorded in the burial records of the Norwegian Church in Frankfort with Sivertson as his surname - died 1911, age 30.
Maret Jensdatter Hakstad
Maret, full sister of Lars, arrived in New York the day she turned 18, in 1902. She was brought over by her half-brother Johan Aanes and his son Iver.
Johan Knutsen Aanes, born 1864 (died 1927) was the son of Sigrid Sivertsdatter Husby from Aure, before she married Sivert Bæverfjord-Øran.
In 1886, Johan went first to Audubon, Minnesota. He went a bit to school in Morehead but, in 1888, he was named postmaster in Bisbee, North Dakota, being sworn-in in 1889. He operated the post office, several stores and a livery in grand style, and was an agent for the Cunard Line. In 1898 he homesteaded a few kilometers west of town, but never lived on the farm. Tenants ran it. The family kept two cows in town during the winter and in the summer his wife, and later Maret and the children, were out at the farm.
Johan married Tala Wibe from Steinkjer in 1893 on New Year's Day.
Children: Iver/Sophia/Carl/Mabel/Togo/Hilda/stillborn child/ Ruth/stillborn child.
Johan's wife died in 1913. In 1914 Johan traveled to Norway for a visit the second time, with a tour-group of people wishing to visit the homeland. He probably went as the Cunard agent.
Johan had now switched from horses to selling automobiles. He had a Ford garage that burned down in 1915, and he rebuilt a sturdy, brick building that still stands in the small town. Today Bisbee consists of a silo with a railroad siding, a coffee shop, a curling alley, a church and a half-score of houses.
It was Maret who raised the children. She signed papers as Maret Aanes and people called her "Grandma Aanes". On her tombstone it only says "Aunt Mary".
Maret twice visited her family in Elberta.
There were no others from Stangvik/Surnadal in Bisbee. Maret lies buried in a pleasant little cemetery on a field between Bisbee and the farm.
Maret belongs with our Dakota folks, but I nevertheless choose to put her here.
In the USA Aanes is pronounced "Eines".
Ole, Sivert and Beret from Øren, Bæverfjord, were step-brothers and sisters to the Larsen and Johnson "clans" living in Elberta, Suttons Bay and East Jordan. Their mother, Brit Olsdatter, who married Lars Fredrikson Hommelstaddalen of Øran, was a half-sister of the Sivertson's father. The Sivertsons represent an emigration following in the wake of relatives who had already arrived. They are a link in this "chain reaction".
Sources: Ole's daughters Mildred and Marie, Elberta/Johan Aanes' daughter Hilda, Bisbee.
Photo reference 156/1: John Aanes - son of Sigrid Husby - Bæverfjordsøran. His house is the tallest in the row of houses on the right. | Belongs to: Hilda Paulson.
This is Anders Jonsen from Ytre Halten. He was the first member of this family to come over. He arrived in 1883, 25 years old - at Elberta, and started a saloon. Undoubtedly, he first worked in the woods.
He married Agneta Rønning. Children: Alvin/John/Raynold/Signe. Alvin died on the way home from the military in 1918 of Spanish influenza. John caught consumption, but his niece, Anna Holden Olsen, said that his wife had money to put him in a sanitarium. He had an orchard in Elberta, but later lived in Indiana. Signe still lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Holdens had a saloon from 1900 to 1909. During the summer they had an ice cream bar in the yard, and they made ice cream themselves. The saloon closed in 1909, but they continued the ice cream bar until 1915, when Andrew switched to working for the railroad, presumably in the repair and maintenance of railroad cars. The family ran a lodging house for railroad workers.
Sivert Glarum, grandson of Nils, says that the Glarums used to have lunch at Holdens when they worked in the store. He recalls the meals that were served - with a shudder! "Disgusting food", he says.
Andrew helped others in the family come over. He purchased tickets for them, and they repaid him after they started working.
Hallvard, Andrew's brother, arrived in 1892, but there is no other information about him - other than that he went back to Norway.
Randi and Einar
Randi and Einar, Hallvard's children, went to the USA later, no other information. Randi married Ola Bjerkeset from Kristiansund.
A cluster of Norwegian farms evolved on the north side of the Betsie River. The hamlet was called Norwegian Town or Norwegian Valley. The region lies directly south of the Norwegian cemetery in Frankfort. It belongs to the "Norwegian Church", but today is the public cemetery for the town of Frankfort and lies almost directly across the river from the Gilmore cemetery on the south side.
Roads in the area today are nearly all named after Norwegian farmers. 8-10 families dwelt here.
Elmer Holden (Hallvard in Norway)
Elmer was one of the farmers on River Road. He appears to have been the first of the Holden family to follow Andrew. He arrived in Elberta in 1886, 19 years old and alone, certainly assisted by his uncle Andrew.
His daughter, Anna, gives her father's birthdate as June 18, 1867. He died in Frankfort, 74 years old - September 27, 1941.
Elmer was a lumberjack for Nels Glarum the first three years. Then he bought land, bit by bit, until he had 100 acres on River Road.
Elmer managed a variety of orchards: apples, pears, peaches, cherries - and also raised beans and cabbage. He had four cows, sold milk and occasionally butter. Otherwise, they had pigs and chickens for their own use.
Elmer married Serina (Åsa in Norway) Lindeland from Syrdalen. Children: Nels/Sven/Anna/and a child who died.
They adopted and raised the three children of Serina's sister when their mother died. Serina's aunt moved in and helped out.
Nels worked for the railroad. Sven became a teacher.
Elmer died of cancer. He was sent to Ann Arbor, but was only sent back home, where he died.
Nels sold the farm. Serina lived for a time with Anna, later with Nels.
Photo reference 157/1: Elmer (Hallvard) Holden and Serina born Lindeland (from Syrdalen) in front of the house in 'Norwegian Valley' i Frankfort. 3 children, 3 foster-children and Serina's aunt on the stairs. | Belongs to: Anna Holden Olsen | Copy: Bud Palin.
Randi, John (Jo), Ola and Anders Holden
The rest of Elmer's family also came over.
Randi married Anders Røen from Rindal. She is discussed under Empire.
Jo also lived in Empire. He was unmarried, working in the woods and at the sawmill.
According to HH, Ola and Anders also came over. Nothing was said about them in an interview with Anna Holden Olsen in Frankfort, Elmer's daughter. She said that her father had a half-brother on the West Coast - in the state of Washington. Randi Røen's sons were out west on a visit, but Elmer never had the wherewithal. Perhaps the son Nils had by Ingeborg Pedersdatter Vikatrøa was also there, since a half-brother was mentioned?
The Parents Nils and Ane Holden
The parents arrived last. Nils worked at the sawmill and in the woods at Empire. Nils died first, and Ane lived with Jo, later with Randi Røen.
Anna Holden Olsen tells that Elmer and family often drove to Empire on visits. It took a day each way. She also says that she often went on visits to "Uncle Andrew" in Elberta and stayed over to the next day.
Even if the trip to Empire took a day by horse, the distance is not very great for, when the sawmill in Empire burned down, people in Elberta/Frankfort could see the glow of the fire.
Hans Andersen (Nordvik)
Anna Holden Olsen tells that Hans Andersen "from Nordvik in Stangvik" was one of their neighbors on River Road. That must have been the Hans, born 1881, from Hans-Slettnesset. HH states he died unmarried in the USA, and that he had a daughter, Bernadine, married to Peder Ørsal of Sagtrøa in Todalen.
According to Anna he was married twice: The first time to Dorothy Kittelsen, the second to Siri Kristensen, who had four children when she married Hans.
Anna says that Hans had a sister named Guro, who was a housekeeper in the area, and that she died at her brother's. HH lists no sister, Guro. Could this be the mother who, for all that, did come over?
Hans worked a while in Flint and returned to the farm afterwards. Later he worked on the ferries.
HH states that both the sister, Marie, and the brother, Lars, emigrated, and that their father, Anders, left later, but that their mother, Guro, resided in Lia as long as she lived. In any case, we find Hans in Frankfort. Probably Guro was his mother, and the rest were not so far away.
Sources: Anna Holden Olsen/Blacklock's History of Elberta.
Arnt Sæterbø was one of the farmers on River Road. He was from Utistua Sæterbø. His sister Marit, married to Johannes Olson Telstad, lived in Suttons Bay. A nephew, Magnus, also came over and today lives in Kalamazoo, about a 3-hour drive farther south. (More about Magnus under Suttons Bay.)
Arnt still had the Norwegian spelling of his name on his marriage license. He married Randi Eriksen - from Bergen, the family believes. Children: Eilert/Ingvald/Josephine/Rena/Anna.
Josephine still lives in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Anna in Florida.
Arnt was first a lumberjack, and is said to have been uncommonly strong. Because of language difficulties, he lost his first week's pay because someone else picked up his paycheck.
Arnt quickly established himself as a farmer on River Road. He had 80 acres. He had cows, and was very lucky to have a spring for the first-class cooling of milk. The cash crop was raspberries, later cherries. Arnt must have spoken English with the children, for it is quoted in the family that he shouted to his daughter Anna: "Anna, throw the cow over some hay!"
Sæter People from "Søskenheim" in Surnadalsøra
Six people came to the Elberta/Frankfort region from this household on Øra.
According to the family in the area, Gjertrud arrived first, then Isak, then Inger, then Anna, Jon and Torvald not being mentioned.
Gjertrud married shortly after coming to Elberta. Her husband, Emil Vigland, is mentioned among the residents of the smelter district, Copenhagen. Later he had several jobs. E.g., he had a store in part of "The Baver Building", he had a bowling alley, and when he was young he worked at the family trade, making cement blocks and doing brickwork. He had numerous responsible positions in public affairs, among others, justice of the peace.
Children: Caroline/Bonnie/twins Gerald and Emil.
Gjertrud lost her husband in 1937, but lived for many years afterwards.
Isak arrived with a large group in 1894, but only he and Ole Andersen Telstad were going to Michigan. Quite certainly, Isak arrived before Gjertrud, for she was only 14 in 1894. She must be the Gjertrud P. Sæther who emigrated to Michigan in 1900. 'P' is probably a misprint for 'T'.
Isak didn't marry, and was a shoemaker in Elberta his whole life, with a workshop in "The Baver Building". His niece, Hilda, remembers him as an eccentric old man who always had small change and goodies for the children when they came to visit. Isaac Sather is the spelling of his name in the USA.
Inger came to Frankfort in 1902, 19 years old, where she took a household position. She moved with this family to Cincinnati where she later worked for another family. Inger always came to Elberta during the summer. She arrived as an elegant lady from the city, with trunks full of splendid clothes, and each time it was an event for the young ladies.
When she retired, she came to Elberta. She took a position as housekeeper, but died one week later.
According to the family, Anna, at the age of 18, came to Gjertrud in Elberta. Gjertrud was sick when Anna arrived, and Anna had, on one occasion, started cooking oatmeal. It ended with oatmeal spread all over the kitchen. Gjertrud served railroad workmen meals in the morning and evening, so both parties had a memorable day!
Anna married Ole Dyrdal. He came to the USA with his parents when he was 5. Ole Dyrdal worked at the Glarum Store and, after 2 years as a housekeeper, Anna married him.
They dwelt on the Dyrdal farm on River Road. The farm covered 40 acres and they later acquired 40 acres farther up the road - "the east 40". They had 10-12 dairy