The first white family to settle in Suttons Bay was that of Harry C. Sutton of New York. They arrived in 1854. All was then covered by forest. The Sutton family initially shared a two-room log cabin with an Indian family, until they completed their own cabin.

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«HISTORY OF EMIGRATION FROM NORDMØRE - Stangvik and Surnadal parishes»
* For disclaimer, please see end of text.



The first white family to settle in Suttons Bay was that of Harry C. Sutton of New York. They arrived in 1854. All was then covered by forest. The Sutton family initially shared a two-room log cabin with an Indian family, until they completed their own cabin.  The young wife barricaded the door to the Indians the first time her husband left to get supplies in Traverse City, but she quickly found out that Indians were good friends to have. Now and then they would cure one of the children of dysentery with their homemade tribal medications.

Sutton started working in the forest. The woods were so dense that trees couldn't fall down when cut.  Sutton acted as doctor, teacher, trader, etc., as more settlers gradually streamed in. Sutton moved farther west to Kansas in 1871.

Thus it was a rather young community the Bahle family came to in 1871, when they broke off from the Norwegian settlement in Northport and established the Nordmøre colony at Suttons Bay.

Esten Bahle built a boat in Northport and sailed people and equipment down to Suttons Bay. Today a spinning wheel he took stands in the parlor of his great-grandson, George Anderson, in Northport.

Photo reference 116/1: Suttons Bay High School - Home of the Norsemen.


The Bæle Family
Lars E. Bahle

Lars was sick for two months after arriving at Northport. The passage on the "Johan" had been hard on him. He himself wrote that his good friend John Varle was sick even longer. The Varle referred to must be Vasli. In the same account of his life, which he himself wrote, excerpts of which were printed in his obituary in the Suttons Bay newspaper of December 14, 1933, Lars says of his journey on the "Johan", "I felt our graves were to be there on the ocean."

Following these two months of illness, he set to sawing and cutting wood. Northport's principal business was producing cordwood, 4-foot lengths for the wood-fueled steamboats. The boats went to Chicago and returned to Northport, and then to Detroit, Cleveland, and Buffalo. The largest took 100 cords.

Lars wrote that after two years he had enough money for tickets for the rest of his family. They were also sick for two months after arriving, incapable of doing anything. Lars had to tend them and couldn't go to work.

For a time Marit lost her hair. Sea-fever appears to have been quite common. The emigration process must have been thoroughly debilitating, both physically and mentally, even for strong, young people.

He writes, "At last they became healthy. I bought my first 80 acres of land with a small house on it so mother and father would feel comfortable, a mile from Suttons Bay. There were then just a few small homes in Suttons Bay. I chose Suttons Bay as my lifetime home and it was a good choice. The climate is wonderful and one never grows tired looking at the beautiful bay. I worked cutting wood for several winters. During the spring I went to the Manitou Islands and worked at the boatyards as long as they were in operation for the season. In October 1873, I settled at the home of my father and mother in Suttons Bay. In 1874 I was able to pay $800 for the rest of the land.

My first team consisted of two oxen. In the fall of 1874 I was able to sell them and buy two fine 5-year old horses. The horses, wagon, and harness were paid off, $350, after two years.

Photo reference 117/1: The oxen yoke that Lars E. Bahle used when ploughing his homestead.

In the summer of 1876, when I was down in Suttons Bay after the mail one day, the stagecoach driver asked if I would come over to the coach and find out what a passenger wanted. There was a fine, strong Norwegian girl there who was mighty glad to hear Norwegian. I explained to her which coach to take to get to Leland, where her relatives were waiting. I decided to become better acquainted with her, and seven months later she was my wife.

We lived together with father and mother for five years, but our family grew and the house became too small. I built a new house down in town and lived there 37 years. I sold all my woods and land and built a small, 24 by 40-foot store. Things went truly beyond expectations and I had to expand.  I sold everything conceivable for use on a farm and made Suttons Bay the cash-only operation that it still is.

In 1918 we were unfortunate enough to lose the Traverse City, Leelanau and Manistique Railroad. We held meetings both here and in Northport to raise money. Everyone gave what he could afford and, after six months of hard work going from door to door and imploring everyone to buy at least one share for $100, we succeeded at last in buying the railroad for $65000. I was elected president, a responsibility I had for three years. We earned enough to build stations both in Northport and Suttons Bay. Moreover, we paid $6000 for bridges."

L. E. Bahle goes on to mention that he had two sons whom were drafted in W.W.I, and both returned. Of the four from Suttons Bay who fell in the war, three were buried in the Norwegian cemetery.

Lars concludes with this prayer:
"The welfare of Suttons Bay is always in my thoughts and in my heart,
May Our Heavenly Father bless each home and all who work here,
This is my daily prayer."

Photo reference 117/2: The old train station in Northport, George Anderson in front.

Lars' great-nephew, George Anderson, owns the Northport station today. It serves as a railroad museum and, at the same time, George has his insurance office on the site. When the author lived in Northport the winter of 1985, she purchased her automobile insurance here one snowy winter's day. An enormous Indian was shoveling the snow and feeding the large, wood-burning stove, while Marit Bahle's grandson was selling insurance to a large black man at a table in the center of the room. Trumpets resounded from the radio in a lively Italian baroque piece at full concert volume.

On frequent trips between Northport and Traverse City via Suttons Bay, the author's car was thoroughly shaken each time we crossed the railroad tracks, and we thought about L. E.!

Mr. Sutton was still postmaster in Suttons Bay when the Bahle family arrived, but Lars became postmaster in 1896 and held the position for 24 years. He named Lars P. Bolme from Bæverfjord as postman for Route 1 in 1905, and the Norwegian P. C. Mork for Route 2 in 1906.

His first wife was Oline Andricksen, his second Emma Weir, and the third, who survived him, was Emmy Larsen. All his children were born of the first marriage except Louis, who came from the second. Lars was called Louis in the USA, but went, and is still referred to, by the name L. E.

Lars' children were: Maret, Gena, Esten, Emma, Lena, Martin, John, Otto, Nellie, Thomas, and Louis.

He had 24 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren when he died at the age of 84.

His obituary in "Scandinaven" says that two ministers presided at his funeral, Guldberg in Norwegian, and Magelsen in English. Chopin's Death March was played and several familiar hymns were sung both in Norwegian and English. The obituary concludes with a peculiar advertisement for the newspaper. "The old pioneer has been a subscriber to "Scandinaven" for 63 years. It has always been a welcome guest in his own and his parent's homes."

L. E. Bahle must have been a man of considerable initiative and enterprise. He also built a schooner, the "O. M. Nelson", named after its captain who also financed the project. The boat was later sold and lost on Lake Michigan. The model he made of the boat stands today on one of the shelves in the store, together with a model of a lifeboat he built, but never put into production. He developed it after one of his sons was shipwrecked on Lake Michigan and saved himself by floating to land on an empty milk can. His son Otto later manufactured recreational sailboats for children which were capable of crossing Traverse Bay, and dedicated part of the business to this product. In the store one also finds the half-frame template model used as a reference for construction of the "O. M. Nelson". It was a strange feeling, sitting with it in one's hands.

L. E.'s son Otto took over the store and married the daughter of a nearby store, the daughter of Lars E. Sogge from Ytre Einmoen. Today their son Owen and his son Carl run the Bahle Store, established in 1876. It is one of the most highly regarded businesses in the entire region, selling clothing of high quality, and prices.

It should be mentioned that when L.E. first opened the store, it was in a short-lived partnership with Fred Smiseth. Smiseth and Sogge will later be discussed individually.

Lars wasn't a large man, 5'9" and 150 to 160 pounds. All four generations that have owned the business have born an amazing family resemblance to the founder.

Lars was an easy-going man with a good sense of humor, always active. He was a teetotaler. It was customary to offer a round of drinks at the bar when one was married, but Lars sent boxes of foodstuffs to all the needy households instead.

Lars went bankrupt in the depression in 1929. He always believed well of people and, when a partner in an undertaking in Chicago went bankrupt in 1929, he wrote the loss off on Lars. Lars presumably advertised in Norway for wife number three and he was married just before losing everything. She returned to Norway after he died, and later Otto helped her out financially. She died not long afterwards of fish-bone poisoning.

Photo reference 118/1: The model Lars E. Bahle made of the schooner O.M. Nelson.

Photo reference 118/2: The lifeboat model made by Lars E. Bahle.

Photo reference 118/3: Owen Bahle and his son Carl, with grandfather / great-grandfather L.E. Bahle in the picture held between them - in front of the Bahle store.


The Parents, Esten and Maret
Esten was from Jostua, Bele, and Maret from Torestua, Bæverfjord. Their first children were born at Torestua, but Sjøheim at Bele was the house they left in 1870.

Esten became cantor in the Suttons Bay church and was no doubt also a teacher, to some degree. Esten and his family were among the leading figures in the development of the religious life and training in the Norwegian group. (See the chapter concerning the organization of religious life.)

In addition to the farm that Lars had purchased, Esten worked as a carpenter. He made nearly all the coffins used in the region, and Maret decorated their interiors with fabrics and lace. It's said that the barn on the Bahle Farm was always full of coffins, and the youngsters used to play hide-and-seek in them!

He also made spinning wheels, yarn frames, looms, and bobbins and spools among other things. The basement in Northport of his great-granddaughter Randa Fredrickson is full of all manner of equipment that Esten had made for spinning, warping, and weaving.

Esten was 50 and Maret 53 when they emigrated. Esten died in 1900 and Maret in 1897. In 1883 or '84 they moved closer to town, buying a small farm directly west of town. But their first farm remains in the family.

Photo reference 119/1: Esten Bahle and his wife Maret Larsdatter Bæverfjord | Belongs to: Randa Fredrickson.

Photo reference 119/2: The gold wedding of Esten and Maret Bahle | From left front: Steinar C. Garthe, Anna Garthe, Maret B. Anderson, Esther Maakestad, Mrs. Maakestad, reverend John J. Maakestad, the married couple | Behind them, from left: Randa B. Einerson, Jennie B. Groesser, Maret B. Peterson, Gertrude Garthe, Maret Bahle | From the groom on the right: reverend Rue, Andrew Fred Anderson, Oscar Anderson, Lars Bahle, Maria Bahle Bahle, Oline Bahle - the first wife of Lars | The picture is taken in "Maakestad Grove", where all the church feasts were held | The picture was taken in 1895, copied in 1935 | Belongs to: Randa Fredrickson.


Maria was hired as a maid for five years at the home of H. O. Rose, who built the railroad from Walton to Traverse City. She was paid $2 a week.

Marie Weber in Suttons Bay, Maria's only grandchild, says that, before emigrating, Maria was already engaged to her cousin Anders Bahle, her father's nephew from Jostua. He must have come over immediately before or after the "Johan". The family believes they were on the same boat, but he isn't on the passenger list. He had heard about possibilities for obtaining considerable land out west, so he went west to take out a homestead. While he was working and living there the requisite five years, Maria worked in Michigan. In 1873 she went out to Fergus Falls in western Minnesota and they were married. They acquired a farm of 160 acres, built themselves a log house and barn and, when things were going well, built a new frame house. They had seven children: Peder stillborn, Peder Edward '76, Randine Marie '78, Maret Amelia '80, Edwin Leonard '81, Inga Amalia '83, and Anna Louise '84.

Marie Weber has a letter from Esten to Anders and Maria, two letters from a young and dynamic Anders then getting his farm going, and one from Maria.


Letters between Suttons Bay and Fergus Falls, Minnesota

Suttons Bay 21 January 1876
Dear Children,
Mr. Anders and Maria Bæhle,

It has been a rather long time between our letters and for the moment I don't have your last letter handy so I can properly respond to it. Yet I must write a few lines and let you know this and that about us. As to our health, my wife and I are somewhat weaker than we were formerly but, for the past year, we've been quite healthy and busy working. Still, I can't stand heavy work.  I'll tell you a bit about the crops in this place. The hay crop wasn't among the largest, but the supply is adequate. Wheat and rye were terrible.They were more or less damaged due to considerable rain. The same for corn. There is a surfeit of potatoes and, as a result, there isn't much of a price for potatoes. Since the month of September much rain has fallen here and consequently the harvest was poor. And after the New Year we have had snow and rain alternately, so up to now there has been little work with sledges.

Last fall Lars picked up 40 acres of homestead land a mile from the Lake and he has three men there cutting wood. The wood is hauled down to the beach close to John Dilvud's, but he hasn't gotten out more than about 100 cords so far, and Lars has therefore ordered two more teams to haul for him. He is hauling out wood on his own behalf. If there is any respectable price for wood, then I think he can make a good profit. The homestead property that I had, I turned over to a Norwegian and got in return $250. Twelve Norwegians have bought land here in Suttons Bay since the fall. For the present, we count twelve Norwegian families and six unattached men with land in Suttons Bay. The largest part of the land of these Norwegians lies together and stretches northward from our land.

Paul H. Hakstad also has bought 80 acres more land. Paul has done extremely well since coming here. Perhaps he has lost some of his best workers but, on the other hand, his children are coming to help him and have already aided him considerably. His children are smart and industrious. Since they came to live close to us, I have been to their home on Sundays and held catechism sessions with the children. They are getting along very well in their religious training.

Asmund O., who was with Nils Setterbø, married a girl from Øksendal in the fall.

Maret C. Garte married Jakob Vagbø, Henning's brother.

In the summer we had three milch cows, but in the month of August we sold one, and some time before Christmas we slaughtered another and a pig, and now we only have one cow and two calves who will soon be a year old. The calves are large and spirited. They are quick to prance about when let out. In the fall we also bought a pair of sheep. We are going to try to raise sheep.

Previously I had been arranging for a house next the old one.

Regards to your friends there and to Knud and Ole O. Ask them to write and let me hear from them.  If you have information from Eli Hagen, then let us know it. We haven't heard anything from them in a long time.

I suppose you will write us as soon as possible and let us hear from you. If Anders hasn't the time, then you, Maria, must write.

Best regards from me and the family,
Esten Bæhle


Fergus Falls January 14, 1883
E. L. Bæhle,

I received your letter several days ago. I must thank you for the information you've shared with us. I can't recall how long it's been since I wrote you, and possibly this time I am going to repeat what I've written previously. But there's no harm in that. First I must brag about how much work I have accomplished with my two oxen. In the spring I started on our 43 acres, then they had to go to the hayfield nearly every day, so the 43 acres were plowed up by the following fall. Over this period, 90 loads of hay or about as many tons were cut and hauled away. The oxen are superb at both reaping and mowing.  I can ride along giving orders.

When we were reaping during the harvest, Sivert Bæhle said, "I doubt you can find such oxen anymore, they turn and halt like trained soldiers." I reaped six acres a day with them. Altogether I hauled eighty loads of unthreshed wheat. Forty loads of manure were hauled out, and then there was one or another trips to town, and then in addition plowing two acres a day for a week.

Put together all the work all the horses at Asgaard, Bæhle, and Haksad do in a summer and it would hardly be as much as my two oxen did by themselves, and yet they are still fit. As you can realize, my activities in the winter are hauling wood home and cutting it up, and taking care of the animals, along with hauling hay and wheat to town. At the end of the winter, I'm considering turning to carpentering on the new house. I'll try to finish it this spring. It's going to take about $200. My sister Anne has been with us most of the time since coming to America. I've also paid her over $80. At present, she and my wife are busy sewing, tending to the house, and minding the youngsters. As yet, they have no lack of things to sew. They get along well. For the time being, my farming and household are not too painfully expensive, only three month's pay for a hired hand, the serving-girl's wages, wages for binders during the harvest, etc. It isn't exactly like where you are Lars. There one has a grandmother and a grandfather to tend to a substantial portion of the farm chores. But I'm not complaining, for I'm obliged to concede that year by year the future's looking good. Lars and Ole Torvig are working in the woods 50 miles to the east and are earning up to 35 dollars a month.

Knut Aasgaard and Ole A. Aarnes have bought 120 acres of oak forest three miles southeast of here. They are cutting it themselves and leasing more, paying 90 cents a cord to have it hauled to the railroad. There they can get $3.50 a cord for wood.

Sivert Bæhle has married Eli A. Bæhle. He got quite a woman?  This letter is getting long enough.  We are all doing well,

A. Bæhle

Edwin has learned to run about but weaning him is a job.


Fergus Falls December 26, 1884

I can manage to find time now at Christmas to write you a few words and tell you one or another items about us.

Peder Glærum, who had previously gotten his land in Dakota going with a house and a little farm, came down this summer and fetched his wife who has been bedridden for over a year. A few months ago he wrote that Maret is up every day and that he is the best doctor for her.

This summer my wheat suffered some damage, so the yield was only 500 bushels. Hail struck down at least 200 bushels.

On top of that, the price has dropped to barely 50 cents a bushel, so it looks like I'm hardly going to make any progress with my assets this year. But as I can pay the workers, pay all current expenses, feed and clothe nine people, along with making some improvements on the farm, there is still reason to be in good spirits. Perhaps I can call it progress having 16 cattle, with the young ones growing up whether times be slack or good. A month ago I slaughtered a plump cow and soon it's to be the pig's turn, so we have both our food and our health.

Little Christmas Eve (December 23): my youngest daughter was born December 19, 1884, and the old lady followed her usual ritual, namely, getting up on her legs after 1« days. The entire group is in the best of health. I'd have to be blind if I couldn't see any progress. My sister Maria has been our maid for six weeks now. She is surely the most reliable one we have ever had.

Anne is now at Knut's and Petrina at Moster's or Ole's. Anne was a bit ill during the summer, but she is now well again.

Lars Torvig is the cooper in Fergus Falls. He can split the hoops and finish 16 to 18 flour barrels a day. Their price is 16 cents. He is going to take in his brother Sivert as an apprentice. Ole Torvig isn't working his own land in Dakota but now, for the winter, is working for a butcher in Fergus Falls for 40 dollars a month and free food. In their spare time the Torvik boys as well as Ole A. Aarnæs have been staying with us, and they are all respectable lads who do us a real honor. In particular, I believe I have been a little support for them as concerns sobriety. And even on Little Christmas Eve there isn't a drop of Christmas brandy to be found in my house, for it is a thing that has been (and that I think is going to remain) banished from my household.

Herewith I must break away.  We send you all our sincere greetings.

A. Bæhle


Fergus Falls December 26, 1885
Dear Parents, Brothers, and Sisters,

I must try to tell you myself of my painful fate.  God has chosen to take away my earthly help and support and now I am left with six fatherless children, of whom the oldest is nine and the youngest one year old. But thank God we still have a tolerably fine home and food and clothes, as much as we need.

Anders started getting sick in June.  I believe he caught it from a draft, he had the window open when he was in bed and fell asleep that way until the morning and afterwards he wasn't really ever healthy. He said his throat felt so dry and hoarse. I think he inhaled too much cold air that night. The last evening he was alive, he sat at the table with us but couldn't eat any longer. Lars Torvig went for the doctor the next morning, but he arrived too late. I was alone with him when he died. I asked our oldest son to run to our closest neighbor when I realized that death was approaching. He never spoke of death, but pretended that he was going to get well again. But I think he said that so as not to grieve me. The last morning we spoke a bit about his illness. I said that your illness has certainly turned into pneumonia since you are getting worse and he answered that his sickness had certainly become something else too. I said you are going to get better soon and then he answered, yes, I am going to get better again. But as he said that, he must have realized that he was dying and about an hour later he was dead. I sat holding him when he died and I believe that God helped me so that I didn't become too distressed. Then he had a seizure and after he had recovered he said to try and raise him up so he could sit. And then he grasped my hand and while I sat with him I prayed to God that He would have pity on him for Jesus has said that all that we ask in His name, that shall we receive, and then he raised both his hands in the air and after that he gave me his hand for the last time and then his life was soon over. Lars Torvig has been here a while. He helped me with the funeral and is both an able and competent lad. Knud Bæhle helps me any way he can. He is here a good deal and good-natured. Maria is at Knud's. She is not feeling well. Ane has been in the town this summer and fall but now she is here with me.

The worst thing for me now is finding a reliable man to take care of the cattle until spring. Lars is still here, but he will soon be going to the cooper's shop. We have 18 cattle so something has to be done with them. Our debts are 300 dollars and that is for all three Torvig boys.  We still have a little wood to sell.

I should whole-heartedly wish that you, father, and mother would come here in the spring if you are healthy enough to stand the trip. Perhaps it is asking too much for Lars to accompany you hither. The funeral was Tuesday before Christmas. We also had a minister here. A seven-team cortege brought his mortal dust to its last resting-place.

I must say a few words to you, Lars. We received so many name-cards from your wife. Give her our regards and many thanks. Have you really as many as five children?

Give my regards to Maret. I appreciate the letter and portrait. That is a fine little boy and then she asks how I manage to sew for so many. I can't answer that other than to say that in time she will learn to understand when she has as many children.

Loving regards from your daughter,
Maria Bæhle

(Maria writes without using periods, so they have been inserted for the sake of comprehension.  Otherwise, everything is printed as she has written it.)


Photo reference 122/1: Maria Bahle - widow after Anders Bahle | The children from back left: Peter, Randa | The middle row: Maret, Edwin, Anna | In front: Inga (the oldest child Peder died.) | Photo: Overland / Holand - Fergus Falls | Belongs to: Randa Fredrickson | Copy: Bud Palin.

Maria was deeply religious and later said that she had had a vision a year before Anders died. She was out in the pasture one day and saw an angel sitting on the fence. The angel asked her whom she would choose, husband or child, if she were to lose someone. Maria thought about it a while. Then she said she would choose the child and let her husband die, for he was an adult and a Christian man. The children, on the other hand, needed to live so they might learn to know God.

When Anders died, Lars wrote from Suttons Bay to Maria asking her to sell the farm and come east to be with the family. She did that two years after Anders died.

She traveled with all six children by herself, the youngest 3 years old, the oldest 11. Each time they changed from one means of transportation to the next, Peter and Randa would walk in front with two suitcases apiece, Maret and Edwin had instructions to hang onto their mother's skirt, and Maria led the two smallest ones, one in each hand. When they were changing to the boat at the dock in Milwaukee, Maret let go of her mother's skirt and disappeared into the crowd. Things became quite dramatic before they found her again. As her sister Inga lay dying in her old age, she cried again and again, "Poor little Maret, poor little Maret!" By chance there was a doctor who spoke Norwegian and understood what she was saying. It must have been traumatic on the dock, for it lingered so long so firmly in Inga's mind.

Maria was aided primarily by Lars when getting along was difficult in Suttons Bay. Suttons Bay had frequent ship calls and the children sold milk and fresh berries on the boats. They later said they thought it embarrassing and felt tormented by their shyness. One of the children traded eggs for pencils when she went to school.

At the time she arrived in Michigan, Maria was declared incurably ill with TB, with a maximum of three years to live. The doctor had said she must live either in Colorado or Michigan.

In 1886 Marie, as her name later became in the USA, bought 40 acres for $200 on the west side of Suttons Bay. Lars helped her get her house going, and miraculously enough she was cured of tuberculosis! Lars thought his sister's recovery was proof that what a newspaper had written about Leelanau and its area being the most healthful region in the USA was right.

With the help of her sons Peter and Edwin, the farm became successful and the family later built one of the most beautiful homes in Suttons Bay, on one of its fairest sites.

Marie's obituary concludes: "Marie was known as a quiet-going and gentle old lady, who carried out all her household responsibilities until the day she died. What a story could be written of her life!"

Marie was only 5 feet tall. They had to take the legs off her large stove so she could see into pots. Today the stove stands in all its splendor, with its legs fastened back on in Maria's old kitchen, at the home of her granddaughter Marie.

Photo reference 123/2: Maria's only grandchild - Marie, at her grandmother's stove, and in her kitchen, which is now also Marie's kitchen in 1985.

Her granddaughter Marie says she grew up with ten parents, for she was the only grandchild. Today she is living in her grandmother's house. Maria never spoke English, and Marie Jr. never Norwegian.

Maria died in the spring of 1930.

Her daughter Anna was organist for the Immanuel Church in Suttons Bay for 62 years.


Mali worked as a maid at the home of Dr. Nelson in Northport and after that at the home of Mrs. Pratt in Traverse City. She then went to Chicago and worked as a cook at the home of Ogden Armour, a rich family owning a meatpacking business. In 1875, Mali married the Norwegian Ole Lund who was a coachman there. They journeyed to Nebraska where they homesteaded in 1878. There were many hard times in their pioneer existence. One year the grasshoppers came, putting an end to all the crops, every last scrap. The family in Suttons Bay tried to send them all the help they could. They had four sons and one daughter: Edwin, Martin, Inga Maria, Kearnel, Ella deceased, and Albert.

The children settled in Colorado, Wyoming, and Washington. Mali lived with Albert in Washington for a while.

It's a shame that we haven't more details about Mali's life.  She died in 1921 at Martin's home near Mason City, Nebraska.

Photo reference 124/1: The Bahle siblings in Suttons Bay | At the back: Lars and Maria | Front from left: Maret, Elizabeth and Mali | Belongs to: Randa Fredrickson | Copy: Bud Palin.


Elisabeth called herself Lisabeth. She first worked at the DeGolier's lodging house in Northport. After that she went to Perry Hannah's home in Traverse City. At her next working place, she became second-girl at the home of Ogden Armour in Chicago.

Lisabeth married Steinar Garthe in 1878 and they had ten children. They are listed in the section about their father. Lisabeth died in 1930.


Maret took over Lisabeth's position in Chicago, going there also to receive instruction for her confirmation. She was confirmed in Chicago. All the others were confirmed in Norway. After her confirmation, Maret returned and worked during the summers at the Chicago Club in Omena, between Northport and Suttons Bay, and during the winters in Chicago.

In 1883 she married the Swede Andrew F. Anderson, whom she met on the Chicago boat. They had five sons, Louis, George, Frank, Oscar, and Carl.


Bahle Park

Lars E. Bahle's son Otto bought 10 acres out of Maria’s farm and gave it to the town along with half of the Bahle Farm.  It is to be a skiing and recreational area. Until now, no memorial plaque or the like has been put up, but all details have not yet been completed (spring '85).

Sources: John P. Snekkvik, Randa Fredrickson, Marie Weber, Realpha and Haakon Clausen, George Anderson, Owen Bahle, and Carl Bahle.


Road Signs in Suttons Bay

Outside the town of Suttons Bay and its immediate vicinity, there were two primary residential areas. One was clustered around Solem and Sæterbø Roads northwest of town. The other lay on Lee Point, a peninsula south of town between Norvick Road and Traverse Bay.

The families of Lars Sylte from Sylt-Trøa and his father-in-law Kristen Bæhle lived on Sylt Road, next to the French settlement near Lake Leelanau.

Signs are missing from Bahle Road and Smiseth Road.

So far there aren't any signs for Bahle Park.

Photo reference 125/1: Signposts in Suttons Bay.


Plan map showing Suttons Bay – 1900

All the Norwegian farms are highlighted in grey, almost all inhabited by peop0le from Nordmøre. (An error in the map: Work should be Mork.)

Photo reference 126/1: Plan map of Suttons Bay - 1900.


Smiseth's "Old Reliable Store"

Gunnhild Jonsdatter Sæterbø from Nyenga arrived in Suttons Bay in 1884, 11 ½ years old, together with her mother Sigrid and her sister Johanna, age 18. Her brother Ola had come over the preceding year. (See the section about Petrine Larsdatter under Northport.)

Gunnhild, Jennie in the USA, married Fredrik Fredrikson Smiseth in 1888 when she was 17. Fredrik had arrived in 1882, 24 years old, in a group of nine persons.

Fredrik died prematurely in 1897. They had the children Mali, Fredrik, John, and Selmer P.

Gunnhild's obituary states that she started a general store in Suttons Bay in 1894, and owned and managed it for 61 years. Presumably the married couple was a twosome at the beginning, or so one is led to believe, but Gunnild was a tough and able business dealer in her own right all the years after Fredrick passed away. She was a potato wholesaler, was her own agent, and was a pioneer regarding cherry cultivation. She had the honor of being the first one to market sweet cherries from Michigan in "Fancy Pack" packages. She was also an active lady in church work.

Today tales about Gunnhild still endure, and the author heard people characterize her as a "witch". She and the other potato wholesalers fought over purchases when the farmers around Suttons Bay came in with wagonloads of potatoes to sell. The wholesalers in Suttons Bay shipped potatoes to Chicago and other places. Gunnhild must have been a headache for her competitors in their street battles over potatoes. That Gunnhild never remarried like other respectable widows, but contended in life's struggle like a man, must have antagonized her male colleagues. It must also have been frustrating, being exposed to such an able and assertive colleague of the female persuasion and hindered by gentlemanly instincts regarding the female sex, to have to battle with her as an equal.

Nearly 87 years old, Gunnhild died on the way to her winter home in Florida in 1958. She suffered a stroke in Cadillac and was taken to the Traverse City hospital where she died. She had lived in Suttons Bay for 74 years.

Her son Selmer became a doctor and surely practiced in Suttons Bay for a time. None of her descendant live there today, although relatives are to be found. The "Old Reliable Store" is no more, and the sign for Smiseth Road has been taken down. She had four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren when she died.

Photo reference 127/1: Fredrik Smiseth and Gunhild born Sæterbø with their daughter Molly. Around 1890 | Photo: Manus Brothers, Traverse City | Belongs to: Julius Johnson (Sæterbø).


"Sogge's Corner"

Lars R. Sogge is still the name on the sign in the window on the second floor of the movie house in Suttons Bay. The theater is run today by a Bahle who is the great-grandson of both L. R. Sogge and L. E. Bahle. His home lies wall-to-wall with the Bahle store.

Lars arrived in the same group as John Hommelstad-Dalen, in May '83. He first lived in Leland, where he worked at the smelter and at manufacturing matches. He then built a store in Leland, a three-story building still standing. Lars was county treasurer while living in Leland. After about ten years there, he moved to Suttons Bay and immediately started a new store, "Sogge's Corner". He sold agricultural machinery, groceries, and was a wholesaler of grain and potatoes. The business gradually grew and grew, according to circumstances. L. R. Sogge still gives the impression of a large and enterprising man, a colorful personality who occupied a substantial place in this community. Unfortunately alcohol led to the undoing of both L. R. and his financial empire. It was said his daily consumption was never evident and he could stay on his feet after many drinks but, when he was 75 years old, he lost everything through a combination of the Depression in the late 20's and alcohol's debilitations. Nevertheless, L. R. reached the age of 83.

His children scattered in all directions and only the daughter who married Otto Bahle remained. Otto took over Sogge's business in 1929 and provided jobs for its employees.

L. R. and Bertha had these children: Lena, Ruby, Rose, Bertha - died at birth, Eleanor, Harry, Robert, and Loren.  Lars lost Bertha in 1925.

Photo reference 127/2: The Sogge store, now a cinema.


Hans Sogge
Lars was from Ytre Einmoen. His brother Hans came over in 1887. He remained a farmer in Leland his whole life. Hans' wife was quiet and hard working, with a firm resolve to bring children forth into the world. She took in washing for people and also ran a tearoom. Their son Richard became an engineer and traveled all over the world as a representative for General Electric. Burt became an attorney for the city of Detroit. Their daughter Lillian was mentally handicapped but had a job in the kitchen of the tearoom. They had one additional son who died when young.

Source: Owen Bahle.


Ole Sogge
Ole Sogge, born in 1862, came to the USA at the age of 17 to his uncle's home in Windom, Minnesota. He worked in the wheat fields.

His daughter told us this. The uncle in Windom must have been Ola Gudmundson Sogge, born in 1841 at Teigavollen. Emigration records show the departure of Ola Jonsen Sogge in May 1880 via Trondheim.

His daughter Ceolia was born in North Dakota in 1899, but the family came to Michigan in 1903 where they purchased a small farm west of Traverse City. They had 80 acres and two or three cows, and sometimes none. They produced potatoes and corn. Their son Glenn continued the farm, which was later divided up. Ole never worked in a lumber camp.

Ole was of the same age as his brothers L. R. and Hans Sogge. Perhaps he returned east to Michigan because he knew them, or perhaps he passed through the area on his way west.

Ole married Ellen Thorsen from Bergen. She celebrated her 7th birthday on the ocean during the crossing to America. Their children were Ceolia and Glenn and they had six grandchildren.

Source: Ceolia (Sogge) Brown.


Postman Lars Pederson Bolme from Austigard, Sæterbø
Lars came to the USA in 1882. He went to Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and to the Ferris Institute in Big Rapids. In 1905 he became the rural mailman for Routes 1 and 2 in Suttons Bay. He married Mattie Emerson in 1903. She died in 1949.

They had two daughters, Mrs. Lloyd Weiler of Spring Lake and Mrs. Oscar Erickson of Suttons Bay.

They had two grandchildren and one great-grandchild when Lars died.

Lars retired as a postman in 1935. He died at the Traverse City hospital in 1960 after a prolonged illness, 86 years old.


The Brother Peder and the Father Peder
HH says that the brother Peder disappeared on a boat in America. People in Suttons Bay think he lived there in town and was lost on a boat up on Lake Superior.

HH says his father also went to America and was killed by a falling tree. The date of Lars' emigration in his obituary is placed in 1882. He must have come with his father, for in 1882 Lars was only nine years old (born 1873). His sister Guri died in 1882, four years old. His sister Johanna was three years old when their mother died in 1883. Johanna and the oldest sister, Sigrid, who was twelve when their mother died, must have been sent to homes in Norway and their father must have gone to the USA with Lars and Peder. This tragic family situation remains unclear.

Sources: Lars Bolme's obituary and HH.


Other Norwegian Businesses in Suttons Bay

In addition to the stores of Bahle, Sogge, and Smiseth, Grønseth had a shoe store in town and Hansen a grocery and hardware establishment. Husby was either manager or owner of a food store and Eli (Hommelstad - see Northport) and Nels Olsen also had a food store. The two saloons in town were both owned by Norwegians, Borgerson and Sivertson. In addition, L. E. Bahle ran the post office, Lars Bolme was a postman, and the funeral parlor was owned by Martin Martinson Husby of Øksendalen, so there wasn't much left to do in this little town. Nordmøre folks also built the two churches in town, except for the Catholic Church, which existed as a branch church before the Norwegian churches. Our people were also actively involved in the sawmill, home construction, painting, and paper hanging, among them Einar Pederson Aaram and Svein Bæverfjord.


Painter Svein Sivertsen Bæverfjord and Brit Larsdatter Bolme
Svend, as his name is spelled in the records of the First Lutheran Church, was a painter and wallpaper hanger in Suttons Bay. He had also been a painter in Norway. Brit is said to be the aunt of the postal carrier Lars Bolme.

Svend and Brit were married in Norway and had a son Lars (Louis in the USA) before emigrating. Other children: Peder, Gertrude, and Gurine Severine.

Svend died of prostate cancer in 1925, Brit died in 1910.

Svend and Brit emigrated in 1882 and went directly to Suttons Bay. They lived on Front Street. Their son Louis was also a painter. He died in Detroit. Gertrude also died there. Peder died in 1919 at a naval base in southern Lake Michigan. (They also had a Peder who died in 1893.) Gurine settled with her husband, John Husby from Øksendalen, in Milwaukee where she died in 1957. Their daughter Synneva (Lee) still owns the Suttons Bay house, but lives in Milwaukee.

Source: Synneva (Lee) Husby.


Sawmaster Sivert Mauseth and Maret (Nerpellan) Tellesbø
Sivert was from Mausetmoen. He was head-sawyer or sawmaster at the Suttons Bay sawmill, but we also encounter him in the sawmill scene at Bingham near Lake Leelanau, farther inland on the peninsula. Tena Haynes, the daughter of Marit's sister Ingeborg Ask, characterizes him as a big, handsome, and agreeable man who earned good wages but diligently supported the saloon.

Sivert died of typhoid fever and pneumonia in 1929, Maret of TB in 1931.

Sivert and Maret had an only son, Sivert, and two grandchildren, Harry and ? (girl).

Maret had no particular fondness for her sister on Solem Road.  Her son Sivert was allegedly responsible for having caused a fire in the barn of Ingeborg and her husband. Maret's niece believes that Maret was somewhat bitter, as she didn't have the same standard of living as her sister. Maret was accustomed to going far enough to see Ingeborg's farm, but she wouldn't go in, and the reason may well have been a combination of these two factors.

Sivert and Maret lived directly across the street from the First Lutheran Church.

Source: Tena Ask Haynes.

Photo reference 129/1: Sivert Mauseth and his son Sivert | Belongs to: Ed Grayvold.


Einar Pederson Aaram - Sawmill Owner, Building Contractor, etc. in Suttons Bay
His obituary, which is printed here unabridged, leaves Einar's origins up in the air. Eventually the author came in contact with a grandson of the same name, and he had a chest that had belonged to Einar's brother bearing the name Kristen Pedersen Aaram. (Ålvundeidet.)

"With the death of Einar Peterson, 7 January 1934, a pioneer has taken leave of us.  As only a few of the old settlers still remain, it is appropriate to recall some of the highlights of his life. The difficulties he overcame and the attitude with which he faced challenges should stand as an inspiration for the next generation.

He was born on 12 January 1862 in Ulvundfjord, near Kristiansund in Norway. When he was growing up, he tended sheep in the mountains and had many exciting experiences in that wild landscape. He once thought he saw a fox behind some rocks perturbing the sheep. But, on closer inspection, he saw that it was a large bear and got quite a start. They stared at each other for a while and then the bear ambled off, to Peterson's great relief. He started out as a carpenter's apprentice, earning $5 a year. Nevertheless, he managed to save all that he earned.

When he realized his limited possibilities in the old country, he left for America - "the promised land" - 50 years ago, and settled in Suttons Bay where he spent his whole life. He was very happy in this place, because the bay that stretches between the rolling hills reminded him of the fjord in his native land. He always said that he felt lost when he couldn't see the bay at Suttons Bay. Just three years ago, when he was 69 years old, he built a new home for himself on a high knoll, with windows along the entire side facing the bay, so that he might have a continuous view of that fair shining surface which seemed to sparkle with life and optimism.

When he landed in Suttons Bay 50 years ago, he was told that the sawmills were running out of work and would last only one more year. But since that time, he has been involved in sawmills here for 40 years, owning three mills. One is still standing and operates during the winter. When he first started as a worker at the mill, he was earning a dollar a day. In his spare time his first year in this country, he built his first home, known now as the Ole Larsen home.

During the summers of those early years, he went on working as a carpenter. Many of the commercial buildings and residences in town, as well as the school we now have, were built under his guidance. The area around the town has houses he built spread far and wide. Before there were automobiles, he often walked 20 miles to his work site with a 15-lb bag of tools.

He has done much to make our town more beautiful, not only by building splendid dwellings, but he tore down old buildings which were true eyesores and replaced them with modern commercial buildings and residences. Among his last contributions to Suttons Bay are the maple trees from his property north of town which CWA workers are now planting along the town's streets.

He was the contractor for the Michigan Transit Dock (known as the Old Company Dock) and he built the harbor in front of his sawmill. These structures bear mute testimony to the time when schooners and steamboats were frequent guests in this harbor.

In the last decade he became interested in growing fruit and, before he died, he owned one of the largest cherry orchards in this part of the country, thereby creating many seasonal jobs.

After a short time here, he set as his primary goal becoming the owner of Deuster Creek. His dream was realized in 1920 when he bought all the land along this river from source to river mouth by the bay.

He built a dam on the river and a small power plant to run his small factory. In his last years, he spent most of his time making ladders, fruit boxes and other equipment for fruit orchards, something he did well at.

He was an unassuming man with a simple life style and a strong trust in God. He was a kind neighbor and a true and sympathetic friend. Even as he lay seriously ill he was thinking of others, helping those in need.

His face bore the stamp of a hard life. Fate dealt him many blows in the shape of illness in his family and the total loss of two sawmills that burned down. He didn't let himself be shattered, but managed a smile in the midst of catastrophe and rebuilt again from the ashes and ruins. He managed to live to see the fruits of his convictions. He was not distracted by the glitter of good times, but laid his plans on the sound basis that, in the long run, one never gets something for nothing.

Mr. Peterson married Annie Nelson in 1888. (Church records say 1887.) Surviving him are his wife and three children: Eda, who married James Lafferty in Suttons Bay, Nicholas E. Peterson, an economist with the First National Bank of Boston, and Paulus E. Peterson of Suttons Bay.

His funeral was held at the Immanuel Lutheran Church.  Pastor Magelssen presided. He is buried in the Lutheran cemetery." (Translated from English.)

The Aaram family came from Litjhaugen, also called Merket, on Aaram.

Church records indicate that Peder Ingebrigtson Aaram died at the home of Einar Christenson "of old age" in 1910, born in Stangvik on January 8, 1828. The Sunndal book says of Peder Ingebrigtson, "The year of the man's death is not given." Now we know! The father went to live with his sons in Suttons Bay when he became a widower.

Einar Christenson is the grandson of the Einar who had a farm on Solem Road, where his father Kristen also had a farm. (Christ Peterson on the map, the owner of the chest which remains today at Solem Road.)

According to the Sunndal book, Ingebrigt Pederson also came over and possibly others.

Annie Nelson, who married Einar Peterson in 1888, was from Torsletta, Stangvik. The entire family of Ane Nilsdatter came to Suttons Bay:

Photo reference 130/1: Einar Peterson and his grandson Einar | Belongs to: Einar Peterson.


The Torslett Family
The family believes that Hallvard, called Albert in the USA, was the first one to arrive from Torsletta. He homesteaded on Solem Road, northwest of Suttons Bay. The others followed individually, except for the parents Nils and Henrikka who came with their children Knut and Lisabet. The family claims that Lisabet was the youngest of the children. Neither the family nor HH agree completely with the emigration records: Lisabet Nilsdatter, age 19, emigrating in 1883 with Ellen K. Stangvik, age 26, are presumably two sisters from Torsletta. Both give Michigan as their destination. The records don't indicate any others.

Nils and Henrikka lived in Suttons Bay and Nils worked as a carpenter. He walked to Traverse City when working at the State Hospital in Traverse City. He was undoubtedly working with his son-in-law Einar, for the story of the long trip to work by foot is common to both. Nils died in 1890.


Ingeborg and Ingeborg
The family are uncertain about Ingeborg, a daughter of Nils and Henrikka born in 1854, who herself had a daughter Fredrikka in 1875, and Ingeborg's sister Ingeborg, born in 1870. One was killed in a gas oven explosion in Chicago and the other married Jon Ask of Solem Road, brother-in-law of Ingeborg Nerpellan, Tellesbø.

Jon Ask's children with Ingeborg: Gunda, Herman, Emma, Nels, and Helga (died in 1886).

Children by his second wife, Lina Jacobsen (Grytskog?): Ida, Amanda, Clara, Oscar, Carl, Thelma, Elsie, and Lenard.

Ingeborg died in childbed. This must have been the younger Ingeborg, since Fredrikka is unfamiliar to the family today. But families in the USA show a remarkable ability to "forget" children born outside a marriage. As a rule, interest in their "roots" stops at that point, and many are in for a surprise when they see Norwegian parish records. Linda Torvig said, "Why do you watch "Dynasty" in this country? Norwegian parish records are, you know, far rougher stuff!"

Based on their ages, the Ingeborg born in 1854 is more likely to be the one who married Ask.


Elen, born in 1856, reached the age of 96. She died in Butte, Montana and married a Sørensen. He was probably a miner. They were divorced after three children, Tora, Agnes, and Elsie. Her grandparents in Suttons Bay raised Elsie.


Karen died of cancer at the home of her sister Magnhild in 1900.


Hallvard, or Albert, homesteaded on Solem Road and married Marie Jacobson, the sister of the Lina who Ingeborg's widower remarried. Children: Hilma, Victor, Albin, Myrtle, Anna, and Ernest, who took over the farm. It is now out of the family and operated as a cherry orchard. Hallvard had ten cows and a sizable potato crop.


Lisabet was a maid in Chicago. At the age of 80, she married a Presbyterian minister and encouraged all the girls of her family to get married. She said she wasn't going to have any old maids in her family!


Magnhild was called Maggie in the USA. She married Ole Olsen of Suttons Bay. He was a mate on the car ferries.

Children: Louise, Hazel, Nora, and Rudolph.


Knut was called Claus. He was a carpenter in Suttons Bay his entire life and married Dina Hansen from a Hedemark family. Children: Norman, Hilda, Dorothea, Edna, and Kenneth.

Sources: Einar Peterson, Dorothy Smith, and Tena Ask Haynes.


Nils Einarson Sæterbø (Austigard) and Maria Jacobson Kloppan, Grytskog - Arnt Holten
Maria is the wife Marie Grytskoug, age 32, emigrating in 1876. (More about the family under Northport.) Maria is listed as being born at Sæterbø in 1843.

In 1872, Nils journeyed to Grand Haven, Michigan. Maria had Traverse City as her destination. Nils died after several years and Maria's name is given as Mrs. Nels Einerson on a farm directly west of Suttons Bay on the map. Their children were Jacob and Gunnhild.

Maria remarried Arnt Holten in 1890. Arnt was from Austistua, Holten. The children of Nils and Maria took the Holten name.  Arnt died prematurely in 1900.

Jacob married Randa, the daughter of Anders and Maria Bahle.

Gunnhild married Esten Garthe.

Source: Louise Dobson.


Ole Johnson Sæterbø and Petrine Bæverfjord
Ole and Petrine's farm lay behind Suttons Bay near the cemetery. Ole Johnson is the name given on the map. Otherwise look under Petrine in the section about Hommelstad-Bæverfjord in Northport.

Source: Julius Thorvald Johnson (Sæterbø)


Sven Olsson Gravvold, Austistua and Synnøve Øye, Telstad
Sven arrived in Suttons Bay in April 1889. He purchased 140 acres from a German in 1893 next to the Suttons Bay cemetery on Herman Road.

Sven wrote to Synnøve, who was then in Ashland up by Lake Superior (east of Duluth). She came to Suttons Bay before July 1898 and they were married. Synnøve had a job as a maid, first at the home of a dentist, later at that of a doctor.  (Synnøve was the daughter of "Old Øye".)

Children: Olaf '99, Roy, '01, Stuart '03, Eddie '05, and Martin '12.

Martin was the only one delivered by a physician, otherwise it was a neighbor's wife, Ingeborg Iverson, who played the role of midwife.

Stuart married Lina Rader (German) and had no children.

Martin married Florence Nyberg (Swedish-Indian). Children: Sherman Marchal, Garry Clark, Max Kennedy, Lou Dan, and Sonja.

Olaf, Roy, and Eddie lived at home, unmarried, after their parents died, Sven in 1942 and Synnøve in 1945. Eddie has lived there alone since 1981.

The farm supported four to five cows, chickens, a couple pigs, and three horses.  Money came in from the potato crop and the sale of cream and eggs. They grew wheat, oats, and corn to feed the cattle. Eddie says the land is comparatively barren and requires considerable fertilizer.

In 1945 they changed to growing cherries and hired seasonal workers from Mexico. Fifteen acres of orchard were sold in 1965. Otherwise, the land lies fallow. Eddie says leasing it only leads to problems.

There was a fire in the kitchen stove the day the author was there. Ed served coffee while a 90-year old clock was ticking above the kitchen table. He placed his hand on one of the red-painted spindle chairs and said, "This is 90 years old. I have lived here my entire life and leaving isn't so easy." He preferred to speak English with his Norwegian guest, but his facial expressions clearly showed that it was an experience hearing his parent's language again. Ed speaks his parents' dialect with such an authentic intonation that it startled this visiting interviewer. He says his mother prepared flour-porridge, a variety of balls, potato-cakes, lutefisk, etc. He says he especially liked potato-paws, but lutefisk was good fare. Synnøve taught her sons how to keep house and everything is neat as a pin in the 80-year-old's home.

He says his parents never corrected their sons' speech when they spoke Norwegian, for they figured that the Norwegian would disappear. They always spoke Norwegian with their parents as long as they lived, but the brothers spoke English between themselves. Norwegian became scrambled with English to make a remarkable language: "Hain kjem borti råd'n" - "Ga borti barn" - "Ha att geten". ("He’s coming down the road", "Go out to the barn", "Shut the gate".)

Ed tells that his mother corresponded diligently with her sisters in the USA, but only Mali from Scanlon near Duluth came to visit, in 1925.

Sven and Synnøve were accustomed to singing duets on Sundays, he says, principally hymns. A photograph of the family sits on the kitchen table, neatly arranged, with all the information carefully noted. He also has many photos from Bæverdalen and Surnadalen.

The farm lies in a little valley next to the cemetery. Its setting is quite beautiful, and it is strange how quiet it is today. Perhaps Sven and Synnøve had not anticipated this development when Sven went out on the steps and announced to the four oldest boys, "We’ve got another ballplayer!"

The family name was changed to Grayvold in 1921.

Photo reference 132/1: Sven Gravvold (Grayvold) and Synnøve born Telstad (Øie), with sons Olaf and Roy | Photographed around 1901 | Belongs to: Ed Gray Violence | Copy: Bud Palin.


Ola - Sven's Brother
Ola lived on the farm with Sven from 1893 to 1902. He worked on his brother's farm for the most part, but also knocked about at other jobs. He returned to Norway and lived at Hakstad-Rønningen.


"The Aroma of Norwegians"

The Bohemians from Gills Pier said that it smelled of Norwegians in Suttons Bay, that's to say, coffee. A coffee pot stood on the stove in every home all day long, Sister Ann Magdalen in the Carmelite Convent in Gaylord told the author, while the latter was waiting for the photographer in Gaylord to finish making some copies.

The town must have been nearly 100% Norwegian, with the smell of coffee so pronounced. Many sawmill workers as well as sailors lived in Sutton’s Bay, in addition to those who had obtained real property.


Lee Point

Peder Ulriksen Sæterbø and Marit née Bæhle
Peder, born in 1860, emigrated in 1886 together with Arnt Holten and Arnt Sæterbø. His father Ulrik followed in 1887, along with Johannes Telstad.

Marit Martinusdatter Bæhle, who Peder married, arrived in 1888 in a group of eight people including the wife and daughter of Johannes Telstad. Marit was seasick the entire way across the ocean. She reached Suttons Bay on August 5, 1888 and records say she left on May 3!

Marit was from Belasaga, but was raised in the foster home of Randi and Martinus Holten.

Peder worked in the lumber camps his first two years. When Marit arrived, she was a cook in the camp her first year. They then bought the farm of Lars and Helga Hockstad (Hakstad) at Lee Point.  Helga was pronounced Helg, with a "thick" L by our source at Lee Point in 1985!

Their farm was on 80 acres. They had five cows, chickens, pigs, and two horses. They sold butter, cream, pickled pork, and eggs. In addition, they raised potatoes for market, and corn, oats, and wheat for animal fodder. They had an orchard for their own use.

Peder was blind his last six years and died on Marit's 70th birthday in 1936. Marit and her son Paulus managed the farm until 1938 when it was sold. Those were difficult times.

Peder and Marit's children: Gina (Jennie in the USA) '92, Mali Ulrikka '96 (died as a child), Martin '00, Mali Pauline '03, Rakel Margrete '06, Paulu

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