Day 6 - Bjoland & Steinbu farms; Tysvær History Group (historielag) - Wed., Dec. 19, 2001

The day of the first snow fall.

A man of many talents and much courage, Einar agrees to give Peg a needed trim that she didn't have time to get before we left. This task was well done while the morning snow begins to fall.

Einar needed to visit friends that live a little way north of the Slogvik farm. He took us along and agreed to loop around by the nearby Bjoland farm.  This is the view from the farm house of Bruk (subfarm) 1 looking south toward Skjoldastraumen.

Keith wanted to take photos of this farm to send to a person he had been helping who's ancestors came from this farm. This view is of the house and barn on Bruk 1. Across the Skjoldafjord, the Sponavik farm may be seen. 

A little further north up this road we come to the farm house on Bruk 2.

And a little further north, where the road starts to turn west, we look out over the Skjoldafjord as the snowfall increases and visibility decreases.

Driving around to the west side of this wide peninsula that points north in the fjords, we come to frozen Steinbru Lake.

Across from the Lake we have a delightful visit, coffee and lefse with Stig Helgesen and Ingvild Sønstabø. Einar holds a gift of fresh lefse!

As we start to leave, their teenage son Carl comes in from the hunt and proudly displays his birds and duck.

As we prepare to leave the Steinbru farm, Ingvild, Carl and Stig invite us back for another visit. We will return for dinner after Christmas.

That evening some members of the local history group come to dine and talk of things historical. From left are: Eli Ubøe Marvik, Harald Dag Halvorsen, Keith, Emily Aarvik and Einar.

Trying unsuccessfully to photograph the rest of the group at the table, we again have Emily and Einar, and are able to add Sigmar Myhre and Rotraud. Alf Aarvik is hidden here and Peg took the photo.

After a very enjoyable "traditional" meal featuring a wide variety of dried meats, breads and potato salad, Keith and Alf pour over the US map that Alf brought.

Here host Einar pours coffee as the group relaxes into conversation. On the couch from left are Sigmar, Emily and Eli. This is also time for lefse, pastries and tangerines. Yes, Emily is taking a cell phone call. At times it seemed like we were the only ones with out a cell phone.

Eli and Dag engage in intense conversation. Many fascinating topics were covered this evening.* One such topic was an explanation of the term strandsitter that Keith had encountered but not fully understood. A couple of the very early Quakers in this area were strandsitters.

Soon the local history books fly off the shelf and group members show their skill in tracing family lines and documenting details.

Strandsitters, briefly (& oversimplified), were persons who did not own land but made their homes on the beach areas between the sea and the farms.

Getting ready to leave, Sigmar and Eli bid us good evening. Einar is in the background. Sigmar is well known locally for role playing the famous emigrant leader, Cleng Peerson. Both he and Eli are highly regarded as local historians.

Alf and Emily pose with Keith before they leave. Keith knew previously that he and Alf were distantly related through a common ancestor in the 1600's. Keith had been helping a closer relative of Alf's in Texas trace ancestors. The surprise this evening was to find that Emily and Keith were even closer "cousins" through the Kleiberg farm above Nedstrand!

* Another topic discussed at the history group session was Keith's idea to place a monument on the graves of his Slooper ancestors who traveled farther west than any of the others on the historically important sloop Restoration. This idea was greeted with support and we discussed the idea of bringing a "bauta" stone (or "bautastein") from Tysvær to the cemetery in Napa, California, where they are buried.  Check out the "Slooper Monument Project" page, now under construction, for more details.

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