My name is Reghan Brown. I will be 13 in a few weeks. I live in Sioux Falls and will be in 8th grade next year at Brandon Valley Middle School. I am a great-great-granddaughter of Alfred and Bergit Stadem, the founders of Plain View Farm. My great-grandmother was their oldest daughter, Pearl Ginther. My grandmother is Pearl's oldest daughter, Gloria Brown, aka "GG".
For the 100th anniversary of Plain View Farm, I wanted to do a project that was special and unique. I came up with the idea for a timeline during a recent trip to the Journey Museum in Rapid City, which focuses on the history of South Dakota.
I was surprised to learn that frontierswoman Calamity Jane died in 1903. When When realizing that Grandma Pearl was born only a few years later, I got the idea to create a timeline. I learned that 1903 was also the year that the Wright Brothers had the first successful flight and the year that Bergit came to America!
The Stadheim Familie Tidlinje, or in English, the Stadem Family Timeline, actuallty shows four categories of history. Events from American or World History are outlined in purple. South Dakota History is outlined in blue. Norwegian History is outlined in red. And Stadem Family History is outlined in green. Family history includes Alfred and Bergit's lineage and also their children's information. I have events from the 1700s until today. While creating the timeline, I learned many things that surprised me.
I was amazed to discover that South Dakota [using the timeline's colored lines as pointers to certain conclusions and facts] that was a state before Norway even became an independent country. The Dakota Territory was established in 1861, and South Dakota became the 40th state in 1889. Norway was a part of Denmark until it became part of Sweden in 1814. It wasn't until 1905 that Norway claimed its independence from Sweden. Since Bergit immigrated to America in 1903, two years before Norway gained independence, could all of that mean we're actually Swedish?! Uff da!
I learned that there were three major waves of Norwegian immigration to America. The first wave began in 1825 and included Norwegians fleeing religious persecution. The second wave was from 1866 to 1868 and was caused by major crop failure. The third wave was when Alfred's grandparents brought their family to America, originally Iowa. During this time, 11% of the Norwegian population immigrated. At the time of statehood in 1889, the population of South Dakota was about 100,000. When the 1900 census was taken just 11 years later, the population had grown to 402,000!
I was happy to see that along with Brita Beveridge and I, Peterine Andre Thomosdatter, Birgit's mother, was also born on August 9th. I guess it's a popular birthday.
1927 is also a very popular year on the timeline. First, the transatlantic flight by Charles Lindbergh was accomplished. This is also the year when the sculpting of Mt. Rushmore began [by the Danish-American immigrant, Gutzom de la Mothe Borglum]. But an even more important event occurred in 1927, Leroy Stadem was born! I knew he was old, but WOW! [Leroy Stadem turned 90 In 2017, and he is the last surviving member of the Alfred Stadem family]. I found it interesting that the telephone (1876) and the lightbulb (1879) were invented quite close in time. I originally expected the telephone to have been created many decades after the lightbulb.
Bergit was born in 1885 and died in 1983 when she was 98. She lived through two world wars, the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the moon landing, and most of the Cold War. It makes me wonder about how much I'll see before I'm 98. Maybe I'll even see Crazy Horse [monumental mountain sculpture near Mt. Rushmore) finished?!
I hope everyone at the Centennial celebration [on Plain View Farm, Rural Bryant, SD] will spend some time studying the timeline. I'm curious to see what other people find interesting. Please make sure you are in the reunion photo. I have a place reserved for a Centennial photo the last board.