"The Plain View Farm

Barn and Family Timeline"

This Stadem Timeline/History is Dedicated to the Living and the Departed: CORA TAYLOR and KRISTINE STADEM STENE.

CORA TAYLOR turned Age 98, March 5, 2013, still laboring in the Lord's Vineyard, with prayers, love, and the Gospel.

KRISTINE was the first Stadem born to Sjur and Oline Olsen Stadheim (Stadem) in America. She was also a member of the first Confirmation class of Pleasant Lutheran Church, rural Vienna, SD, which her parents attended and which they helped to organize.

Kristine married Jens or James Stene, but two years later, she died at age 24, leaving her daughter Andrena, age 2, who was raised by the Grandparents.

Kristine's grave is in the Pleasant Lutheran Cemetery, Clark County, SD. Go and place a flower there for Kristine sometime, and take the time to think about the brevity of life, and how yours might serve God best! From her one daughter, Andrena, many Stadem descendants followed, along with the living faith in God that was transmitted to Andrena, and thence to her family.

"God's Promise for the Noble Task:

"The Lord will send a blessing on your barns and on everything you put your hands to. The Lord your God will bless you in the land he is giving you."--Deut. 28:8

"Heritage": 2. something passed down from ones predecessors; legacy, birthright.--Webster's New School & Office Dictionary

Presented at the Stadem Reunion, 2012; & As Amended/Amplified by Ron Ginther


"My heart was hot within me

while I was musing,

the fire burned,

then I spoke with my tongue"-- Psalm 39: 3

The Glory, CHRIST,

came to

Perishing Souls,

Saving them...

The Torch--Faith

in Jesus Christ--

was Carried

To be Passed...

"Pass on the torch,

Pass on the flame;

Remember whence the Glory came!"

"Lord Christ, we take the Torch from Thee.

We must be true, we must be free

and clean of heart and strong of soul,

to bear the Glory to its goal."

The Torch-Bearers of the Glory:

Sjur and Oline Stadheim

sailed from Norway to America via Quebec

in 1866;

Sisters Bergit and Katrine Holbeck

sailed from Norway to America in 1903;

the two Torches of Alfred & Bergit Holbeck

united in Holy Matrimony,

August 19, 1908

at Grace Lutheran Church, Canton, SD.

Alfred and Bergit built a house and farm

called Plain View Farm,

starting 1919;

they raised nine children in the Faith and

Heritage of the Lord & His Church.

Alfred passed his Torch in 1964;

Bergit in 1983...

Alfred and Bergit to their Descendants:

"To you from failing hands we throw

the Torch. Be yours to hold it high!

If ye break faith with us who die,

we shall not sleep..."

Plain View Farm--WHERE VISION BECOMES REALITY! Motto for the Heritage Center Barn:

"May His Light Shine Through Our Heritage--


--Verses on the Glory & Torch

from "Faces Toward God," book given Bob & Pearl Ginther by Stadem Descendant,

Hazel McLeod

1800s-1900s: The Stadem Saga Begins

1866: Sjur and Oline Stadheim and family of four children sail from Bergen, Norway, to America via Quebec, Canada; they sail on the immigrant-packed ship, a fixed sail barque called the Brodrene.

1886: Alfred Stadem's birth in Sod House,

to Peder and Marie Stadem, Rural Bryant,

1885 Bergit Holbecks's Birth in Norway

1903: Teen-aged orphan sisters Bergit and Katrine "Tena" Holbeck embark on a then modern single funnel steamship, the Hellig Olaf, and sail to America via Ellis Island, New York;

Older brother Andrew preceded them

1908: Alfred and Bergit married

1909: Pearl Andrina Stadem born, Canton, SD,

in the master bedroom of her Aunt Tena Lundring's house

1918: After 6 children born, first barn built on 80 acres of land in Rural Bryant, Hamlin County, Alfred and Bergit purchased from Stadem relative;

In 1940s Art Stadem bought additional acreage across the road in Clark County for PVF for his parents' provision in later life, using money saved during his Navy service in World War II

1919: House built;

Pearl, 10, eldest Stadem child of the family, helped build it,

working on the lathes-siding of interior rooms, and also filling in insulating rocks and dirt in the foundation walls

1937-1939: Tornado destroys first barn; children born in house: Art, Ruth, Leroy; after tornado, continue to use part of barn that was left. Rennard Svanoe has memories when the barn was leveled and the night of the tornado, though he was born in 1937.

Pearl Ginther, in later life, also recalled how the sleigh or "cutter" was thrown up on the roof, and there is a picture preserved of the ruined barn and the cutter on the roof.

1939-1942: 2nd Barn, Alfred Stadem called "Basement Barn" using recycled first barn boards (recycling was a Stadem passion early on); included design to get hay into the manger below through a hole from the hay mow above; uses were for horses, cows, calves, milk separator, and hay mow.

1941: Pearl Harbor Attack by Japanese; both Leroy and Art Stadem, and Alida's husband Hans, serve in the armed forces, Hans and Art during wartime, and Leroy soon afterwards

1947: Private Plane Crash, Bob and Art killed 1-9-47, just short of Art's 25th birthday, but the testimonies by numerous pastors and the main message by Pastor Peterson of Bryant's Lutheran Church, who addressed the question of how could such apparent evil happen, at the funeral service indicated both were ready spiritually and many people were no doubt brought to faith or recommitted their lives to God as a result; upwards 1,000 attended, and the deaths received wide coverage in SD newspapers and radio, and later a law was passed prohibiting hunting with rifles from planes, though no law was broken by Bob Ginther and it was a fairly common hunting practice at that time in this country.

1948: Winter of 47-48, newly discharged from the Navy, young Leroy Stadem takes care of PVF, Barn and House on his own; but he determines to be married! Quote after the winter alone, "If I'm going to be a farmer, I'm not going to be a bachelor farmer." Then he proceeded to make double sure he wouldn't share the "fates" of Bernhard and Norman Stadem, bachelor farmers and cousins to him well known to him. He completed college and then entered seminary to be a pastor!

'48, '49, '50:

Pearl's 2 oldest sons, Darrell & Lorin work on farm with Grandpa and Grandma: Go get the cows across the road, milk the cows "day and night," break the sod across the road

1950s: Leroy Stadem (youngest of the Stadem family) marries Elizabeth Aamoth (1955); Grandpa and Grandma Stadem begin trips to the L.A.L.M. mission field in Mexico. The Latin American Lutheran Mission was a largely Haugean inspired mission, founded by Columbian missionary Mildred Nordin, headed by Sanford Haugen for years, supported by churches many of whom were in the Lutheran Fellowship League, of which the Stadems were strenuous members, serving on the Board.

1964: Grandpa Stadem passes to glory; Grandma Stadem lived in DeSmet, next to Leroy and Elizabeth in a trailer, and near the church where he pastors. Quilting and gardening are activities she carried with her to Leroy's next church and parsonage in Mobridge, and there she kept her own home and garden into advanced age.

Grandma Stadem moved to Mobridge, along with Leroy and Elizabeth; talk of family reunions; visits from children, grandchildren; gatherings around Grandma's birthday month.

Bernice Stadem Schaefer's love of PVF and her Mama kept her coming out year after year from California, so faithfully in fact, it turned into a wonderful, blessed tradition more and more family and relatives wanted to see continue! And it did continue, thanks to her energetic promotion, a love gift of herself and as many as thirty loaves of fresh-baked bread she contributed every year to the family gatherings at her Mama's in Mobridge and afterwards on PVF itself. Then she outdid this with her inspiring these gatherings according to a stated theme of inspiration, drawn from our godly and abundant Stadem Heritage, and celebrating Anniversaries, Birthdays, Births, Weddings, and various other significant Events. These themes and events were all decorated by her, using banners, pictures, inscriptions, and programs presented that made these commemorations so meaningful. This expertise greatly enhanced the tradition, making sure it would be enjoyed and participated in by all.

1975: Celebration of Bergit's grand 90th Birthday; reunions at PVF. Grandson Ron Ginther's Grandma memory: "Most powerful praying saint I know (next to Mother). When she prayed for me in Mobridge in her home one evening, she got so roused up in fervent cries for my sake she cracked heaven's Crystal Sea! No feeble 'bless me, or bless them" prayers from Grandma! It is the most precious memory I have her consequently."

Reunions @ PVF? Until Christ our Victor comes again!

1983: Grandma Bergit Stadem passed to glory, rich in years, age 98; Tom and Ruth Harrington come to own a portion of PVF, at auction of the Farm they purchase 11 acres from Neighboring Taschners, which included buildings; it was to be Tom's retirement home for him and Ruth; in the knick of time, Tom rescues the property from years of neglect, improves Farm and Barn with siding on house, barn straightening, basement bathroom, carpeting, painting, back porch built, and moved in the Spise Hutte (the dining shed) and the Mower Shed on to PVF. It was a thorough makeover, transforming the whole appearance, creating a beautiful place out of what looked at one point to be an abandoned farmstead.

1990: Barn showing wear, talk of repairing: responded always amenable Tom to inquiries from loved ones: "Whatever you want to do..."; Rachel K. Svanoe adds: "I was barned!!" [born 1990?]

1994: His earthly work all done, Uncle Tom Harrington passes to glory; end of the 90's; nothing done to save it, the barn is visibly going down, down, down (no reflection on Tom, who accomplished tremendous things, all without showing a "Big I").

Luther Svanoe, age 48, who loved PVF and its animals and the hunting there, attended his last reunion though very ill, and soon after passes to Glory July 25, 1994.

1996: January, Den Stadem Samtaleran ("The Stadem Conversation"), Editor Eloise Hefty sends out first Vol. 1, No. 1; Barbara Benson follows up with the Stadem Genealogy book traced first from Sjur and Oline in Norway (and their ancestors as well); data was collected from the family for Cousin Barb by John L. Brown, son of Gloria, eldest daughter of Pearl Stadem Ginther; This great work was followed in 2009 by Stadem cousin (Line of Kristine Stadem Stene, first Stadem born of Sjur and Oline in America) Sylvia Fjelstad Yuge, who also located the descendants of Knud Stadem (or Staim) residing in Washington State, after reuniting the Kristine Stene family line to Alfred and Bergit's line, meeting first with Pearl Ginther in her home, then bringing a gift of $1,000 to the Heritage Center Barn fund from the families descended from Kristine Stadem Stene and her sole surviving descendant, daughter Andrena Stene Fjelstad.

2000: Reunions continue on the Farm; but Myrtle on her "homegoing bed" tells sister Cora in Brazil on the phone, "I'm the first," and a few days later, January 2000, went to be with Jesus, the first of the Stadem girls (Eldest Son Rennard relates)

2003: Auntie Ruth Stadem Harrington passes to Glory; in her will a portion of her estate went to her missionary sister in Brazil, Cora Taylor, and another portion to L.A.L.M,, and the Farm property itself went to the Leroy Stadem families [as owners but also "heritage trustees" to preserve for all friends, Stadems, neighbors, for gatherings, and fellowship in Christian love, sharing with everyone Christian and Scandinavian-style hospitality for God's Glory. Motto: "May His Light shine through our Heritage! To God be the glory!"--Composed by Stephen Stadem; all this is within the tradition and in the spirit of Alfred and Bergit Stadem and our forebears, American and Norway-born.

2004: Fall/Thanksgiving: Pole Barn salvaged from a silo farm of Norling Farms, near Willmar, MN, purchased for $50 after tornado damage; transferred to PVF, sets for 4 years outside on the ground. Peter Stadem enlisted all the available Stadem families to join in dismantling and then transporting the lumber to PVF--a great feat, accomplished without any accidents or injuries.

2005/2006: Barn continues to fall; salvaged what they could; pulled out hay trolly, some doors, some wood used to create frames for historical water colors Steve Stadem painted of the Barn to contribute to the PVF/restoration barn fund. One such picture was framed by Steve Stadem and given to the Morrells Company plant in Sioux Falls, received by Plant Manager Kenneth Baptist, after the CEO allocated $1,000 to the Heritage Barn fund. He asked that they be notified when we are ready for an open house or dedication, and this has not happened, as the infrastructure still remains, as of 2013, to be finished.

2008: Drill holes for Pole Barn

2009: Bernie Iserman brings equipment for shingling house; Bernie Iserman and son Mike continue work on the Pole Barn, commencing on a large Maintenance Shed using the salvaged wood and tin, intended to house supplies and material, tools and equipment for the Heritage Center Barn.

Sept. 13, 2009, Pearl Andrina Stadem Ginther turns 100, still active in church & Christian ministries, and winning souls for Jesus with her testimony and prayers. Sylvia and Tom Yuge from California visit her and return for the Centennial Birthday Celebrations (she had seven cakes and celebrations, the biggest at her church, Mt. View Lutheran Church, Edgewood, Washington.

2010: June/Summer: Foundation ready on the barn: Dug out foundation, pour footings; Fall: basement foundation walls, put on Joist (main floor) and flooring sheets; covered with plastic for winter

2011: Building continues on the "Pole Barn," also called the Plain View Farm Heritage Center by eldest Stadem descendant and her son Ron Ginther, as it is to be for people this time, not livestock, and will preserve and provide means to share the Stadem spiritual heritage for years to come and give glory to God; Bernie Iserman, Steve Stadem, and Mike Iserman continue the building upwards from basement level to loft level.

April 30, 2011: Pearl Ginther, next to the last of the Stadem girls to go to Jesus, and Eldest of Alfred and Bergit's family, passed to Glory in her own home where she resided 34 years, enjoying her garden and her neighbors and the club activities. Her youngest son Jerry Lee Ginther joined her about July 1. Her eldest of eight children, Darrell Robert Ginther, joined them August 13. She became the acknowledged Stadem Families Matriarch, passing in age the previous centenarian Matriarch, her Aunt Sarah in Watertown, she reached 101 years of age and 6 & 1/2 months, still active, attending church regularly, and serving the Lord Jesus. Eight children survived her, 5 boys and three girls, all grown, and who know the Lord and value the godly principles she instilled primarily by her own example of living them daily and lovingly. Her life of triumphant faith (overcoming all the challenges in her long life) became their model of what a Christian should be. Her many grandchildren & great-grandchildren, also her loved ones in the Stadem Family relationship, not to mention her innumerable friends through the many years of knowing her, also see her this way, so that her legacy will surely continue a long time into the future blessing people.

She herself expressed her wishes and dreams for the Heritage Center Barn Project (we are quoting her exact words):

"I really want to see the Barn Heritage Center go forward! It is a real necessity. It is on my heart so strongly. I want to see it before I am 100 [then praying with eyes closed] Mama and Papa would be so joyful, and even get in on it in Heaven perhaps. To see Souls saved!"[stating the purpose of the Center in evangelistic, salvific terms]

At the last reunion she attended, Pearl prayed on her knees a Matriarchal prayer of blessing for all the Stadem Descendants, present and not present:

July and August 2011: walls built, lofts, stairs; rafters up on loft, material ordered, 48 foot main beam bought and brought from nearby Hutterite Colony; Labor Day Weekend work party of mainly teen-aged Stadem youth raised main beam, and put rafters in place (15 on crew); End of September sheeted the roof and whole building with plywood and put barnlike prow in place

October: Put on black, tar-saturated Weather Guard Roofing as temporary covering for the winter weather

October/November: Professional plumber plumbed in basement with assistance of Master Builder Bernie Iserman and Project Manager Steve Stadem, leveled sand, 2 inches of foam laid, Steve laid out plastic tubing for floor heat (stapled to foam sheets); cemented by big crew of Bernie Iserman and Stadems, floor cement supplied by two cement trucks

November: Installed slider windows/doors on south end, large window on main floor; bracing and backfill around foundation; stairs from main floor to basement built

End of 2011: Winter unexpectedly affords long stretches of nice weather, and work continues up into December: basement walls, staircase going upstairs, siding

Apr./May 2012: Basement windows & Backfill, Railing and Catwalk, New Lumber to rebuild stairs going to Loft, Loft Windows, Memorial Weekened,, Kitchen Floor laid, Insulation

2012: June 22, 23, 24: Family Reunion; 81 present; special commemoration for Pearl Ginther, passed to glory April 2011, and Jerry Ginther and Darrell Ginther, her sons passing to glory July 2011 and August 2011, respectively; interrment of ashes of Pearl and Darrell at Our Redeemer Church Cemetery by the families; the building (the expense of materials and labor largely but quietly underwritten by Leroy and Liz Stadem) is dedicated by the 81 present and named with a Norwegian name, Velkommen Barna, indicating "Welcome to Children" ("Barna," in Norse); Rennard Svanoe donated many books of Norwegian heritage to PVF from his own library; Rennard also contributed his financed reprint of the new translation of his grandfather Atle Svanoe's book on lay ministry, and wrote and contributed an article detailing the events of the Reunion.

Devotions held at PVF gate, 5:30, to restart the vital tradition of family prayer on PVF during a reunion. Only Two Stadem Descendants present for scripture and prayer, but God showed up at the last prayer's conclusion, with a wondrous Rainbow, truly a most meaningful sign that he was present and approving, and blessing us all with a "future and a hope."

New gardens by the house and by the heritage center put in, for squash and pumpkins and Pearl's favorite Cosmos and morning glories, from her own garden seeds, as well as a rooted plant start from her grapevine in Washington; Ron Ginther added special pictures and Farm artifacts to master bedroom of the house from Pearl Ginther's home, including Grandma Bergit's oil lamp, the old barn lantern, a clock with rosemaling, the original framed wedding picture of Alfred and Bergit, Grandma Bergit's platter, and other items to the dining room book shelves, including books, one a complete history of Augustana Academy by Dr. Lynwood Oyos; albums of Stadems of years ago were also contributed from Pearl Ginther's home.

A much larger collection of Pearl Ginther's heritage items, some Farm artifacts, mostly Archival Books of collected papers, official documents, pictures, writings, articles, maps, publications, books, videos, albums, cassette recordings, etc., is held indoors in storage in Park City, Utah, until such time as the Heritage Center Barn is able to house them properly and safely. The Archival Books contain the most complete history of the Stadem Families available, for Ginthers, Stadems, Svanoes, Schaefers, Spildes, Rangens, Harringtons, and Taylors (and we don't forget the Holbecks and Lundrings!).

There is also a Holbeck/Holbek Book, as Holbek relatives in Norway are in contact with Stadem/Ginther Descendants here on a continuing basis.

Sylvia Yuge (herself a Stadem/Fjelstad) has followed up with a Ginther Genealogy as well, after doing a Fjelstad genealogy. Here are the descendants of Kristine Stadem Stene and Andrena Stene Fjelstad in California that Sylvia reunited with the Stadems of PVF (Sylvia is the "angel" 3rd from Right, first standing row:

2013: Update from Steve Stadem:

Winter/ '12 & '13 Spring:

Steve S. and Bernie I. continue work; Barn sided, possibly completion end of April; finishing up kitchen; "decks and such" after that; got materials four sauna, projected tree planting and gardening.

Ron Ginther: Rennard Svanoe requested and financed a poster-sized enlargement of Ron's poem, "The Old Lantern" to be set, with others in the Heritage Center Barn as a kind of "interpretive center" to learn heritage by.

This enlargement will be sent and will be in keeping of Leroy Stadem, for possible future display at a reunion.

The actual artifact, the lantern used by the Stadem children to light their way as they did their chores in the Barn, is stored in the house basement for possible future display, brought back to the farm out of Pearl Ginther's estate in 2011.


Heritage Center Uses Year-Round:

Christ-centered Music, Art, Crafts, Norwegian Folk Dance, Family Values Drama, TV Family Values/Pioneer Farm Days productions, Gospel/Evangelistic Meetings and prayer groups/Church group retreats, seminars, Bible studies, and recreation, Child Evangelism, Youth Retreats, Sleigh Rides and Christmas Carolling, Exhibits & Classes in Quilting, Needlework, Scandinavian Cusine and Delicacies, Norwegian Customs, Plain View Farm Heritage tours of farm and Bryant/DeSmet/Vienna areas.

Purpose & Goals:

Pass on the Torch of Faith, Strengthen Christian Spiritual Life of individuals and groups and families, while refreshing bodies and souls, inspire and train the younger generation, so that they will possess the particular, proven, and encuring values and beliefs that will best help them meet the stiff challenges of the secularist and sectarian-torn 21st Century. Whether Young or Middle-aged or Old, everyone can find great meaning and purpose in Christ, in order to pass the Glory of Christ and the Torch of Faith in Him to the wider world that so sorely needs the truth and love and salvation of God.

THIS IS OUR HERITAGE, AN ON-GOING VENTURE, A VOYAGE OF FAITH AND FAMILY VALUES AND THE GOSPEL OF SALVATION CENTERED IN CHRIST ALONE. For this we thank our ancestors Sjur and Oline Olsen Stadheim/Stadem and the Holbeck (Holbek) line, who were faithful and passed the GLORIOUS Torch to us.

"May His Light Shine Through Our Heritage!--To God Be The Glory!"--Plain View Farm Motto

This Amended or Amplified Timeline is done humbly with prayer and with the expectant hope that it will be a blessing to all. It is so important, and so right, that our great and awesome God be ascribed the glory in all the events described on the timeline. Maybe the world or the worldly minded person can still look at PVF and the events thereof and see nothing really of the glory of God. That is barely possible for anyone who knows the family and the events described here, but it is so wrong and mistaken and blind a view. We want to correct the view, in that case, for the sake of blessing that person! We are reminded of this too: Most of the Jews and Romans in Jesus' day looked at him, the "carpenter's son", and did not see anything of God either--missing the glorious Savior of the World sent by the Father to save them. Even to this day most of the world has continued to reject Christ the world's only Savior, and seek an alternative in their own political plans and human intelligence, when Christ is already seated in heaven as Ruler over the whole earth, and He is the Lamb of God sent to save all who will believe in Him from sin and eternal damnation. Could it not happen, if it happened with Christ Jesus, in our much smaller context, that people also look at our humble beginning and their outworkings in the near 100 years following, and smile with condescension at our claims of God's glory visiting us?

Well, we know the truth even if they do not. We would hope they will see the Light, given further opportunity and God's free and abundant grace. --Ed., April 2013

Special thanks to Barbara Vorseth Benson, for her genealogical and historical account of the Stadems, from which we have drawn much vital information, names, and dates. She contacted Stadems in Vik i Sogn, Norway, visited them during two trips, and gathered information from the local archives for her genealogy book.

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