On the farm

Mary and Albert Kittelson

These are my great-great grandparents. They were married in 1888 and had 14 children. Every five years their descendants gather in Henry, South Dakota on the farm where they once lived.

Both Albert and Mary were Norwegian. In 1877 Albert homesteaded a farm near Henry, South Dakota, and it remains in the family to this day.

My great grandmother, Emma, was the first of Albert and Mary's 14 children. Here she is on her wedding day in 1908. I never met her, but I did know her husband ("Grandpa Frank").

This photo was taken on the farm the day of Frank and Emma's wedding in 1908.

This is that same farmhouse today.

At least 350 people attended this year's reunion. Everyone was assigned a color to wear to indicate which of the 14 children they descended from. Since we come from Emma, we wore black.

Most families had special t-shirts made for the occasion.

There was a lot of good old-fashioned fun at the reunion.

There was a talent show. These are my cousins.

The kids learned how to get the kernels off dried ears of corn.

In one of the old barns we discovered a massive collection of old tools and kitchenware.

I was amazed at this arrangement of old tools hanging on the wall.

With all the cornfields in the area, of course there was a giant corn maze! Here we are making our way out.

Here are some relatives making homemade Lefse, Norwegian potato flatbread. It is best right off the griddle, rolled up with butter and sugar.

The mechanical bull rides were a hit as well!

There was also a live band, a silent auction, games like horseshoes and bean bag toss, tractor rides, bouncy houses, and UFF DA!! So much food!

Best Family Party

The 2004 reunion was voted number one family gathering by Better Homes and Gardens magazine.

To commemorate this year's reunion, the corn maze was designed in the family's name (with the aid of a fancy tractor's GPS). This is an aerial view of it.

It was wonderful to reunite with relatives I hadn't seen in ages, and also meet others for the first time. Looking forward to the next one in 2019!

  • lisaporter

    Your family ~ each and every one of them should be proud of why and how you still wish to gather together. Your ancestors must be smiling. This serves as a great guide for future generations. Thank you for sharing. LP

  • mrpichon


  • brajohn1

    @lisaporter @mrpichon thank you! I continue to be amazed by this branch of my family. It has inspired me to find out more about the other branches of my family tree!

  • Pennysillin


  • mrdoug


  • nigutindor

    Your family is very big!!! Amazing!!!!

  • Evy

    Hei alle nordmenn! How fun to discover that your ancestors are from Norway! And you are the first to like my stuff. Do you know the famous Kittelsen - the artist? I grew up with his illustrations of fairy tales and trolls.

  • Evy

    Greetings from Norway ✌️

  • brajohn1

    @evy nice to meet you and thanks for the link! I didn't know about Kittelsen the artist!!

  • Evy

    Likewise! Kittelsen is one of our best artists, his images of trolls are among the most famous images and the troll walking down Oslos main street, Karl Johan, is on tshirts and posters in every turis store - and his paintings are in the National Museum. He made the most beautiful images of Norwegian nature. If you are related you can be really proud :-) if not, you still have the coolest name! Take a look online at his work - there are many books illustrated by him.

  • brajohn1

    Wow thanks for the info @Evy ! I will investigate further about my great-great grandfather! I want to go to Norway. I have still never been there. I still have distant relatives there.

  • enricoserra

    OMG! Amazing!

  • hannahrichards

    Wow! That is fantastic!

  • methsia

    This is great, what a great family reunion idea!

  • lamascaincucina

    Love this album!

  • nannayr

    Wow! How NICE! Congratularnos! Tele me, how can I include vídeos in Steller? I am New here. Thanks!👏

  • nannayr

    Yum I would Love to have THE recipie

  • kristing

    Wow. Incredible. I enjoyed that

  • brajohn1

    @nannayr when you create a new steller you can choose videos just like you choose text or photo pages

  • missheidilouise

    Wonderful! Love this! ❤️

  • sara_castel

    What a beautiful family! I love this album!

  • 39south

    Wonderful vignette into American life

  • chantele

    So fun to read

  • milenanyc

    So great!!

  • R1CH3L3

    Love this! What a fascinating and fun gathering.

  • tai


  • ERoest

    The farm house looks great💕

  • ERoest

    What a great family you have,my family count is ......6

  • ashb


  • myronropp_

    Nicely done

  • Iulie


  • msnina2u

    This is awesome

  • rossyrdef

    So lovely!

  • Nirmal


  • Brightonessa

    This is wonderful, I've loved following your reunion story, and what a gorgeous farm house

  • B__xy

    Great - love it❤️👌🏼

  • Leontine

    Fantastic family! Your kids are cute. 😘