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!