Strandstua

Strandstua med Eidsfjellet i bakgrunnen

Vi har hytte 585 meter fra husene på gården. Det er Strandstua.

Litt kort vei til hytta, kanskje? Men det er mange ganger veldig greit å kunne ta en miniferie, bare for noen timer. Og til sosiale sammenkomster er det uovertruffent.

Strandstua ligger i fjæresteinene rett under Eidsfjellet, og det er takket være en kombinasjon av direkte råflaks og steinhard jobbing som gjør at vi er stolte eiere av denne perlen av en idyll. Takknemligheten fyller oss hver gang vi trør over dørstokken.

Historien til Strandstua starter i 1941, når Edvin Risvik kjøper en liten flekk land av Hans Eide (bestefar av nåværende eier), helt nede ved sjøen, antakelig en gammel strandsitterplass. Her setter han seg opp ei lita stue året etter, i 1942. Men det er krig, det finnes lite og ingenting å få skaffet av byggematerialer, grunnmuren blir nesten bare sand og stein, med en liten tanke sement hist og her.

Strandstua ca. 1950.

På loftet er det ett lag med planker til vegg — en kan se tvers gjennom veggen mellom sprekkene. Men det er uansett bare på sommeren de bruker loftet.

Edvin er fisker, og sammen med sin kone Anna eier han en liten motorisert fiskebåt med kahytt. Når det blir for kaldt og for lite ved til å holde varmen i huset, ligger de i kahytten om natta. På fjorden blir det aldri så kaldt som på land, og det trengs langt mindre ved for å holde den lille kahytten varm.

Stjørnfjorden er en prima fiskefjord. Men Eidsbukta er en værhard plass. Strøm og vind arbeider med sandbotnen og flytter på bankene fra den ene måneden til den neste. I gamle dager hadde bygdas folk båtbruk ute på holmene, der det var litt mindre grunt, sjøl om det stod tett i tett med naust på land, rundt munningen av Eidselva, og ellers dro de båtene på land i Båtvika (ikke så langt fra Trillsteinvika). Sørvesten står rett på inn fra havet, og det er mye av den. Og den kommer fort.

Sørvest kuling kjennes godt på Eidsbukta.

Men så, når det «skin tå», finnes det ikke finere plass.

Strandstua ligger veldig fint til, Eidsbukta i forgrunnen.

Så, i 1961 står det en flott molo ferdig i Høybakken. Båthavn, smul som en søledam, der båtene ligger trygt. Tenk å ha båten sin der! Slippe å passe den dag og døgn, for at ikke sjøen og plutselig uvær skal slå den i stykker. Anna og Edvin blir enige om å «sule opp» i Eidsbukta og heller bygge seg hus i Høybakken, rett over den nye båthavna.

Men hva skal de gjøre med Strandstua? I mellomtida har søster av Edvin, Kitty, blitt husfrue på Eid, og i 1963 bestemmer Edvin og Anna seg for at de vil selge «Strandheim» tilbake til gården, og så «kan det liksom være Kitty sin sommerstue».

Og det blir det. Kitty er blitt tobarnsmor, Hans kom i 1961 og Gunnar i 1962, og straks det er finvær, inviterer Kitty slekt og venner til Strandstua, til soling og piknik og sosialt samvær. Det skal bemerkes at Kitty (svigermor) sannsynligvis er blant de mest sosiale vesener som noen gang har betrådt jordkloden. Så det skjer aldri at hun og barna er der alene, det er alltid flere i laget. Når værgudene er på lag, starter Kitty fra morgenen av; skreller poteter og steiker skuffkake og legger i korga, henger korga på sykkelstyret, og belager seg på lange dager på plena på Strandstua. Karene driver onn oppe på gården, og får beskjed om å stille opp på Strandstua om de vil ha middag. Med påfølgende middagskvil i solsteiken.

Mens hun venter på at storinnrykket av dagens gjester skal innfinne seg, plukker Kitty stein i fjæra. En halv meter bred stripe i støa renskes for stein, slik at små føtter skal ha det bedre når de tripper ned til vatnet. Dette er et Sisyfos-arbeid. Neste finværsdag må en starte nesten på nytt igjen. Men da er det jo bare å starte på nytt igjen, da. Folk må jo få slippe å gå med sko når de skal ned og bade!

Det er utrolig mange som har fantastiske minner fra denne plassen. Unger og voksne kravler over hverandre, det er luftmadrasser og baderinger å plaske rundt i for de minste ungene, gummibåt og plastbåt for de som er litt større.

Barnevogna kan en plassere i skyggen bak Strandstua, eller legge solsøvnige unger til formiddagsdupp i køyesengene på soverommet. Det er do, riktignok bare en utedo, men det går. En kan skifte til badetøy inne i huset. Det er gassbluss på kjøkkenbenken, så en kan varme barnemat til babyen. Og om en gruer for at det blir litt sein middag når en kommer heim etter en lang dag i sola, var det rart om ikke Kitty hadde et par karbonader og noen nypoteter på luringa. Og så vanker det alltid skuffkake, i alle varianter, til kaffen. Om en ikke vil forsmå.

Og det vil en jo ikke.

Dette bildet er av alle barnebarna til Kitty på Strandstua (Bibbi har tatt bildet).

Det blir et stort hull etter slike folk når de dør. Og når Kitty dør i november 2002, blir det et hull som er ganske mye større enn hennes beskjedne høyde skulle tilsi.

Det går liksom ikke an å være på Strandstua nå. Det blir så rart. Dette er jo Kittys sommerhus. Det går ikke an å være her når ikke hun er her sjøl. Vi skyr Strandstua, faktisk i flere år.

Men da er det andre som syns det er desto kjekkere å være her, når de plagsomme eierne ikke er her. Stadig må vi plukke søppel etter folk som villcamper på plena, folk som rigger seg til på hagemøblene, og går i fra rykende engangsgriller i det tørre graset på plena.

En dag har tydeligvis noen like godt satt seg til oppe på terrassen og grilla med engangsgrill. De går bare i fra den på hagebordet når de er ferdige, og neste gang vi kommer innom for å sjekke at alt er bra med Strandstua, finner vi engansgrillen hvelva på dørstokken. Vinden har tatt engangsgrillen og blåst den inn til veggen, opp-ned mot ytterdøra og dørstokken. Kullet har svidd merker i dørstokken og trappetrinnet før det har slokka av seg selv. Men her er det åpenbart at det har vært branntilløp.

Dette går jo ikke. Vi blir nødt til å ta tak i dette, før Kittys sommerhus er en saga blott.

Vi bestemmer oss for å renovere. Så kanskje det blir LITT mindre Kittys sommerhus og litt mer vårt eget. Vi søker kommunen og fylket om å få restaurere Strandstua, og få bygge på litt i retning nord og øst. Det blir innvilget.

Så begynner vi å rive. Men tømmeret er pill råttent etter 70 år i saltvannsrokk og sørvest. Vi plukker ned svampete tømmerstokker med bare fingrene. Dette kan ikke brukes.

Vi må søke på nytt, nå om å få sette opp et nybygg. Det er et lengre lerret å bleke, viser det seg. Det er strengt å få bygge i standsonen. Uansett. Men etter noen runder med søknader, anker og nye søknader, og direkte kommunikasjon med fylkesmannens kontor, går søknaden igjennom. Det viser seg å være veldig viktig at vi ikke har revet den gamle hytta før vi søker.

Så lenge bygget som står der, er lovlig oppsatt, får vi lov å sette opp et nytt bygg, litt mer etter dagens standard. Og Edvinsstua er lovlig oppsatt — den ble satt opp flere tiår før plan-og bygningsloven ble vedtatt. Vi kan begynne å rive.

Kjekt med egen gravemaskin og gravemaskinfører når det skal rives hus!

På taket er det lagt bølgeblikkplater oppå det gamle taket av «handklåvvespon». Dette spontaket har altså ligget og tørka seg i femti år. Hans river av bølgeblikkplatene for hånd og løfter så halvparten av takflata i ett stykke, med gravemaskinen, bort på bålet nede i fjæra. Bålet er langt nedenfor flomålet, så vi tar ingen sjanser.

Men idet flammene får tak i den knusktørre taksponen, skyter det ei søyle av røyk og flammer opp gjennom taket, synlig i kilometers omkrets. Dette er den store skogbrannvinteren, der hele Trøndelag herjes av lyngbranner og skogbranner. Bålforbudet er oppheva i Bjugn og Ørland, men ikke i Fevåg og Rissa, på andre sida av fjorden.

Odelsgutten er plutselig på tråden. «Hva er det dere holder på med der nede? TO uniformerte politibiler er på vei ned til Strandstua!» UPS… Men vi HAR kontroll, altså. og det er ikke ulovlig å brenne bål her i Bjugn.

Den ene politimannen er en slektning av Edvins kone Anna, og han er vel offisielt den første som lurer på om vi kan tenke oss å selge denne tomta. Dessverre, det kan vi ikke tenke oss. Men det har ikke akkurat mangla på tilbud. Jeg mener det har vært 28 forespørsler så langt.

Det er veldig effektivt å rive med gravemaskin. Men det er et pokker til arbeid å rydde det opp igjen. Hundrevis av trillebårlass seinere, der vi har raka og plukka og sortert murstein, trebrokker, og bygningsskrot for hånd, kan vi sette opp ny grunnmur.

Vi er så fantastisk heldige å få hyra inn en legendarisk dyktig snekker. Han kan sine ting, og i løpet av tre uker står råbygget ferdig, og bygget er tett. Alt det innvendige arbeidet gjør vi sjøl. Og terrassen. Men med masse gode råd fra snekkeren.

Vi bygger terrassen først. Den er viktigst. Og sommeren slår til med helt fantastisk vær. Inne har vi strøm på kjøleskapet og kaffemaskinen. Ellers trrenger vi bare terrassen, så lenge.

Storfint besøk på terrassen, bilde tatt med drone fløyet av Thomas.

Det er fruen i huset som står for all glava som skal pakkes. Husbonden får influensasymptomer hver gang han er i nærkontakt med glava. Og så er vi så heldige at vi kjenner en fantastisk dyktig elektiker.

Men det er uansett ikke noe mangel på annet å gjøre. All fritida vi har, kvelder, helger, ferier, i to år. Her ligger det utrolig mange hundretusen i egeninnsats.

2015 står hovedetasjen ferdig, til feiring av fruens femitårsdag. Vi dekker til 54 personer på terrassen. Så det er en solid terrasse. Det er umota å gå løs på andre etasje. Hele høsten går uten at vi kommer i gang. Men så, på etterjulsvinteren, tar vi oss på tak igjen.

Hver kveld det samme: «I dag tar vi fri fra husbygging, sant?» «Ja, vi fortjener litt fri nå.» «Det er klart, vi kunne jo ta ei lita time, bare. Bli ferdige med akkurat den veggen, så blir det bedre inneklima der.» «Ja, det kunne vi. Vi tar ei lita time, da.»

Og så ble det å holde på til midnatt i dag igjen…

Men i 2016 er vi ferdige. Og jammen er det verdt alt arbeidet.

I byggesøknaden fikk vi også innvilget å sette opp et lite naust. Og like før holdbarhetsdatoen går ut på den tillatelsen (å jo, det er faktisk holdbarhetsdato på slike), får vi satt opp naustet også.

Vi har hatt utallige fantastiske stunder på Strandstua. Med familie, venner, folk vi er glad i. Vi håper og tror at det blir mange flere, når livet blir litt mer normalt igjen.

Det aller flotteste med Strandstua er den fantastiske utsikten. Den går det ikke an å bli lei av. «Verdens finaste plass,» sier far til Malene hver gang han er på besøk. Vi er vel ikke akkurat uenige med ham i det.

Strandstua by night

Steep

We try to get together for dinner every Friday. And since Friday is Friday, the obvious choice is our new national Friday-dish: Tacos. As always, there is a lively discussion over dinner.

Malene used to work at Rosendal Barony for many years, and a lot of the time she was tending to the sheep. "Maybe that is an idea? To get a handful of sheep?" I suggest. Jon Gunnar, the eldest son, is totally dismissive to the idea. There will never be one single sheep on his farm!

"It is a pity," I say. "After all, we do own a mountain just beside the farm, seeemingly very suited for a couple of sheep to roam around.

Stone age sheep, for instance, might be able to stand their ground against the lynx, which sometimes roams around in the same mountain."

Photo: Malene

"You own a mountain?" Malene is eager to know. "And where is this mountain?" Hans is a bit surprised by the question, and I point at Eidsfjellet (Eide mountain, which, btw, is called house mountain on the old local maps over the area).

Hand drawn map over Eide, with Eide mountain/ House mountain. The drawing is made by a late neighbour, "Reksterkallen".

"It is right over there!" Malene is really surprised as she glances up at Eide mountain. "Aaaaaah", she says, in a very condescending tone. "So THAT is "the mountain". I see. Back home that would barely qualify as a hill."

All right! All right! Eide mountain is 156 meters high. Melderskin , the mountain right behind The Barony Rosendal, is 1426 meters high. Almost ten times the height of our "mountain".

Rosendal Barony, Malene's old workplace. Photo: Malene.

Hill, mountain, whatever! No matter what, Eide mountain is very well suited for hiking. For a real westerner it might not be steep enough, but on the other hand, it is right outside our house.

And there is no doubt that Malene takes advantage of the Eide mountain as her preferred everyday hiking ground, on every occasion. For picking berries, for photo safaris, and for exercise.

One day Malene is out hiking in "Eide hill", she discovers an old grass field. A secret grass field? It stretches out over many square meters, and someone, a long time ago, found it worthwhile to grow grass on this field. Maybe one hundred years ago? Now it is overgrown with birches and alder, but it is quite evident that once this was a grassy field able to feed several cows and other farm animals.

The whole family seizes the opportunity to take a look, young and not-so-young. Even Malene's parents, who are visiting for a week. We strive up the hill, all the way to the secret meadow. Djeez-Louise, this is steep. Rebecca (8) loudly informs us that she regrets her part in this hike, and her grandmother (involuntarily) mimicks the sounds of the leaky bellows of an old accordion. How the heck can anyone come up with the idea to cultivate a piece of land at this particular place? Did they transport the animals up here, or did they carry the grass back down? How come we have never heard about this meadow? As far as we can remember, Gudmund has never mentioned it.

Foto: Hans

We are standing in the green half-light and looking around, quite astonished. This is one big chunk of land! There can be no doubt that Malene is right, this is a meadow, a cultivated piece of land. This is all so very strange!

How can we restore this to what it used to be? Is there any point?

What is the best way to travel back and forth to this meadow? An ATV (fourwheel)? On foot? Should we start a project to build a road, so we might eventually reach it with a tractor? is this possible and realistic? And ( I am just throwing this in there): perhaps we have enough projects for now?

Also: who on earth decided to cultivate this piece of land? When might that have happened? Let us do some thorough reading of my father-in-law Gudmund's history of the farm.

Gudmund never fails us. Under the heading "Cottage Allotments on the Eide farm" we find the story of the cotter Andreas Henriksen Halbrendt. And this is an exciting story!

On the sea shore South-East of the Eide farm there was a cottage allotment inhabited by Andreas Henriksen Halbrendt. He was a sailor who was born in Førde in Sogn and Fjordane and he was married to Olina Johnsdatter from Agdenes. The allotment had a small piece of land capable of feeding some sheep and some goats.

He was a very skilled fisherman, but he also sailed with bigger boats. He cultivated a small piece of land far up in the hillside of Eide mountain, and people used to tell stories about him carrying manure in a homemade rücksack up to this meadow. People in the village were not used to this type of transport, which is why Hallbrendt's efforts were at the center of attention.

Andreas Hallbrendt is probably the only person in our village who ever dug for gold. There is a small round hill just beside the house where he lived, and he was convinced that this was an old burial gound (it has the shape of a viking burial ground). This hill is now registered and taken under laws of special protection."

Andreas Hallbrendt died in November 1915 with no descendants. The meadow he must have cultivated about one hundred years ago, or a little more, maybe 120 years ago.

Really a working guy, this Andreas. Not worried at all to walk up the steepest hills, obviously. But bear in mind that this was also a westerner. Maybe 120 years ago, he too sniffed condescendingly about the people of flatland who boasted a mountain which was, in reality, a mole pile.

It is very strange indeed that more than one hundred years after Andreas Halbrendt put down his rücksack and quit his transport of grass from the secret meadow, another westerner unearths it. Moreover, Einar, our youngest son, just moved to Sogndal to take up a permanent position as a teacher. That is just some very few miles from Førde, to the East. It feels like we are making a gobelin on this farm, embroidering back and forth between pictures, times and signs.

Andreas Henrik Henriksen Halbrendt, from now on we will remember your name, for sure. And 120 years ago, perhaps you we standing in this exact spot, resting after an especially hard day of clearing land, and gazing at the fjord, down from the modest mountain, Eide mountain. Just like we do today. And you looked at it, and you saw that is was good. I bet you were thinking that "This is really beautiful".

Because it is. It was and it is.

Photo: Malene

The building structures: Main building

We do not really know when the main building on Eid (local/oral/original name) or Eide (Danish spelling) was erected. However, we do have some clues.

The purchase contract of January 16, 1759 describes in detail the demarcation lines and all values included as Mette Christine Høyer, the widow of Austrått's owner Søren Dass, sells the farms Eide and Furunes (which both up to that point were part of the Austrått estate), with the salmon fishing rights and the island Brattingen, to "the royal bailiff over Fosen bailiwick, Johan Rüberg" for 600 riksdaler.

Old map over Stjørnfjorden, Eidsvatnet (the Eide lake) is clearly visible in the middle of the map, Eide bay is drawn just North of the N in SKIØREN.

The puchase contract states that the Furunes farm has been deserted for a long time, unlike Eide (which always had inhabitants) and it says that "...and no houses on either of these farms". This part is actually a bit ambigous, but the contract is otherwise very detailed regarding the values and assets of the farm, so one would think the buildings would at least be mentioned, had they been worth mentioning.

The magistrate Peder Sivertsen Barup also lived on Eid(e) for twenty years; he rented the farm from the Austrått estate from 1723 to 1743. It is reasonable to think that even the magistrate had to live stately. However, 16 years later the contract of purchase transferring the Eide/Furunes estate from Mette Høyer (Austrått's owner) to the magistrate's successor as the inhabitant of the farm, bailiff Johan Rüberg, there is no mention of the buildings.

Therefore one might reason that bailiff Rüberg, who is now the owner of the Eide estate (unlike magistrate Barup, who never owned the farm), decides to erect some stately buildings on the farm. At some point he sells his farm to a second magistrate, Ove Schjelderup von Hadeln, magistrate of Fosen from 1764 to 1800. Rüberg dies in 1773. Some time between 1764 and 1773 the farm is trasferred to magistrate von Hadeln, and it is not too farfetched to assume that he finishes the building project. And very likely: with a vengeance.

I am allowing a small leap of faith here, but to me it seems likely that von Hadeln was tempted to reach into the cookie jar, i.e. the tax money he collected, to finish his grand estate. Von Hadeln was suspended from his office in 1792 because of several remarks about the way he ran his office, and he was declared bankrupt before he died in 1800. In 1801 the farm is foreclosed (and bought by the forefather of the current owners).

The picture shows the family Von Hadeln's coat of arms.

We can also reasonably assume that the main building was finished by 1776. One rather artistic metal weathervane still exists at the farm with von hadeln's initials (OSvH, Ove Schjelderup von Hadeln) and the year 1776. We take this to signify the finished status of the main building.

This weathervane still tells its story from the roof top of Nordstua.

We have had this sign mounted on the western wall of Nordstua displaying the same year as the weathervane. The weathervane is small and not very visble, the sign however is very much so.

In 1821 the farm was split into two parts (cf. the post about Johan Arnt), and one half of the buildings were allotted to each of the farms. Some of the structures were thus moved from East farm to West farm (specifically from Nergården to Øvergården).

There is a whole lot we do not know about how the buildings used to look and how big they used to be.

But there are also a couple of things we do know. Everything built for human accomodation in this period is classified as a "trønderlån". This is an effect of the capacity of the Norwegian saw mills, they could only accomodate logs 6 meters long. later saw mills can accomodate 7 meter long logs, and the houses accordingly get one meter wider.

The main building on Eid was still rather special. We have pictures from 1901 and later showing that the main building at this time boasts two wings: It was build in an L-shape.

The picture is taken from East, and the road clearly goes through the yard. The main building is clearly L-shaped.

This picture displays how the road cuts through the yard, South of the L-shaped main building. The road was moved north of the main building in 1920, equipped with a new bridge. Gabriel builds himself a small house in 1924 north of this new road, thus the road still runs between some of the buildings on the farm. Gabriel's small house and the black smithy are at this point both north of the new road (cf. the painting below).

Painting by local artist Paul Grav, motif approx. 1930
This picture is taken from northwest, from Midtigården, possibly shortly before the renovation and remodelling of the building in 1947. We see the L-shaped main building to the right. To the left you can see the little house that Gabriel had built in 1924, which Borghild lived in, and that Kristin and Hans and their two little sons lived in from 1984 to 1986, when they built a new house at the location of the old smithy. Their third son, Einar, born in 1988, was born after they moved into their new house (they moved into this house just before Christmas in 1986).

Entry from "Norwegian estate" revealing a great deal of important facts about the buildings and rebuildings of the farm, e.g. the renovation in 1948 and many other pivotal pieces of information.

We also find interesting figures over the amount of people and animals living on the farm.

The picture is taken from a rather unusual angle, from down by the river delta. Compare to the painting by Paul Grav above, displaying the farm from a similar angle.

As mentioned above, in 1947-1948 the main building undergoes a thorough transformation, and several of the buildings are altered and moved. The north wing of the main building is partly moved (Nordstua), one section is demolished, and the remainder of the building is extended and made longer and wider. The roof is also lifted so the ridge is still in center on the roof top, However, the chimneys are no longer centered at this ridge, instead they remain a bit to the south of the ridge. Nordstua (yellow building on the painting below) now becomes a separete annex which is rented out to various families as accomodation for the next couple of decades.

Panting by Allan Grav ca. 1957.

The storehouse is also moved, from the river's edge to a different location in the yard. This storehouse is later demolished (ca. 1979-1980) to give way to a new tractor stall.

The little entrance on the south wall shown on the two pictures to the left from 1978 is torn down and replaced by a slightly bigger structure in 2001, this is used as the main entrance at that point.

The south wall of the main building after the replacement of the small entrance structure with one which was a bit bigger. This extension today houses a modern utility room (laundry), but also a shower room and wardrobes for work clothes (no odeurs escape the modern techology where fans extract the air from the cabinets).

As we started renovating the main building we wanted to replace the guest entrance at the north wall. This entrance has been used altogether about one dozen times for the last fourty years, each time for very distinguished guests.

To us this did not legitimize the immense waste of space for useless hallways resulting from this arrangement. We wanted to utilize the building structure much more efficiently. Accordingly, we submitted an application to the relevant auhtorities to demolish this small entrance and to erect a new structure for the main entrance, two stories high and also including a basement.

As mentioned above, the main buiding (like several other buildings on the farm) is registered as an entity of cultural heritage since 1978 (cf. the pictures above) and accordingly the county governor's office of cultural heritage perservation has a say in matters like ours. The official representative came for a thorough inspection (he even scrutinized the beams in the attic), and then made his official recommendation: You should construct two smaller entrance structures on the south wall, mimicking the features from 1901, and also move Nordstua back to the vicinity of the north wall, partially recreating the old L-shape of the old main building.

We considered this to be an impossible solution; this arrangement would imply an outline almost as impractical as the current one. The main entrance (or the TWO entrances!) would face the yard rather than the public road (introvert rather than extrovert!). Also, the authority for public roads had extended us the dispensation from ordinary regulations and allowed us to build the extension we wanted, but there was no way they would allow the placement of a cultural heritage building (the core of Nordstua possibly stems from the 17th century) this close to a public road. And worse: We would not want them to.

Another round of appealing, applying, providing new information and new arguments. The local authorities' views on these matters were more or less identical to our own. The result of this expensive renovation should be a modern building suited to house a modern family, not a museal structure solely suited for exhibitions and guided tours. At least not as its only function.

This is the north wall with the new extension. Planking and some windows are still missing on this picture. New pictures will come eventually, and the post might be updated.

Johan Arnt Eide

Johan Arnt or Johan-Arnt is not a very common name in Norway today, and only about 100 guys are currently bearers of this name. According to name reseracher Ivar Utne this name is almost exclusively used in the Trøndelag region, usually not elsewhere in Norway. One thing is for sure, there were a whole bunch of Johan-Arnts on the Eide farm(s) in the 19th century. It is very easy to get the different Johan-Arnts mixed up.

Johan Arnt is thus a common name in Norway and especially in Trøndelag in those days, and some name researchers invoke reference to the great German theologist Johan Arendt. On the Eide farm however I guess it is more relevant that Jon and Arnt are both common names in the family upon their arrival to the village, and if you want to combine these two names into one, both Arnt-Jon and Jon-Arnt are impossible to pronounce. But if you insert a tiny syllable HA into Jon, Johan-Arnt becomes a rather pronouncable name. At least to people in Trøndelag.

Jon Arntsen Føll from Rissa, who bought the farm in 1801, had three children, and he split the Eide farm between these three. Since there were one boy and two girls, and since a brother's part is also the lion's share (i.e. twice as big as the sister part), the farm was split into two equal parts first (west farm and east farm) with the dividing line following the creek Eidselva. While the son (whose name was also Jon) got the "east farm", the two daughters Anne and Beret had to split the remaining half, west farm, between them.

Of course this is not accurate, since both of the sisters were married and therefore, in reality, their husbands had one quarter each of the original farm.

The son, Jon Jonsen, married Ingeborg and had nine children, five boys and four girls. Two of the sons (Anders and Gabriel) drowned as young men, in 1857, while partaking in a fishing fleet outside the island of Smøla. Then there are the four daughters (Sigrid, Marit, Anne and Johanna) and three sons left; Bengt, Hans (the youngest), and the eldest son Johan Arnt.

Johan Arnt is not only the eldest son, he is senior to all his sibilings, as he was born in 1811. However, as his father Jon Jonsen wants to hand the farm over to his children in 1861, there is no mention that Johan Arnt receives any part of the farm. Whereas Bengt gets the lands north of the creek and builds himself a house on Hare Hill, the youngest son, Hans, ends up inheriting the main farm on Eide. The daughters, or rather, the sons-in-law, are also allowed some appropriate pieces of land. But Johan Arnt, now fifty years old, evidently ended up inheriting nothing.

It seems that Johan Arnt rather early got tired of waiting to take over his father's farm, because already twenty years before this he bought the neighbouring farm on Eide (Midtigården, the middle farm) from his aunt Anne Jonsdatter Eide (who was a widow at this point and therefore got to decide for herself what to do with her land). So maybe Johan Arnt's father reckoned that Johan Arnt was already living comfortably. Another possible explanation is a conflict between father and son. We will probably never know.

What we do know, is that Johan Arnt never got to take over his father's farm, although he was the eldest son. Instead, as mentioned, he bought the neighbouring farm, married Helene who died in childbirth, remarried, this time to Anne Margrete and had seven children by her, i.a. Gabriel, who was the fourth of these seven children.

Hans, the youngest son who took over the main farm, had three children by his wife Beret (again, quite confusing that so many people had the same name, but I promise, he did not marry his aunt). Two daughters, Johanna and Gurina, and the eldest son, Johan Arnt. Oh yes, again Johan Arnt is the name of the eldest son.

Johan Arnt the second must have been quite awaited, since he had his own decorated bed ("Skuvseng") when he was two years old. Alternatively, we have dechiffered the text wrong and this is really Johan Arnt the first's bed, but the letters seem to spell J. A. H. S. E (Johan Arnt Hans’ Sønn Eide), not J. A. J. S. E (Johan Arnt Jons Sønn Eide). Otherwise the bed would have been better suited to the first Johan Arnt, timewise.

This decorated bed was given to us by Hallstein Sørmyr, because he thought that Johan Arnt's bed should be returned to the farm. He had taken it into custody awaiting a time when someone at the Eide farm would appreciate the true value of these old artefacts and not see them as potential fire wood only. We thank Hallstein deeply for trusting us with this old antique bed which used to belong to Johan Arnt (either the first or more probably the seond). Thank you, Hallstein.

Johan Arnt the second dies when he is 21 (1862 - 1883). So this Johan Arnt also never gets to take over the farm. His sister Johanna instead takes over the farm, after marrying Gabriel next door. This means that even though the first Johan Arnt never got to take over his father's farm, at least his son Gabriel becomes the rightful owner of the farm from 1897 to 1925, when the next generation is ready to step up.

This chest, a "Lofot chest", used for personal luggage at the yearly seasonal fishing in Lofoten), beyond doubt belonging to Johan Arnt the second, I managed to beg away from my father-in-law, Gudmund, who used it for storing grass seeds. He was very sceptical for me to schlepp this old piece of bug-eaten furniture into our new house, and asked "So where do I store my grass seeds now?" But he was a kind soul and found somewhere else to store his grass seeds, and he gave me the chest, from the goodness of his heart.

And what is the next generation? Lo and behold, Gabriel follows the tradition and names his firstborn son Johan Arnt. He also has two daughters (Anna Margrete and Helga Marie) and another son, Hans, who is the youngest of the four siblings. Hans is born in 1899 and loses his mother in 1902, when Johanna dies. The father marries again two years later, to money, as the rumers will have it, to Margrete Riber. There is somewhat of a myth in the family and the village about the "Ribe-money", evidently an bottomless treasure. Unfortunately, we have not been able to locate this treasure, but we will certainly keep you posted.

Johan Arnt is born in 1890 and is thus fourteen years old when the father remarries, and Hans is five. One can easily imagine that Margrete establishes a close and warm relationship with the little Hans, whereas Johan Arnt probably is like most teenagers: a lot harder to get close to. When Johan Arnt is old enough, twenty years or so, he leaves for the US to earn money to buy his father'a farm. In those days the American salaries are about four times the Norwegian ones, even though Norway too experiences much improved living conditions. Johan Arnt works at different factories, among others, a saw mill, but he also serves as a volunteer in the American army.

This is a picture of Johan Arnt in his uniform, at the point of his writing he is already out of the army and "has his old position back". On the back of this picture (that we happened to find in the attic in "kårstua") there is no date or year, but it is quite obvious that the young boy is dreadfully homesick and misses his family.

Poor Johan Arnt, he writes home to his aunt and uncle and begs them to send him a few words. He rarely ever hears anything from home.

In America Johan Arnt eventually meets the beatiful Gunhild and marries her. Now is the time to return to Norway to take over his farm. But this is easier said than done.

In the family's chronicles Margrete, the stepmother, is responsible for putting a stop to Johan Arnt's plan. Johan Arnt is adviced to go back to his new homeland, the young Hans is the one who should and will inherit the farm (notice how history repeats itself). The young bride, Gunhild, spends the entire stay in her tiny room upstairs, crying her eyes out. The young couple feels extremely unwelcome, and after a short while they return to the US.

Gunhild and Johan Arnt have two children, Asbjørn Gabriel (Osborne) and Olga Johanna. Johan Arnt revisits Eide a few times and during his stays he spends his days fishing, preferably in solitude, on the beautiful fjord. He dies in 1972, and after this we hear little and nothing from his family. Until 1984, when we suddenly find an advertisment in the newspaper Adressa, from Olga's daughter Kristen. However, this is a story for later.

It seems that the tradition of naming the eldest son on the Eide farm Johan Arnt does not bring very much luck in the enterprise of actually getting to take over the farm. Instead the youngest sibling, Hans, takes over the farm in two cases, while Johan Arnt the second dies as a young boy.

In the generations after this one has evaded this destiny by naming the eldest boy something entirely different: Gudmund, Hans and Jon Gunnar. And for these three generations, the eldest boy has taken over and run the farm, in a timely and orderly fashion.

Sources:

Gudmund Eide (1995): Gårdshistorie (with the help of Tor Eide).

Einar Eide's recent research into the farm's history

http://www.aftenposteninnsikt.no/7-juli-og-august-2012/det-norske-amerika

Velkommen til oss!

Photo: Malene

Vi bor på en gård med en lang historie og djupe røtter på kanten av Stjørnfjorden. Stjørnfjorden skjærer seg inn i Fosenhalvøya (nord for Trondheim), fra Agdenes ytterst til Råkvågen innerst. Her vi bor har vi utsikt over skipsleia til Trondheim, og på grunn av fjordens beskaffenhet, må alt av båter og skip som skal til og fra trønderhovedstaden seile forbi her.

I det siste har hverdagen vår vært sterkt prega av at bygningene på gården, og ikke minst trønderlåna, har et stort behov for opppussing. Det er sterkt press på byggebransjen her ute for tida, og derfor må vi gjøre mye sjøl. Da er det heldig at det er mye flinke folk her på bruket, som til sammen utfyller hverandres evner og kompetanse. Og så er det fint å få til noe verdifullt i lag.

Det er usikre tider for jordbruket, og her i bygda har 35 blomstrende melkebruk blitt redusert til 3-4, bare i løpet av de siste tre tiårene. Men her er det unge folk som vil ta over, og det skal være drift så lenge vi kan, med kyr på beite, hester i innhegningen og kalver i kveet. For, som odelsgutten sier: «Æ vil itj bo på en spøkelsesgård».