At Home in Pigeon Falls

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit with some Estenson relatives at the home of Dorothy (Kjos) Every who told me, some time ago, that she remembered our grandmother Gina coming to La Crosse for visits with her mother. Dorothy’s brother Vernon was present at this gathering too, and he was good for more than a few stories.

A couple memories of Vernon’s were of Bennie and Garven. Bennie he recalls ski jumping, standing at the top of the jump, ready to take off with a shout of the words, “Look out below!” And he would be off. Vernon also tells of being at Emil and Gina’s farm helping my father Garven at silo filling time. (This must have been the late thirties, and I figure Vernon must have been about 10.) Up in the silo Garven handed him the rope on tube or pipe aiming where the silage would go, distributing the chopped corn stalks evenly as they poured in. Even better, Vernon remembered that Garven gave him a fifty-cent piece for his help – enough to pop his eyes wide open in those days.

Just today another person in that gathering, David Schaefer, sent me a couple photos I’d never seen previously. One of these I must share here.

Bertinus Estenson's house_1This is the home of our great-grandparents, Bertinus and Maria Estenson in Pigeon Falls. As was sometimes the practice of the day, they had the photo reproduced as a postcard and this one was mailed to Bertinus’ brother Peter in 1911. It appears that Bertinus and Maria are joined by their four adult daughters for this photograph. David added the translation as well.

1911 Norse note, Bertinus_1Noteworthy for being so common among our ancestors is the style of the house. In fact, the house where my siblings and I grew up in North Beaver Creek once had the same shape. It’s also a treat to see Bertinus’ handwriting from a hundred years ago.

I had estimated that the Estensons had moved into Pigeon Falls about 1904, but I’m not sure. Maybe it was later, being Bertinus was sharing this with Peter in 1911. In any case, my thanks to David for sharing a photo I’d never seen before.



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