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The letterhead of Follinglo Farm in 1907 makes it clear who they were and what they did. The farm, established and built up by Ole Andreas Larson Tjernagel and his sons in the pioneer days, was named after the ancestral home of the founder's wife, Martha Karina Follinglo. The farm prospered and was noted in many publications. Below: Sometime in the twentieth century, the name of the farm was added to the barn, possibly formed from vines grown along the Skunk River.
The dogs of Follinglo were immortalized in The Follinglo Dog Book, stories told to his young sons and written down, as told in Peder Gustav's words, because "My little son, Alfred, even went so far as to spend all his money in purchasing a tablet and a lead pencil for the coming event" — the "write up of the Follinglo dogs" (from the Preface to the Follinglo Dog Book). But the book was not just about the dogs. Mostly it was the story of Follinglo and the immigrant farmers. The stories were put into print first in a privately published form by Neelak Tjernagel, and then by Peter Tjernagel Harstad in The Follinglo Dog Book: A Norwegian Pioneer Story from Iowa, published in 1999 by the University of Iowa Press, Iowa City.
Read the Follinglo Dog Book
Prologue and Epilogue
by Peter Tjernagel Harstad
Order the Follinglo Dog Book
From University of Iowa Press
concrete corn crib signaled modern, up-to-date farming methods and a
willingness to think outside the box
They were hardly humorless bachelor Norwegian Farmers. This view, showing off their concrete fence posts, was called "The College Post."
Follinglo Acquires a Typewriter
Follinglo farm was about more than short horns, horses, and dogs. There was the music. And then there was the writing.
While the Follinglo farmers had demonstrated themselves perfectly capable of communicating with pencil and paper, the 1912 acquisition of a used typewriter certainly contributed much to the literary output, as this letter suggests might happen. Unko labels this "the first letter I have ever written on a ytypewriter. God be with us all." We leave it to the reader to decide if "God be with us all" has to do with the output to flow from the typewriter, or is just a pious benediction.
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