Our story is about a family, a dream and a legacy.
It all started when two people fell in love.
Clarence Breker and Adeline Syverson grew up on the prairie just below the hill where the lodge sits today. The farms where they spent their childhoods in the 1920’s and 1930’s can easily be seen out the north window of the Great Room. In fact, the four homesteads of each of Clarence’s parents (Ferdinand Breker and Olivia Kulzer) and Adeline’s parents (Casper Syverson and Mae Swanson) can be spotted from the lodge. You might say the story of our fifth generation farm spans over a century, but hardly covers the expanse of one township!
Clarence and Adeline lived only two and a half miles apart as children (which is close for prairie kids), but they were four years apart in age and they attended different schools and churches. They didn’t know each other well in their early years. The two became sweethearts when Clarence’s little sister Millie, who was coincidently Adeline’s good friend, played matchmaker. It wasn’t long then before the two were frequenting the dance hall in Hillhead, South Dakota, and even talking about marriage.
By the 1940’s, Clarence was working as a farm laborer and Adeline as a teacher in a one-room prairie school. They got engaged after Clarence saved up enough money from trapping muskrats so he could buy a wedding ring. The couple was married on Adeline’s birthday, August 16th, 1944. It has been said if it weren’t for the rain that day, Clarence would not have been able to attend because he was in the middle of harvest.
They were young newlywed farmers striking out on their own. Their humble dwelling consisted of a house with three rooms, an outhouse, a broken down old barn and a grainery. They didn’t have electricity, running water, telephone or furniture. They began renting land to farm and for a wedding gift from Clarence’s family they received three heifers and a team of horses. A great new journey was about to begin! Read the rest of this page »