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La Crosse County, Wisconsin, 1973. Copyright © State Aerial. Share

My Norwegian immigrant great grandparents, Halvor & Anna Opland, built and settled this farm in 1892. My grandfather took over the farm from them and he and my grandma raised their four children on this farm. Their youngest son and my father, "Rusty", was born in that house in 1935 and he and my mom still call this home after almost 55 years of marriage. Today my brother & sister-in-law and their four children - the 5th generation of Oplands, continue to milk cows in the original barn and farm this same land. That's my Dad green chopping for the cows - something he still does 38 years later and they still have that same Allis-Chalmers tractor.
Since this picture was taken in 1973, the chicken coop has been replaced with a machine shed, the barn cleaner chute on the west end of the barn was enclosed “so Dad didn’t have to stand in the cold winter winds or snow/rain to clean the barn” and this enclosure also provided additional calf pens. A heavy spring snowstorm has taken down an older shed while two more machine sheds and corncribs were added as was a quonset for the kid’s 4-H sheep project . My brother and his family have also replaced the small pine trees we planted as kids (in the mid-upper left area of the picture), with their home.
In 1992 it was an honor to be recognized at the WI State Fair as a "Century Farm" and we later hosted a large celebration with family and friends at the farm. Dad and mom are still proud of the “ole homestead” and they all work to keep the farm looking good at a 119 years old and still going!
1973 doesn’t seem that long ago till you look back at the picture and notice and think about all of the changes in those years. Thank you Vintage Aerial for making these photos available!

—Karen Opland Hauser

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