Strømnes owned and operated by Margarete Uddu. I am educated in IT and finance and has a background in IT operations and software development as well as, waitress in Switzerland, driving trucks around Europe, established and managed one of the first kindergartens in Trøndelag for group 0-3 years. Diverse experience is very beneficial when starting your own business. The diving certificate from 1978, however, I’ve never had used. 🙂
In my childhood, summer vacations were spent with family at Inderøy visiting our aunt on Strømnes which at the time was a small farm. Strømnes was our summer paradise filled with nice experiences, situated at a beautiful spot. Experiences I would like the guests of today to have. If you can feel “the good old days” during your visit at Strømnes, I have reached my intentions – naturally in addition to a good night sleep and palatable food.
Strømnes was built in 1905 by my great-grandfather, Hans Jacob Schärer, who emigrated from Switzerland to Norway in 1866. He worked as a dairy manager and received national recognition for his work and abilities. Strømnes was a farm until the start of 1970. Strømnes was started accommodation and restaurant in 2006.
THE STORY OF HANS JACOB SCHÄRER
“Of the Swiss workers who were recruited to work for The Royal Norwegian Society for Development “Norges Vel” during the last century, no one had a larger impact than Schärer.” (The Dairy post nr. 33, 1952, Pioneers in Norwegian Dairyfarming by Eivind Wekre).
Schärer moved into new built houses on Stroemnes in 1905 with his two daughters, Elisabeth (19) and Oline(15), and his sister-in-law, Hansine. She was the girls nanny after the death of their mother Anne Bergitte who died from tuberculosis when the girls were 4 and 8 years old. Anne Bergitte Opheim was originally from Sparbu.
Hans Jacob Schärer was recruited by Norges Vel a cattleman in 1866 and started soon there after as a dairy manager at new-established dairies in Innherred.
Among the many and significant attempts The Royal Norwegian Society for Development put to life in the middle of the 19th century, the recruitation of cowherderers and cheese makers from Switzerland made a huge impact. It is considered a turning point in our dairy management, which previously was overlooked and given the women as their chore. The barn was seen as a necessity which only brought extra work, and which the farmers bothered as little as possible with.
When the farmers finally realized the value of the barn, and learnt improved ways of cow herding, cooperation through establishing dairies started. Not many were capable of running a diary, but Hans Jacob Schärer was.
Skogn, Steinkjer, Maere, Levanger, Ekne, Roeskje, Hustad and Stroemmen was dairies he established.
Schärer returned several times to Switzerland to improve his knowledge as a dairist. He learned a lot about production of fatcheese which he copied both in a qualitative- and economical way in Norway. He was one of the men who established the Swiss Cheese as a brand in Norway. This cheese exist even today.
The cheese Jarsberg is a cheese developed by combining the dutch Gouda and the swiss Emmentaler with modern techology.
In the following story I name Hans Jacob Schärer as “Grandpa Schärer” due to the fact that the whole family called him so. I was more than 30 years old before I “discovered” that we use his sirname talking about him. Just like the old days. (note Margarete)
Grandpa Schärer was born on the 28th of July 1844 in Schoenenberg in the county Zürich south-west of the lake Zurich See, between Zug and Einsiedeln.
The same year as Grandpa Schärer was born, there was a distillery built in Inderoey at the farm Sundnes. It was built by Andreas Mattson.
The farm Sund had at this time 3 smallholdnings.
The leaps in between Grandpa Schärers life and happenings in Inderoey, are done to give a picture of the time he lived in.
Grandpa Schärer is 3 years old, running around in the hills of Switzerland, Herman Loechen has bought the farm Sundnes. Loechen was an engineer and had participated in building distillery at Vinje Bruk in Mosvik and Sundnes Distillery. Loechen is married to Anna Margrethe Jenssen from Vinje Bruk. One of their children is Antonie Loechen (1850-1933) which established the feminist organisation in Trondheim.
Loechen was of great importance for Inderoey, with his engineering-knowledge and his participation in the local community. He was also a major in Inderoey during the period 1854-1861.
They built two distilleries in Inderoey before they had a single dairy. Spirituous was high-valued goods and a good resource of income for the producers.
In the years after 1814 the consumption of moonshine had drastically risen in Norway. As a consequence of the law forbidding importing liquor, homemade moonshine was heavily produced. The reason to all this alcoholism was among other thing serious national economical problems.
In 1847, L.D. Muus received a permission to serve alcohol. Muus owned the farm Sundfaer, which the parc Muustroeparken today is a part of. He had a lodging by the outlet of the river Grana, where this permit was used.
At the time there was a ferry over Straumsundet. Not a ferry by modern standards though, it was a little raft tied to a string that stretched from one side of Straumsundet to the other. The transportation was only possible when the tidewater was turning and the water was at its calmest.
In 1854, Loechen on Sundnes farm went bankrupt after ox-sales to England which failed. Schärer was at the point 10 years old.
Anne Bergitte Opheim is born. She, who was to become Grandpa Schärers wife.
The emigration to America started in 1860, at the same time the plan to make a new bridge over Straumsundet starts. With Loechen in charge, they had been planning that for nearly 10 years. The bridge was financed through funding from the government, the county and turnpike money.
Toerris and Jonetta are living at the smallholding Ytternesset. Toerris dies from a sickness and Jonetta has to sell the smallholding to her brother in law, Lorns Johansson Austad and his wife. for 180 “spesidaler”. A smallholding is a small farm on the land of a big farm. It is owned by the large farm. The smallholders work at the large farm, often a lot, to pay their rent. As rent they have to work at the farm, often a lot.
Grandpa Schärer is now 19 years old.
In 1866 Grandpa Schärer, with his three cousins, was enlisted by The Royal Norwegian Society for Development (Norges Vel). He was 22 years old. He went to Norway where he was going to work for Iver Lien and Iver Melby at Biri. His job consisted of teaching barn-hygiene and improve the care of the domestic animals.
He made cheese and churned butter. Both the cheese and the butter was sold at sold at good prices in Kristiania. He did an excellent job and the farmers reported to Norges Vel, his employer, that they were very pleased with his work.
Serving two masters at the same time was hard, so he found another job. He started working for Richard Knoff at Kvikne. His job was the the same as his job with Lien and Melby, teaching barn-hygiene and the proper ways of taking care of the barn. He spent the entire summer with the cattle in the mountain dairy.
The farmer Knopp wrote in his letter to The Royal Norwegian Society for Development: “I am very satisfied with the barn- and dairy management of Schärer and I am convinced that his activity has contributed to increase the interest in this village to improve the utilization of the milk. It is a challenge forfor us at Kvikne and others to improve our knowledge of refinement concerning the milk with exeption of butter.”
Helene Jacobsen moves from Innset to Kvikne. She buys the little farm Markapladsen from Kristoffer Grøtli.
There are now 6 smallholdnings connected to the farm Sund. In addition to 4 smallholdnings on Sundsnesset, there is one on Sundoeya and one just by the houses of the farm. The last one will later be Sund Folk College.
Jacob, the son of Grandpa Schärer and Helene Jacobsen is born. The parents are not married. Later this year Grandpa Schärer quits Norges Vel and leases 2 farms in Sokndalen. Schärer moves to Sokndalen without Helene and Jacob.
A couple of months after he moved, his daughter Inger was born. Helene became a single mother on Kvikne with her 2 children.
Schärer stays in Sokndalen for 2 years. He was now offered a job as leaseholder at Skogn Dairy which was about to be established. He is now 27 years old. This time he stayed in the same position for 6 years. This same year, that is 1871, Norges Vel stopped recruiting Swiss after 15 years.
In 1877 he became in charge of Steinkjer Dairy. There were not a lot of educated people in Troendelag at the time. Dairy-adviser E.E. Wold wrote: “All the new dairies need educated people, and from where are we going to get these? I have sent a letter from Steinkjer Dairy to Dairyman Bruseth to hear if he can send us a qualified man.” Bruseth wrote that he hoped that Schärer would take the job, because he did not know of anyone else. The dairy at Steinkjer was placed in Joerstadgaarden. Schärer took the job, and on the 5th of March 1877 the first milk was sent out. Schärer worked at Steinkjer Dairy for 2 years.
It was hard working at Steinkjer Dairy. They had to pump the water by hand. The ice for the cooling basins was being stored in a deep cellar and had to be lifted up manually.
When Schärer 2 years later started Maere Dairy, the production was based on Swiss cheese. Schärer stayed on Maere Dairy for 5 years. That could be the place where he met Ane Bergitte, who lived on a farm nearby. In 1879, he was 35 and she was 22. Several years would pass before they became a couple.
When Levanger Dairy was to be established, Schärer was hired as manager. However, the employment didn’t last long as he and the board disagreed on the matter of salary. He wanted a raise of NOK 150 per year, but the board would not accept it.
During his time at Maere, he went back to Switzerland to take workshops in production of fat cheese. He stayed in Switzerland for 2 years, and during this stay he learned a lot. Back in Norway he copied the Swiss ways both in both in economy and quality. Grandpa Schärer was one of the men who established Swiss cheese as a brand in Norway.
He now switched from being a manager to a leaseholder. In this way he could make more money on his well-running establishments. The owners on the other hand weren’t that pleased with him making a lot of money. The conditions became stricter and stricter as the leaseholder made more money. This is also the explanation to him frequently moving on and starting new dairies.
During the agricultural-exhibition in Trondheim, Grandpa Schärer received the only 1st prise, “The King’s Silver Medal for Swiss Cheese and 10 NOK for the making of butter for private purposes.”
At the age of 40 Grandpa Schärer was the manager of Ekne Dairy. He claimed his reputation as an excellent dairy-manager.
Roeskje Dairy applies for a teacher. “Schärer will for 3-4 days give a complete tutorial in how to take care of dairy-products in which he had learned on his journey to Switzerland.”
While Grandpa Schärer is working at Ekne there is a watermill built at Einhaugen.
This is also the year that his two sons i law were born. Ragnvald Tiller from Inderoey and Andreas Uddu from Rissa.
Muus ceased the activity at his boarding house. The need for a lodging and a dining was reduced as the bridge was a reality.
Grandpa Schärer is 42 years old. He had married Anne Bergitte and in 1886 Elisabeth Rebekka was born.
In 1886 Albert Nikolai Lange started as a priest at Sakshaug. Lange and Grandpa Schärer became good friends. Lange had been an instructor at Den Hoegere Skolen, a university at Hamar, before he came to Inderoey. He was a wholehearted Grundvigian and somewhat lonely among colleges.
He was at the same time both philosophical and down-to-earth. He had difficulties expressing himself, and often spent a lot of time trying to find the right words to use. He used unusual metaphors from the daily life, metaphors that sounded peculiar to ordinary people.
When it came to defending his opinions, he would go through anything to stand up for himself; he had a sharp tounge. This is best shown in his disagreement with bishop Laache after a speech he gave at the funeral of prime minister Ole Richter in 1888. Ole Richter came from the farm Rostad situated at Inderoey.
Mr. Lange told the story of Stefanus, who was stoned to death. Stefanus said “Look, I can see the sky”. Participants from the church society disliked the speech and said it was inappropriate to talk about the blue sky about a man who had commited suicide.
They wrote about it in the newspapers in Trondheim and they informed the Bishop. Bishop Laache sent a very aggressive letter to Lange about his speech, but Lange answered by sending a letter where he did not give up his statement. The correspondance can be found in the copybook in the priest archive.
Grandpa Schärer always attended the weighing and was like every other Swiss, very strict with the milk quality. If one of the suppliers did a bad job washing the milk-buckets, he would throw ashes in the milk-bucket to see if they were clean the next day. If the farmer was late, delivering the milk, he was to expect to meet Schärer on the road.
Once he got suspicious to one of his suppliers. Did he water out the milk? At the time, you couldn’t just take tests to see if this was reality or not, so he used another way tocheck it out. Early in morning, he went to the supplier and hid in the barn until the milking started. He looked down on them to find that his suspicions were true and he could catch him in the action.
Seeing how educated and upright he was, he was welcome everywhere, but being a manager wasn’t easy on the newly-started and old-fashioned dairies at the time. The manager had to participate in everything also accounts and sales. Schärer often had to travel around to sell the cheese. He had an amazingly strong willpower, but the vows were many, and he eventually got tired, like we all get. Once he decided to move to America, and he came as far as Oslo where he met a merchant that persuaded him to stay in Norway as the country was in need of such an excellent diaryman. This gave him new spirit and he went back to Troendelag.
Grandpa Schärer wasn’t just significant because of what he did, but also indirectly due to all his students. He took good care of his students and was like a father to them. Many of them got good jobs and continued on his work. Grandpa Schärer enjoyed a large trust and respect among colleagues and was several years a member of the board of Nord-Troendelag Dairyclub.
He felt that it was important to nurse his connections of milksuppliers. Because of this, he regularly invited guests for social gatherings. He did not however appreciate the Norwegian alcohol-culture. At his gatherings he served liquor, but to avoid drunkenness, he put at each cuvert a tiny bottle of liquor wich was all he served them. In this way, he got to limit the drinking, without making it an society of teetotaller.
Politics faced a lot of drama. In 1888, prime minister Richter, from the farm Rostad, killed himself.
Oline Jacobine was born. That same year, the first phoneline of 7 Km between Hylla and Straumen was built. This happend almost 80 years before phones where to be a regular item in people’s homes.
There had been a long period with significant poverty, but in 1891, things finally seemed to improve. This was the big herring-year. From Skogn to Inderoey, you could see hundreds of lanterns light up the Trondheimsfjord night after night. It was said that it looked like an entire city.
On the 2nd day of Christmas, a fisherman could see something extra ordinary around the quay pole. The sea was boiling with herring. The fisherman threw out his net and right after, it almost sank. The word spread, and soon everyone in the little village were out fishing. The Christmas became very hectic, with saltening the herring and distribution of fish in the area around Inderoey. People came all the way from Li to buy fish.
Grandpa Schärer leases the dairy at Hustad on Sandvollan. The family had moved from Ekne to Sandvollan. For a period he leases both the dairy at Roeskje (Roera) and Hustad and makes a daily walk between them. This is 13 km.
Ane Bergitte dies in tuberculosis in 1894. The two daugthers are 4 and and 8 years old. This is a very depressive period for Grandpa Schärer. To help him, his sister in law, Hansine Opheim attends. She takes care of the girls and household for more than 30 years.
Grandpa Schärer built new houses at Stroemnes that he moved in to, in 1905. Elisabeth marries Ragnvald Tiller, and lived at Stroemnes the two first years of their marriage. As a wedding present they received NOK 8000,- and an area of 1 decares which was separated from Stroemnes. They built a summerhouse and a beautiful garden.
Their daugther Anne was born in 1906.
Elisabeth and Ragnvald moved to Trondheim in 1908 where they started Tiller Fargehandel. Oline married Andreas Uddu. He came from Rissa and worked as an accountant on the farm Sund before he married Oline. You will find the wedding picture in the “Bestestua”. In the same room is both a picture of Grandpa Schärer, Anne Bergitte and Hansine
Oline, now 22 years old, acquired Stroemnes after her father together with her husband Andreas Uddu (born 1885). Oline ran the farm, while Andreas was a tax office-worker and kept accountancy for several farms.
In 1916 Grandpa Schärer was sick. He was 72 years old and Elisabeth had come for a visit from Trondheim whereafter she wrote this letter:
“My dear father, soon I won’t have to write you anymore. You are probably moving from us soon. When I was at home I was certain that you would get out of bed again. I did not understand how sick you were, and yes father, you have been sick for longer than we understood.
Poor father you have worked hard. You stepped on thorns, while the rest of us walked on roses. No one can replace You for me since I was young and sat on your lap and until this day.
I humbly pray that the great God will let you in to his heaven, so you can be satisfied for all eternity. And when I some day come knocking on heavens door, please, take my hand and guide me in so we can spend eternity together.
It hurts me greatly to know that you are suffering, but I can do nothing. The heavenly father has not forgotten you. Should you have anything to say to me, say it to Aunt Hansine. I can still see you smiling at me. Please forgive me for all wrong I have done in my life.
I send great love from the little ones. Anne prays to the Lord Jesus and her prayer is heard. Thank you for your great love, it will never be forgotten.
Greetings from Ragnvald.”
Grandpa Schärer dies on the 7th of March 1916.
In Schärer’s honor, pastor and good friend A. Lange wrote these words:
“On the Swiss mountains
High up in the blue sky
He learned how to yodel
and with a good mood he came by
There he learned how to milk
with love and great devotion
Then he came to the norwegian mountains
where he built his home
In the countryside of Troendelag
in which he lived a good life
He taught the ways to the people
in how to run a good dairy
The students they praise
the great masters ways
and feel that worthy a prize
is only he which Schärers way of doing it is recognized”
Oline and Andreas had 5 children. 4 boys and a girl – Asbjoerg Helene. Asbjoerg became the next owner of Stroemnes and she run the farm for 40 years. She did not marry or have any children.
The youngest of the sons of Oline and Andreas, Einar, – went to Switzerland to get to know his grandfathers country. There he married Florita Josiane Violette and got 5 children. After 10 years in Switzerland, the family moved to Trondheim.
Margarete Uddu, the owner of Stroemnes today, is a great grandchild of Grandpa Schärer and daughter of Einar. She has 3 children, Knut Marius, Madeleine and Victoria.