This e-book is the result of a collaboration between Brady Wind Energy Centers (Brady Wind), Tetra Tech, Inc. (Tetra Tech), the State Historical Society of North Dakota (SHSND), and faculty, students, and volunteers associated with the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW Madison).
Professor Anna Andrzejewski, the Principal Investigator (PI) for this project, oversaw the fieldwork and was mainly responsible for assembling and editing the e-book. Still, she depended heavily on the work of the students, who took charge of different aspects of the work. LauraLee Brott was responsible for the maps; Alex Leme was principally responsible for photography and video/audio edits; Laura Grotjan was responsible for drawings; and Michelle Prestholt was the principal person overseeing archival research. This e-book presents their efforts for the most part without significant changes – a testament to the value of student research.
Prof. Andrzejewski depended heavily on two volunteers who assisted with fieldwork for this project. Tom Carter, Professor Emeritus of the University of Utah, joined the team in the field, bringing to the project several decades of knowledge about fieldschools and rural architecture of the frontier West. Without Tom’s energy and inspiration, we would not have conducted nearly as much work. Travis Olson, a participant in several former UW Madison-led fieldschools, drove across the country to help. His drafting skills were vital in speeding our work, and his good humor was much-needed during an intense week.
The PI also wants to thank others at UW-Madison who helped make the class and e-book possible. Troy Reeves, Oral Historian at the University of Wisconsin, helped consult about the University of Wisconsin Institutional Review Board (IRB) process as well as interviews generally. Clare Christoph and Christine Stricker of the Department of Art History helped navigate logistics for the project, especially during the field week. Steel Wagstaff of Learning Support Services gave freely of his time as we worked with the software. We also want to thank the Department of Art History for providing space and computer support as we worked on this e-book.
In the field we relied on Brady Wind and Tetra Tech for countless means of support, including arranging meetings with property owners, public meetings, and also navigating the landscape with which the Wisconsin folks were just plain unfamiliar. Much thanks goes to Richard Estabrook of Brady Wind for making this project possible and helping us set up contacts with the property owners. James Sexton of Tetra Tech brought his immense knowledge of the area to the project, and helped us identify properties to study and contacts. We are also grateful to Susan Quinnell of the North Dakota SHPO for meeting us in the field during the field week and again at the October public presentation. Her support throughout the project has been extremely helpful.
We are grateful to the researchers who came before us who laid excellent foundations on the history of Germans from Russia in the Great Plains and on the architecture of this ethnic group (and other ethnic groups in the Dakotas). I am particularly thankful for early, helpful leads from Tom Isern (NDSU), Steve Martens (NDSU), Michael Koop (Minnesota SHPO), and David Murphy (Nebraska SHPO). All of these scholars have done research on the architecture of Germans from Russia in the region and were so generous in offering advice early on in the project. Also helpful were Michael Miller at the Germans from Russia Heritage Collection at NDSU; Alison Hinman at the Dickinson Museum Center; and staff at the Germans from Russia Heritage Society in Bismarck.
Our greatest debt is to the residents of Stark and Hettinger Counties, who opened their homes and shared their knowledge with us. We enjoyed our interviews with Kevin Carvell (Mott), George Ehlis (New England), Geneva Steier (Schefield), Peter and Marie Betchner (Dickinson), and Karen Weiler (Dickinson), and appreciate the stories they shared, many of which are found in the pages of this book. We also want to thank the property owners who allowed us free access to their historic buildings, without which this book would not have been possible. We dedicate this book to them and their ancestors.