As we remember the 50th anniversary of the shocking events on December 9, 1968 at Follinglo farm, we want to more clearly tell the story of what happened and to share it with a new generation. We want to honor the lives that were lost and to give a long overdue thank you to the people of Story City, Iowa. And we are doing this by producing a podcast.
Follinglo Podcast cover art
Designed by Katie Crumrine, daughter of Ingeborg Tjernagel Schey.
The image was created using a photo of the corn crib destroyed in the fire caused by the explosion.
Written and read by Jenn Hanson-dePaula, daughter of Sigrid Tjernagel Hanson
My family has a long-standing tradition of storytelling.
As a child growing up, I loved nothing more than when family would come over to visit. That meant lots of laughter sitting around the table, cousins one up-ing one another with memories from their youth, and sharing stories of beloved family members we had lost.
It was because of this great gift of storytelling that I don’t ever recall not knowing about the tragedy on my family’s farm, which sits on a beautiful piece of land just outside of the small town of Story City, Iowa. They called it Follinglo Farm and it’s where my family settled when they emigrated from Norway in the 1850’s.
And up until the fateful evening of December 9th, 1968 my mother, Sigrid, who was 15 at the time, and her family worked and lived on this century’s old farm.
The tragedy at Follinglo is a story that makes up the fabric of my family and its impact is the lynchpin that everything turns on.
Even though I’ve heard and shared this story hundreds of times, what continues to run through my mind is, “I can’t believe they made it out of there alive.”
Their survival was on God’s mind 100 years earlier when my great-great-grandfather and his brothers decided to put a corn crib in a very specific and unusual spot on the farm. God was weaving our family’s story of survival together even then.
But more so than that, He had very specific people in place within the wonderful community of Story City to provide shelter, food, clothing, support, and so much more for my family in their time of great need.
And I know they would do it all over again in a heartbeat - that’s just how the people of Story City are.
As we remember the 50th anniversary of the events on December 9, 1968, we want to more clearly tell the story of what happened and to share it with a new generation. We want to honor the lives that were lost and to give a long overdue “thank you” to the people of Story City, IA.
And we are doing this by producing a podcast.
If you aren’t familiar with a podcast, it’s kind of like a weekly radio show that you can download from your computer and listen to whenever you want. You can listen to it on your computer, on a smartphone, or on your tablet.
The Follinglo Podcast is like an audio documentary. Every other week we will release a new episode chronicling the tragedy on Follinglo Farm and the four year battle for justice that followed.
If you would like to tune in to the Follinglo Podcast, go to follinglopodcast.com. Starting December 9th you will simply click on the episode you want to listen to, and you can start playing it.
You can also sign up for the newsletter so you can be notified by email when the next episode will be available.
Thank you for being on this journey with us. This is Follinglo.