The Heaphys serving Thanksgiving in 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner at Sondreson Hall

Come join your North Fork neighbors at Sondreson Hall for our annual Thanksgiving potluck dinner. Turkey and ham will be provided. Please bring a side dish and your own table setting. The doors open at 3 p.m. and dinner is served at 4 p.m. This event is hosted by Christina and Steve Berg and cohosted by the original Thanksgiving dinner hosts, Pat and Jon Elliott.

Thanksgiving dinner at Sondreson Hall has a long tradition. We recently received the following from Pat and Jon Elliott telling all about the first (see the North For History Project page for this and other North Fork stories)…

Sondreson Hall by Gerry StearnsAs Thanksgiving approaches, we think it appropriate to recognize that this will be the 40th Anniversary of what has become a very special celebration for people of the North Fork. We hope to note this in the history of the North Fork .

It began in 1975. We had just moved in August with our teenage children from Alaska to the Knutson homestead. Marlene and Johnny Mathison had moved to the Holcomb family homestead earlier that summer. As Thanksgiving approached we discussed how we could celebrate this first Thanksgiving with our many new friends. Mathisons joined us with a visit to Loyd and Ruth Sondreson where it was quickly decided that we would join together to host a community dinner. Marlene and Pat cooked turkeys, a prime rib was furnished by Ruth and Loyd, others brought traditional potluck dishes and desserts. We had a wonderful celebration.

According to my journal it snowed a foot the day before and it had been minus 4 degrees the week previous. After spending most of the morning getting the car started we were able to haul firewood, get the fire started, return home to pick up the turkey and get back again to serve dinner. My journal notes that we “had a nice dinner” and that Jon ate too much. Twenty-seven people attended that first year and we danced afterwards! The following year, forty people attended. We The Heaphys serving Thanksgiving in 2011continued to host into the late 80’s, assisted by others, until we passed the torch to Bergs. They have continued hosting until this date.
Christina and Steve have invited us to co-host this year. We understand that the menu has grown to three turkeys and a Perfect Cuts ham. Some things don’t change however, and we’ll be up early making trips to the hall to get it heated for the many friends and neighbors who will attend.

To quote Frank Evans “who’d of thunk” that forty years later Thanksgiving would be so celebrated in the North Fork.

Pat and Jon Elliott