The development of my ancestral farm has become a life mission for my husband and me. I wish therefore to tell a little about the background for our big project on this beautiful farm by Dybing Lake.
My ancestors settled at Dybing around 1650. Since then the farm has gone from father to son through 10 generations until 1975 when I inherited the farm – a daughter instead of a son – for the first time. I did not live here, but my father, Peder Dybing, was born and grew up on the farm. After my 25 years in America my Oklahoman husband, Dan Chesnut, and I decided that this pearl of nature was too special to not be developed and shared with others. In 1988 we started building our own cabin on a hillside overlooking Dybing Lake. We spent 2-3 weeks, several times a year (traveling from Oklahoma to Norway), to finish it.
Feeling that this was our paradise on earth, we both grew increasingly fond of the farm. In 1994 Dan took early retirement in order to spend more time at our beloved Dybing Farm. At that time the old buildings were in such bad shape that it unfortunately was too late to restore them. One building after the other was torn down and rebuilt on the centuries old original foundation of natural stone.
“Siri House” the crown jewel of the three buildings at Dybing was finished in 2005. It is named after my daughter Siri Montine Reksnis, my aunt Siri Dybing Øksnebø, my great grandmother Siri Gryssareid Dybing, and numerous other Siris through several hundred years back in my family. I chose the name “Siri House” in gratefulness to my daughter, who in 2000 moved to Norway from beautiful Colorado with her husband and two young sons, mainly because of her love for the ancestral farm at Dybing.
“Guri House”, the charming main farmhouse, was built in 2006 and named after my grandmother Guri Eikeli Dybing. On the outside it is an accurate copy of the original house, and the interior duplicates much of the original architecture, but with added modern conveniences. This house has soul!
A few years later “Peder Barn” was turned into an elegant banquet/conference room and vacation home with a fantastic view through huge panoramic windows. We named this building after my dear father Peder Pedersen Dybing and my grandfather Peder Sørensen Dybing. Blakken-stallen (named after my precious childhood fjordhorse), in the basement of Peder Barn, is a pub-like room, nostalgic, but ruggedly beautiful in wood, leather and stone.
Dan is the one who made the farm by Dybing Lake into what it has become today. Siri, Eirik (my son) and I could only have dreamed of the possibilities; Dan made them into a reality. With his artistic talents and unreal level of energy, he has made Siri House, Guri House and Peder Barn into unique masterpieces. His hours of physical as well as mental labor are too many to count. Siri, Eirik and I are forever grateful to Dan who created these marvelous buildings for us and many future generations. Dan and I wanted to make Dybing Farm into a memorial honoring the hardworking families who labored so hard to survive here at Dybing for more than 400 years! We are satisfied with the result – Dybing Farm has indeed become a monument!
When you enter Siri House, Guri House and Peder Barn, we hope you will lay aside your “stressed city lifestyle” and relax in this comfortable and beautiful environment surrounded by majestic mountains, trout-rich lake, forest, grazing sheep and rushing creeks. And when you later yearn for the peace and beauty of Dybing, you are always welcome to return to Dybing Farm – at the lake, to renew body and soul in this unique paradise.
Kind regards, Gudbjørg Dybing Chesnut