Category Archives: History
Between Rocks and Hard Places by Ann Urness Gesme is a social history of the Norwegian farmers who made up the bulk of emigrants to America. Focusing on the Norwegian period of their lives makes this book uniquely informative and … Continue reading
A number of preachers from Norway (and other Scandinavian countries) were among the first settlers in the Norwegian Ridge area. They were making rounds to settlers before congregations were officially organized and a pastor was funded and “called” from Norway … Continue reading
Black Hammer is so-named because Knud Olsen Bergo came upon the prairie bluff after a wildfire blackened its sides, and Money Creek was named after a gust of wind blew the contents of an unlucky early settler’s wallet into the … Continue reading
Early railroads (and their tycoons) were the beneficiaries of a great gift from the government: to run rail lines to the West, railroads were typically granted every odd-numbered section for six or so miles on each side of the tracks … Continue reading
Sometimes small-town news spreads far and wide. This pair of stories shows that extreme medical conditions gave Spring Grove a small amount of fame in its first few decades.
Imagine Decorah being at the front of the American frontier when you read this bit from the New York Times, originally published April 20, 1866: Our Scandinavian Population. A correspondent of the American Messenger estimates the number of Norwegians settled … Continue reading
Plat maps are an excellent resource for local history research. They show where a family lived and farmed, can demonstrate migration over time, and provide context when digging through census records. They can also be used to identify the locations cited … Continue reading