Category Archives: Norwegian Americans

From the Hornet’s Nest to Custer’s Last Stand: The Immigrant Story of Norwegian Sergeant Olaus Hansen

Photo: courtesy of Ozzie Sollien Surprisingly, there are no known photographs of Olaus Hansen. The illustration of him seen on the cover of Sollien’s book was drawn by Norwegian artist Kjell Strømsmoen.

Torbjørn Greipsland Askim, Norway Thanks to Asbjørn “Ozzie” Sollien’s book “From the Hornet’s Nest to Custer’s Last Stand,” yet another Norwegian immigrant has emerged as a Civil War champion. Olaus Hansen from Northeg (Nord Eik) in Nannestad fought in one of the deadliest Civil War campaigns, the Battle of Shiloh, where more than 24,000 men perished. Fourteen ...

Theodora Cormontan, forgotten composer

Photo: courtesy of Nancy Clasen, great-great-granddaughter of Theodora

A Minnesota couple discovered this little-known Norwegian composer in a box of discarded music, but they’re bringing her works to life Roy Jorgensen Hopewell Junction, N.Y. In May of 2011 Bonnie Jorgensen, a professional pianist, ran into some friends in a grocery store in St. Peter, Minnesota. They offered Bonnie some boxes of music that had been in ...

Stories from the Heart of America: Thirty-two generations

Photo: Larrie Wanberg Rick James Marzullo, Master Papercutter in front of his design honoring the 115 original settlers of Solvang, Calif.

Larrie Wanberg Features Editor Rick and Linda’s dream is to visit Scandinavia and set foot on the lands of their family heritage, dating back 32 generations. Their dream combines folk art, genealogy and a philosophy from generations past of a utopian cultural village. It seemed like it was destined to happen since childhood. “In Disneyland when I was ...

Fredheim SON Lodge: A modern-day Lazarus

Photo: Evelina Gustafsson / Wikimedia Commons Fredheim Lodge managed to involve young Norwegian Americans even when it’s not Syttende Mai.

While many Sons of Norway lodges suffer from diminishing numbers, this one turned the trend around Victoria Hofmo Brooklyn, N.Y. Many Sons of Norway lodges across the country have been suffering from diminishing numbers. However, in Staten Island there has been a tremendous success story. Fredheim Lodge’s membership was down to 59 in February 2011, but currently boasts ...

Weekend at Bredo’s

Photo: Matt Beldyk/Flickr A decorated hearse in the Frozen Dead Guy Days parade of hearses. Other events include coffin races, polar plunge, frozen salmon toss, and a "frozen dead guy" lookalike contest.

  A frozen Norwegian grandpa inspires the annual Frozen Dead Guy Days festival in Nederland, CO Denise Leland Norwegian American Weekly In 1989, Norwegian Bredo Morstoel (or Morstøl) died of heart conditions. He then traveled to the United States with his grandson, Trygve Bauge. But he was not in a coffin or urn as most of the deceased travel. ...

Community-supported education

Photo: 401(K) 2012 / Flickr

A short list of scholarships offered in the Norwegian-American community Grieg Lodge in Portland, Ore. This lodge offers a minimum of three scholarships per year. These are $1,000 college scholarships that are merit based. Eligibility is limited to students whose home address is in Multnomah, Clackamas or Washington County in the State of Oregon or Clark County ...

Marit Bjørgen’s doppelgänger cheers her on

Photo courtesy of Jaffrey Bagge Which one is the real one? Bagge is flattered by comparisons to Marit Bjørgen, who won the gold medal in crosscountry skiathlon at the Sochi Olympics.

Seattle woman is a dead ringer for Norway’s gold medal-winning skier--and her new biggest fan Staff Compilation TV2 Jaffrey Bagge (30) lives in Seattle, Washington, which is Bergen’s sister city. She works as a marketing director at her parents’ catering company and never goes skiing. When a Norwegian friend a while ago showed her pictures of Olympic star Marit ...

How to tag a Scandihoovian: on names

Photo: Anne-Lise Reinsfelt / Norsk Folkemuseum / visitnorway.com The Numedal Farmstead at the Norsk Follkemuseum in Oslo. Many Norwegian names are derived from the names of farms.

                  Though the countries share many cultural features, names usually identify a person as a Dane, Norwegian, or Swede Nancy L. Coleman & Olav Veka Brumunddal, Norway Most people know that there are many descendants of Scandinavian immigrants living in the USA today, but few know how many. The most recent estimates, from 2009, show that some 1,516,126 Americans ...

Artisans and ancestry

Photo: courtesy of Ray Kerns. Ray Kerns with one of his stained glass projects.

Ray Kerns, veteran and artisan, reflects on ancestry and connections with – and separation from – the past Larrie Wanberg Feature Editor A sole artisan designed and built the “7 Trails Trading Post,” which is home of the Knife River Indian Heritage Foundation as a “friends group” in support of the U.S. Park Service Knife River Historic Indian ...

A new interpretation

the-last-kings-of-norse-america-runestone-keys-to-a-lost-empire

Robert G. Johnson and Janey Westin offer a new theory on the presence of Norse explorers in North America Kelsey Larson Managing Editor The Kensington Runestone in Minnesota, the Spirit Pond runestones discovered in Maine, reports of Native American peoples with light skin and eyes...could there possibly be a historic explanation for these phenomena, or are they simply ...