Have Ewe Any Wool?

Monday, June 08, 2009

Norwegian Heritage

I missed all the celebrations this year for Sittende Mai with my Sons of Norway lodge as I was in Illinois. However, I was quite near a town called Norway, so I stopped by there to get my "Norwegian Fix". The town of Norway was the first permanent Norwegian settlement in the US - established in 1834.

I paid the general store a visit and picked up some goodies like Fruit Soup mix, pickled herring, and of course, some yummy lefse to share with the family. I managed to find a really cute sweatshirt and a T-shirt and cup that say, "Lefse Queen". I love the roof line - other than that, it's a rather standard looking general store. I was a bit disappointed though because I couldn't get any Norwegian Akavit....only the Danish brand. The only major item(s) missing from the store is some Norwegian wool or at least a few knitting patterns. I'm sure I'm not the only patron that would be interested in those goodies.

The visit to the bathroom at the Norway Store was quite interesting as well. The doors are labeled, "Trolls" and "Trollettes".

In the hallway, you're greeted by a wooden cigar store Indian and lots of interesting photos on the walls.

Inside the bathroom, the Norwegian theme continues with the saying, "Var sa god". I'm not sure it's really appropriate in the bathroom, but it made me smile none the less.

Just outside the store is a mural depicting the seafaring Norwegians. They've recently touched up the painting. The last time I was here, I remember it being a bit faded.

Off in the background is the Norwegian Church and museum. Unfortunately, I wasn't there during "visiting hours". The museum is only open from June through September, so I was there a month too early.

Just down the road from Norway is the Cleng Peerson Memorial. I stopped there to read up on the history and pay my respects. I tried to catch the flags in full splendor, but the winds just weren't cooperating with me that day!

Of course, I can't drive up Rt. 71 to Norway without oggling the "monument" left by the Norwegian farmers in memory of the great farm crash of the 1980's - a crashed plane. Many farmers lost their land and homes during that time period....and quite a number of them were of Norwegian descent.

In the little town of Wedron, there's a monument commemorating the night that Charles Lindbergh crash landed in a nearby field and spent the night at the farm of one of my great grandparents. Somehow, this fact never came up in family chats, etc. until the historical society placed a monument there to mark the event. It makes you wonder what other interesting tidbits of history are yet to be discovered....


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home