Friday, July 29, 2011

Day Four: Norway

Decorah, Iowa

As we progressed further south and east, we entered northeastern Iowa, an area that was settled by Norwegian immigrants.

As you can see from the flags hanging over main street, the Scandinavian influence is still very much present. Decorah is the home of the Vesterheim, sort of a Mecca for Norskes throughout the US. It may be the most comprehensive museum of its type in the world.

Full of excellent exhibits of artifacts covering all aspects of the immigrant life in the New World, the museum also has several buildings which have been moved to the site from various locations in the Midwest, including a pioneer schoolroom, complete with textbooks in Norwegian:

An unstated theme emerges as one goes through the exhibits, one of longing, for Norway, certainly, but also for the people who came before, those who came with only what would fit in a trunk, to make a new life.

Leaving Norway for America, circa 1870.

By Professor Batty


Anonymous Jon said...

I get those feelings of longing for the old country. My father left a war-ravaged Norway in 1947 to further his education. Legend has it that I was made there but born here. This is a terrific world tour. Have you ever made it to Gimli?

Blogger Professor Batty said...

No, I've been to Kenora, but hope to make it further into Canada someday...

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