This past weekend, two of my "Askew" cousin came up and we journeyed way up north with mom to the place where her mom was born and raised. Mom's grandfather and grandmother came to Norway and headed to Minnesota/North Dakota border where they raised 7 kids.
Lisa came up and met mom and me on Thursday morning and we took off for Minneapolis where Shelley was flying in from Greenville - we picked her up and finished out 3 and something hour drive up to Walker, MN where we were staying for the weekend.
We started bright and early (well, not that early) on Friday morning and we headed to Polk County Courthouse in Crookston, MN where we looked up birth and death records. I'll show some of the stuff we found later - it was kind of cool.
We then headed about 20 minutes west to Grand Forks, ND and UND... sounds weird :) But its University North Dakota. We went right to the Chester Fritz Library and the resources department on the top floor where they house all kinds of historical stuff and we got some pretty awesome stuff from there - again, I'll show it later, it was kind of exciting and gave us some bigger mysteries to solve.
Stopped to have a little fun outside the Fritz.... Shelley taking a picture of....
me taking a picture of....
Lisa taking a picture of ... me ... I admit I have some crazy cousins!
One last pict before we head off for a little treat...
From ugly toes....
To pretty toes....
Our tummys told us that it was time to get some chow so we headed across the Red River (the Red River divides North Dakota and Minnesota in a really crazy, long snaky way). We ended up at Whiteys, an old restaurant with original ceilings and woodwork and such - it was beautiful.
Some picts on the wall show how bad the floods from the Red River can be.
In East Grand Forks, Minnesota...
Goin across the bridge.
And we're across in Grand Forks, ND.
A marker showing the levels the Red River has reached.
We pause mid-bridge to pay homage to our family tree.
Looking back to Grand Forks, ND and the flood marker - you can tell how much its flooded.
Those crazy cousins again.
The outside of the restaurant we ate at.
There were a lot of steamboats and such on the Red River so this nice little fountain tells that story.
I had to pause to show the humor of those North Dakotans -- or maybe they don't even see the humor?....
Really? The FIDO PURPUR arena? Instead of moose and squirrel its dog and cat?...
Saturday we headed off to Fargo, ND through Akeley, MN - the home of Paul Bunyon...
We went to Fargo to pick up mom's cousin, Shirley. They were so excited to see each other as it had been at least 12 years if not even more since they'd seen each other.
We piled back in the car to drive about an hour to Crookston again, this time, to the Polk County Historical Museum. Shirley used to live in Crookston, so it was her old stomping grounds and she showed us all the good stuff - including the famous candy shop that dips chips in chocolate! :) It was all original inside and has always been a candy store and ice cream parlor.
We arrived at the museum to find out a little bit more about the area that our great grandparents lived in
This is a certificate the Shirley's dad, Johan, received after fighting in World War I.
She then showed us a back room that showed all the men from Polk County who had fought in World War I and II.
Going outside, there were old houses and buildings that had been moved to the museum for preservation.... Shelley did not come with the old house....
Here's a little sampling of what the Red River looks like.
Nielsville is where the Egelands came and started their family. This school was built after my grandma finished school but some of her brother did go here and Shirley's mom actually taught here.
This is where it gets cool - these are pictures from mom's album....
Here's St Petri Lutheran Church in Nielsville and some family milling around outside (mom is the skinny one in the white suit in the front).
Here's St Petri church now.
I don't have a picture of this one before, but this was 1915 as well in Nielsville and the cousins all had a reunion there about 20 some years ago.
Back to the album - here is the farm that Great Grandpa Egeland farmed on.
This is the farm during one of the Red River floods.
Its no longer standing, but this is where the farm was.
This is where the house stood....
This is where the barn stood.
Here is the Nielsville Bridge. Before Great Grandpa farmed, he lived by the river right here and ran a ferry on the river. When they built the bridge in the late 1890s, thats when he bought the farm and started farming.
If you go across the bridge, you're in Salem, Traill County, North Dakota. In North Dakota stands a church that mom's grandparents actually attended and possibly helped to start. Its Salem Lutheran Church and this is it in the album.
This is the church as it stands now.
As an aside, Salem Lutheran Church is where my Grandpa Charles and Grandma Clara were married.
And Clara's sister, Gladys, and her husband DeForest were married there as well. (Grandma Clara is standing behind Gladys.)
We then went just a smidge down a dusty, gravel road to a little cemetery where we found our Great Grandpa (mom's Grandpa) Gabriel Torjersen Egeland's grave.
And Great Grandma Marie... I love this picture because of what it says on the bottom - it was taken in their original home of Stavanger, Norway.
They also had their 8th child, George buried there.
And there was actually another man buried there that I'm still working on finding the details on - I believe it was a brother of Gabriels, Thorvald. This was all the Egeland's plots here.
And this is little Salem Cemetery right down the road from Salem Lutheran Church.
Some of the rural area pictures...
We then drove back to Fargo and had some dinner.
And then back to Shirley's condo for some ice cream and a browse down memory lane...
Shirley and mom holding a picture of them when they were young girls....
I'll post our leisure day later - we had to have one day where we did nothing!