Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association

The Norway Lake Lutheran Hisorical Association (NLLHA) is a Minnesota non-profit corporation and is tax-exempt under Section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue code.

Old Log Church 1868

History of the Norway Lake settlement and log church

History of the Log Church

Photo Gallery

The Settlers: Stories/Photos

Oral History



· 1851: Dakota Indians sign two treaties with the U.S. government ceding most of their

                remaining land in Minnesota Territory including the Norway Lake area.


· 1858: Norwegian immigrants Anders and Even Railson are the first white settlers in the Norway

                Lake area.


· 1859-60: Other settlers arrive, including Ole and Aase Knudson.


· 1861: Nilje Knudson, born August 26, is the first white child born at the settlement. Later she is

                baptized by Pastor Jackson of New London.


· 1862: The Dakota War breaks out and the settlement is abandoned. The U.S. Army establishes a

                 fort near the shores of Norway Lake.


· 1865-67: Displaced settlers return to the community and new settlers pour in. They build homes 

                 and farms.


· 1868: The Norway Lake settlers incorporate a congregation and build a log church on land

                 donated by Ole Knudson.


· 1875: The congregation outgrows the little log church. It is replaced with new buildings at East

                 and West Norway Lake. Four more churches arise from the log church over the years.


· 1876-1878: Hordes of grasshoppers plague Minnesota and devastate farms in the Norway Lake



· 1877: The congregations decide that the log church should be moved to the parsonage farm and

                 used as a hay barn or stable.


· 1997: Under the leadership of Pastor Joel Njus, the Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association

                is established to, “…gather, preserve and disseminate information about the pioneers of the

                 Norway Lake area including…their cultural and religious heritage.”


· 1998: Construction begins on the restoration of the Log Church on land donated by Ed and Becky



· 2000: A perpetual care fund is created to collect gifts for the upkeep and improvement of the Log

                Church project and site.


· 2002: An interpretive center is established at the Log Church site to display historical materials.

                The building is a 19th century log building donated by Dallen and Glennis Peterson.Native

                 prairie plants are restored in a garden at the Log Church site.


· 2004: Restoration begins on the Ole Knudson log cabin, donated by Jane Norman. The cabin is  

                near the Log Church.


· 2007: Restoration of the Knudsen cabin was completed.