Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association

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


In 1916 the Lutherans at Norway Lake celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first organized Lutheran Church.  Gabriel Stene gives the following account of some of the events included in that celebration.


Sunday, July 2, was bright, beautiful morning, roads were good and everything pointed to pleasure; even nature with the green fields and grass and flowers along the roadside seemed to be dressed in holiday attire to salute the passersby.  The roads in all directions gave an appearance of a regular moving picture with all kinds of rigs running on wheels from the most stylish automobile to the old style pioneer wagon, all wending their way towards the south side of Ole Knutson’s grove where were spied in long distance, three large tents pitched on the very ground where (had) stood the little old log church erected by the sturdy pioneers fifty years ago, the first Norwegian Lutheran church in Kandiyohi county.  The place looking as familiar as ever; even the birds in the forest sang songs they did fifty years ago, joining in harmony with the fifty years’ jubilee which was the object and aim of the large gathering of several Norwegian Lutheran congregations that morning.  At about 10:30 a. m. it was estimated that about fifteen hundred (had assembled) and by afternoon the estimate was over two thousand.


“At 10:30 the meeting was opened by the selection of a song by the choir after which Rev. L.P. Torkveen delivered a very impressive morning sermon.  After the service, a free dinner was served by the ladies.  At the noon recess the large gathering enjoyed some excellent music by the Sunburg band and pictures were taken of the group by Elkjer of Willmar and Merryman of Kerkhoven.


“The afternoon session was called to order by Rev. N.J. Njus.  Old settlers from 1862 to 1895 were called upon to take places provided for them on the platform.  Those responding were Ole Knudson, E.O. Glesne, Erick Paulson, Hans Petterson, Mrs. Nels Peterson, Johannes Halvorson, Ole Halvorson and Peter Broberg.” The festivities continued for three days, and Gabriel Stene concludes his account with the following evaluation of the event.


“The local ministers as well as the visiting ministers exchanged thanks and expressed their joy and happiness over the harmonious and good meeting they had enjoyed.  This concluded the Norway Lake Jubilee of fifty years with not a word of misunderstanding in religion or creed.  Three days’ work with good understanding and harmony the prevailing element.  Those present will never forget the Norway Lake Fifty Year Jubilee of several Lutheran churches, held at Norway Lake July 2, 3 and 4, 1916.”


The task of feeding so many people a free Sunday dinner did cause some problems as far as food supply was concerned.  But quick trips to the Knutson and Boe homes evidently solved the problem.


This photograph shows a milestone in the history of the Old Log Church.  It is also described in the text below, reproduced from Keeping the Faith...Sharing the Faith, First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake: 1862—1992.


(click the photo to open a new window with a larger view)


I. The Fifty Year Jubilee



History of the Log Church

Photo Gallery

The Settlers:


Oral History