Norwegian Heritage Center - Livsreise

Norwegian Heritage Center - Livsreise Livsreise (lifs-rye-sa) translates to “Life’s Journey.” Norwegian Heritage Center in Historic Downtown Stoughton
(9)

Operating as usual

SPOOKTACULAR NORWAYAkershus fortressFew destinations in Norway is rifer with stories of the supernatural than Akershus f...
10/30/2020

SPOOKTACULAR NORWAY
Akershus fortress
Few destinations in Norway is rifer with stories of the supernatural than Akershus fortress in Oslo. For 700 years, the castle has guarded the capital’s inner harbour, and never in its history has it been breached by a foreign hostile force. This, however, does not mean that blood hasn’t been shed in its dim corridors and beyond the high walls.
For many years, parts of the castle served as a prison for some of Norway's most notorious criminals. The sentence often involved gruelling physical labour, and the prison was infamous for using irons, chains, and prisoner isolation as disciplinary techniques.
Over the years, there’s been several reports of whispers and scratching along the fortress hallways, and many guards have noticed weird anomalies – like the sensation of being pushed – while alone on duty.
The prison at the castle was closed down in 1950. (Courtesy of visitnorway.com)

"The spirit of working together builds "Life's Journey" Check it out! Livsreise was featured in an article from Home Ele...
10/30/2020
Dugnadsånd Bygger Livsreise

"The spirit of working together builds "Life's Journey"

Check it out! Livsreise was featured in an article from Home Elements & Concepts winter issue.
https://homeelementsandconcepts.com/Articles/2020-11/Livsreise

“We have one chance to do it right because we can’t do it over.” Jerry A. Gryttenholm, treasurer for the Edwin E. and Janet L. Bryant Foundation, said this to everyone involved in building and designing Livsreise. He wanted to create something really special for downtown Stoughton, and Bryant ...

Halloween in NorwayBefore the year 2000, American Halloween customs were little known in Norway, the time honored tradit...
10/29/2020

Halloween in Norway
Before the year 2000, American Halloween customs were little known in Norway, the time honored tradition of carving pumpkins was unheard of. Not long ago pumpkins did not even exist in Norway!

The Halloween holiday has changed dramatically over the years. What started as a pagan celebration has evolved into much more of a commercial spectacle. This is especially true in cities like Oslo, Norway. Several museums in Oslo offer special Halloween themed events and some pubs have started to organize costume contests.

Another reason Halloween is fast becoming a hit in Norway could be because it has much in common with the Norwegian tradition, ‘lommelykt i høstmørket’. People (mostly children) play hide and seek and go on treasure hunts with flashlights during dark autumn evenings. It has become increasingly common to see children dressed up, going door to door echoing the phrase “knask eller knep”, which means about the same as “trick-or-treat".

Norway's Most Haunted HotelThe Dalen hotel was built in 1894.  Situated at the very end of the Telemark canal the hotel ...
10/28/2020

Norway's Most Haunted Hotel

The Dalen hotel was built in 1894. Situated at the very end of the Telemark canal the hotel in and of itself is not a particularly frightening place. However, what happened in room 17 is certain to send chills down your spine.

At the end of the eighteenth century it is said that an English lady named Miss Greenfield came to the hotel and stayed in room 17 for the summer. She seemed to enjoy herself and returned to England in September.

The woman, unbeknownst to anyone was pregnant when she arrived. However, she returned to England childless. After her departure the maids came to clean room 17 and they found the dead infant. The English authorities arrested Miss Greenfield, but she committed suicide before the trial was finished.

A few months after her death staff started to grumble about mysterious experiences and claimed to see the strange woman in the hallways. Guests in room 17 began complaining they heard a baby crying in the middle of the night, feeling mysterious movement near the end of the bed and experiencing unsettling feelings. Perhaps one of the hotels guests, “The English Lady” never really checked out.

Halloween is just around the corner.  It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to black magic and witchcraft.  When we t...
10/27/2020

Halloween is just around the corner. It’s the time of year when thoughts turn to black magic and witchcraft. When we think of witches many think Salem, Massachusetts, but did you know Norway has its’ own wicked history?

In Norway in the 17th century over 170 people were accused of witchcraft, 91 were convicted and many burned at the stake. Many of the witch trials, certainly the most well-known, took place in Finnmark, also home to the indigenous Sami people whose ancient pagan practices caused alarm and suspicion. Witchcraft and sorcery were blamed for everything from storms to sick animals.

Vardø, Finnmark is known as the witch capital of Norway. For two months, starting around Thanksgiving and ending around Valentine’s Day, Vardø is dark, like pitch-black night for two months straight. Now, there’s nothing normal about 24-hour night, but it’s perfect for seeing witches where there’s no one but your neighbors. Vardø is also home to the Steilneset Memorial, a shrine built in 2011 to commemorate those executed in the witch trials.

Trolls of the CavesUnlike their forest-dwelling cousins, cave trolls live completely underground and are generally depic...
10/26/2020

Trolls of the Caves
Unlike their forest-dwelling cousins, cave trolls live completely underground and are generally depicted as smaller than humans with a large round abdomen and short stubby arms and legs. These are more akin to the trolls that help Queen Elsa in Frozen.

In Norse mythology, however, they’re not generally friendly to humans. They use their connections with nature to baffle and deceive humans.
No matter the type of troll, they all have some characteristics in common. Aside from being unfriendly, they’re also generally depicted as stupid and dangerous. They may set clever riddles but they’re usually easy enough for humans to overcome.

Getting the Better of TrollsOne tale tells of Askeladden, the youngest son of a farmer who needed wood from the forrest ...
10/25/2020

Getting the Better of Trolls
One tale tells of Askeladden, the youngest son of a farmer who needed wood from the forrest to pay off his debts. When his first two sons went into the forest and returned empty handed – having been scared away by the troll – Askeladden went into the forest with a piece of cheese to keep him from starving.

When he encountered the angry troll, Askeladden pulled out the piece of cheese and, pretending it was a rock, squeezed it until the whey came out.

Thus, the troll was fooled and, fearing his great strength, offered to help the boy with his wood cutting.
The boy realized that he couldn’t carry such massive buckets, let alone filled with water, so he claimed they were too small and that he would simply bring the whole spring instead.

The troll obviously didn’t want a whole spring in his house and so they exchanged chores. The boy tended the fire while the troll went to get water to make porridge. Once it was ready the boy suggested they have an eating contest.

They ate as much as they could, however the boy had placed his knapsack under his shirt and was filling it with the porridge, without the troll noticing. Once it was full he slashed a hole in it and continued to eat.

Once the troll was full and could eat no more, the boy suggested that the troll cut a hole in his stomach, like they boy appeared to have done, so that he could eat as much as he liked. The troll, being rather stupid, did so and promptly died. Thus, the boy took all of his gold and silver and the farmer could pay off his debts.(Courtesy of LifeinNorway.net)

Trolls are everywhere in our popular culture right now!We’ve seen them helping Queen Elsa in Frozen, trying to cook Hobb...
10/24/2020

Trolls are everywhere in our popular culture right now!
We’ve seen them helping Queen Elsa in Frozen, trying to cook Hobbits in the Lord of the Rings and guarding bridges to the annoyance of our fairy-tale heroes. Each portrayal is slightly different from the last.

So where do our mythical trolls come from? And what are ‘proper’ trolls like? Well, the answer to that, as always, is complicated!
The noun troll or troll, meaning variously fiend, demon, werewolf and giant, comes from a proto-Germanic word trullan or unknown origin.

There’s much overlap in the terms jötunn (giant), troll, þurs (hostile monsters) and (heroic beings). Some theorize that they’re four distinct classes of beings while others believe that troll is a catch-all for ‘mischievous creatures.
What we do get a kind of agreement on, when we distil all of the arguments down, is that there are two types of troll.

Trolls of the mountain and of the forest
The first type is known as the forest or mountain troll. They’re generally depicted as large, dumb, brutish creatures akin to a large neanderthal.
They are said to use their connections with nature to uproot trees to use as clubs as well as being able to cause hurricanes and avalanches.

These are also the trolls whose riddles you have to solve to cross a bridge, if you ever find yourself inside a fairytale or playing an RPG, ( Courtesy of LifeinNorway.net)

You may have driven Trollstigen or hiked to the Troll's Tongue, but how much do you know about the mythology?Whether it’...
10/23/2020

You may have driven Trollstigen or hiked to the Troll's Tongue, but how much do you know about the mythology?

Whether it’s a tacky figurine lined up on a gift shop shelf ready to give you that ‘perfect’ souvenir, or a fluorescent haired cartoon toy aimed at entertaining children, we all know trolls. Or do we? During the next few days we will explore common beliefs and myths around these creatures.
(Courtesy LifeinNorway.net)

Norwegian bogs and wetlandAll over Norway, you will find areas with bogs and wetland. In the old Norwegian farming socie...
10/22/2020

Norwegian bogs and wetland
All over Norway, you will find areas with bogs and wetland. In the old Norwegian farming society, turf from the bogs was cut and dried – and used as fuel for the fire. In the mountains, containers with milk were sometimes dug into the bog during the summer-pasture-season and stored there until people went hunting or berry-picking in the autumn. As there was little oxygen in the bog, the milk would keep fresh for people to drink.
This photo is from the Femundsmarka National Park in Hedmark and Trøndelag.

Heddal stave church | a divine building built by a troll | NorwayThe Heddal stave church - stavkirke - is Norway's large...
10/22/2020

Heddal stave church | a divine building built by a troll | Norway
The Heddal stave church - stavkirke - is Norway's largest remaining building of its kind. It is a woodwork masterpiece, with a history that stretches back more than 800 years.
Christianity came to Norway with the Viking kings, around the turn of the second millennium AD. The Norwegian kings and the Catholic Church did its best to destroy the old Norse beliefs and places of worship. The new faith was forced through, and wooden- and stone churches were erected across the country. Throughout its history, the Heddal stave church has undergone many stages of additions, refurbishments, alterations, and restorations.
A church with many names
The Heddal stave church – not to be confused with the Hedalen stave church – is historically also known as Hitterdals stavkirke, Hitterdals Mariakirke, and Ryen kirke i Hitterdal. The name Ryen – or Rygin – comes from the historical farm whose land it was built upon. And Hitterdal was the previous name of the community of Heddal. Maria is the Norwegian name for the Virgin Mary – Jomfru Maria. Old rune inscriptions indicate a possible consecration date of 25 October, possibly in AD 1242. The earliest written mention of the church is from the year AD 1315. Today, the church is a popular tourist stop still also in active use – for services, weddings, and more.

Harvest TimeIn historic Norway a farms size was often measured by how many animals it could sustain over the winter.  In...
10/20/2020

Harvest Time
In historic Norway a farms size was often measured by how many animals it could sustain over the winter. In some sections of the country the cold of winter could come as early as late September and last into early June. During this time cows and other farm animals had to depend 100% on the food their masters had put into store.

Only about 5% of Norway's land is actually arable, so farmers had to utilize all available resources to provide enough fodder-feed for livestock over the long winter. This often meant taking to the land surrounding the farm to gather enough food. In addition to hay, farmers also gave the animals dried bark and leaves, seaweed, marsh grass, whatever they could gather during the short and hectic summer. Most people, including the children were expected to and did work their entire waking hours.

At the beginning of winter farmers would often assess the number of livestock compared to the food store. If the farmer thought the harvest was insufficient the weakest animals were slaughtered.

Photo credit:The County Archives in Sogn og Fjordane 1989091.162874

Threshing RingsThe first immigrant farmer could only afford to cultivate a few meager acres of land to feed his family. ...
10/16/2020

Threshing Rings

The first immigrant farmer could only afford to cultivate a few meager acres of land to feed his family. Farm implements were simple, generally hand made by the farmer himself.

After the introduction of the Homestead Act in 1862 the average size of a farm increased dramatically, farmers were working 100 acres or more. By this time the traditional techniques used to harvest were becoming antiquated. However, threshing outfits were too expensive for average farmers to buy on their own and required far more labor to operate than a single farm could supply.

For this reason many farmers formed threshing rings, cooperatives of up to a dozen farmers that would share in the expense and labor of the annual harvest. Farm owners each bought shares in these threshing rings and during the harvest season members of the co-op and their hired hands would travel to each farm in the ring.

It was no simple task to operate the thresher and steam tractor. Although much less labor intensive than the scythe and flail, the new equipment still required considerable manpower as well as a skilled hand. Each year at the rings annual meeting, the men who would hold the skilled positions to perform crucial operations were appointed. The less desirable jobs would be filled by the farm owners hired hands.

Can you identify the mystery artifact?Perhaps some of you have seen an item similar to this resting in grandmas old barn...
10/14/2020

Can you identify the mystery artifact?

Perhaps some of you have seen an item similar to this resting in grandmas old barn, or maybe you've seen a family photo of great grandpa holding one?

This common agricultural tool has been used since the Viking age, up until the mid-19th century when more modern implements such as the threshing machine were introduced. As with many rural tools, this would also have used for protection by farmers who lacked better weapons.

Post your guess in the comments below and watch our page to unlock the mystery.

Leif Erikson DayLeif Erikson was the famous Norse explorer who led the first expedition of Europeans thought to have set...
10/09/2020

Leif Erikson Day

Leif Erikson was the famous Norse explorer who led the first expedition of Europeans thought to have set foot in continental North America (other than Greenland). October 9th was chosen because the ship Restauration coming from Stavanger, Norway, arrived in New York Harbor on October 9, 1825, beginning a wave of immigration from Norway to America. Wisconsin was the first U.S. state to officially adopt Leif Erikson Day as a state holiday. It is a special observance day that was signed into law by Governor Walter J. Kohler on May 10, 1929.

Livsreise volunteer Ron Larson's grandfather, Iver. M. Kalnes, was very involved in the effort to recognize Leif Erikson Day as a national holiday. The photo shows Governor Kohler signing the bill in front of members of the Leif Erikson committee. "My grandfather is the third person in the front row to the right of Gov. Kohler. The man with the white beard immediately to the right of the governor is Rasmus B. Anderson. All participants received a ceremonial pen, which I still have in my family archives.”

Norwegian Heritage Center - Livsreise's cover photo
10/08/2020

Norwegian Heritage Center - Livsreise's cover photo

Get ready for the debate: Columbus or Erikson, who really discovered America? On October 9th the federal government of t...
10/07/2020

Get ready for the debate: Columbus or Erikson, who really discovered America?

On October 9th the federal government of the United States observes Leif Erikson Day, although state offices remain open. Several states, Wisconsin included, officially commemorate this day and Wisconsin public schools are required by state statute to observe Leif Erikson Day.

Leif Erikson was the second of three sons of Erik the Red. He was born in Iceland and raised in Greenland after his family was exiled from Iceland. Erikson is famous for his discovery of “Vinland” around the year 1000 CE. It has been widely speculated that Erikson’s “Vinland” was in fact North America and that he was the first European explorer to set foot on the continent, not Christopher Columbus. Norse sagas written 300 years after his death recount his story, but the accounts they give are so different it is impossible to be certain of the details of his life or the exact location of “Vinland”.

Museum From Home1879 front page newspaperSubmitted by: Ron LarsonThe St. Olav's Medal was instituted by King Haakon VII ...
10/06/2020

Museum From Home

1879 front page newspaper
Submitted by: Ron Larson

The St. Olav's Medal was instituted by King Haakon VII of Norway on March 17, 1939. It is awarded in recognition of "outstanding services rendered in connection with the spreading of information about Norway abroad and for strengthening the bonds between expatriate Norwegians and their home country."

"My grandfather worked tirelessly for the advancement of Norwegian-American causes. His unwavering commitment to these causes resulted in his being awarded the St. Olaf Medal in 1951, in “recognition and reward for unflagging, productive service in the advancement and championship of Norwegian ideals, culture and traditions in his American homeland.”

"The article and photo covering his award appeared on the front page of The Capital Times. My grandmother, Anna (who immigrated from Vangsnes, Norway in 1909), my mom and dad, brother and sister are also in the photo. (I had not been born yet). It may seem odd by today’s standards that the article appeared so prominently on the front page of the newspaper, but knowing the publisher was William T. Evjue, another proud Norwegian, and that my grandfather had been a popular columnist and reporter for The Capital Times for ten years until his retirement in 1948, it wasn’t so surprising."

Address

277 West Main St
Stoughton, WI
53589

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:30 - 16:30
Wednesday 09:30 - 16:30
Thursday 09:30 - 16:30
Friday 09:30 - 16:30
Saturday 09:30 - 16:30

Telephone

(608) 873-7567

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Norwegian Heritage Center - Livsreise posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Business

Send a message to Norwegian Heritage Center - Livsreise:

Videos

Nearby government services


Comments

My fellow Norwegians. Hans Christian Heg's statue was desecrated and taken down last night during a riot in Madison. What say you that we petition to bring it to Stoughton to be placed in Livsreise! It needs to be protected.
CASTING AMERICANS WITH NORWEGIAN ANCESTRY FOR TV SHOW! It’s that time of year again for SEASON 11 of ALT FOR NORGE! We are CASTING NATIONWIDE for the Norwegian Reality TV show that takes Norwegian-Americans to Norway. Compete in amazing adventures for the chance to meet your long-lost relatives and win $50,000 CASH! Click here for more info and how to apply: https://oconnorcasting.tv/2019/09/10/alt-for-norge-casting-information/ Please tag and share. You never know who may have Norwegian blood! Thanks.
Congratulations for having had the foresight to install a hearing loop in your auditorium! I have added it to my list on
CASTING NOW for “Alt for Norge Season 10.” Go to Norway and connect with your family heritage!
Due to the weather Livsreise will close at noon today. We will re-open tommorrow at 9:30 a.m. Thank You
So many of my family's Norwegian immigrant ancestors used Stoughton and Koshkonong as starting point in their experience in Amerika. I feel as though WE owe your community a huge debt of gratitude for that beginning which led to our being today. Thank You for your efforts to honor this significant slice of our country's history. Tusan Takk from a Native Son.
Check out this cool show! They’re CASTING NOW for “Alt for Norge.” Go to Norway and connect with your family heritage!
Before heading to Burlington WI tomorrow I will spend part of the morning in Stoughten checking out Livsreise Norwegian Heritage Centre and afterwards stopping in at "Spry Whimsy Fiber Arts”. It is a yarn store, true, but I have heard of it because it is one of the few in the US that brings spinning teachers from Alberta’s Olds College textile program to its facility on a regular basis. Is there that much interest in spinning in the area? Just curious.
Hvor i Norge kom de fleste innvandrerene fra?
For everyone who has liked this page, please share it with your friends so that they can reach their goal of 5000 LIKES by September!! Tell them to not just like your post, but LIKE the page!