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Museum Blog July 2018

July 26, 2018

Trondhjem Village

Main Street of Trondhjem, MN about 1900

TRONDHJEM VILLAGE

This photo shows the village of Trondhjem, Minnesota in about 1900 or earlier.  It shows the general store on the left and the brick creamery in the background. Barrels shown in front of the store would likely have been storage containers for merchandise. The village grew up as settlers arrived from Norway and other countries starting in the second half of the 19th century. Farmers kept dairy cows and created the local cooperative creamery to process their milk and cream. They delivered milk every morning to the creamery, so the village was a gathering place where they could catch up on news and local gossip.  All of these buildings disappeared long ago and the street is now State Highway 19.

In a “History of Trondhjem, Minnesota” written by Leif Fossum and Lee Fossum, they stated that the new immigrants “settled on small tracts of land consisting of 40 to 80 acre farms. The land was quite hilly and was covered with brush and timber, which had to be cleared, and the stumps removed. All this was done by hand labor and hard work with the use of an ax, saw and grub hoe.”

“Pete Anderson had a small home (in the village) and in it he had a small section where he sold groceries and had a post office. The mail was brought to his house by a horseback rider or horse and buggy from Northfield every Wednesday and Saturday around four o’clock. Then the settlers would come and pick up their mail and perhaps a few groceries. Usually they would walk, some as much as two or three miles to get their mail. Pete’s house would become a swarming meeting place for many neighbors on these days.” Local men were enlisted to ride into Northfield and bring the mail back to Trondhjem. These men were Olaf Thornby, Mads Anderson and Ames Clark.

“Mr. and Mrs. John Danielson owned another larger store in Trondhjem where they sold groceries and dry goods. But after a few years Danielson sold the store to Gilbert Kasa who operated the store for several years. Herm Larvik opened up a blacksmith shop and sold farm implements, which added a lot to the village of Trondhjem. The store was later sold to Lyder Hauge, who also ran the creamery. Mr. and Mrs. Tom Tharaldson operated the store and Mr. Tharaldson ran the creamery until it closed. In 1920 Mr. and Mrs. John Gorder from Dickenson, North Dakota bought the store and ran the business for three years when it closed permanently.

The downfall of Trondhjem village started about 1905 to 1908 when the railroad was built and created the village of Lonsdale, which became the commercial center for the larger community.

By Merle Fossum

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