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History

Trondhjem Norwegian Lutheran Church

Sunday School Class, about 1912

Sunday School Class, about 1912

Old Trondhjem Church is located near Lonsdale, Minnesota in Rice County. The church was built in 1899 by the Norwegian immigrant farmers who settled in what was then called Trondhjem, Minnesota and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

No longer occupied by an active church congregation, the church is now under the care and restoration of the Trondhjem Community Preservation Society, Inc.

As a wood frame country church, with a simple, elegant design and painted white, it stands on a high hill along a gravel road, visible to the rural community for miles around. Its architecture and décor are clearly rooted in the Norwegian heritage of its founders. The ancient stave churches of Norway are reflected in its modified cruciform design, with a central short tower at its apex and a larger corner tower.

The first church on the same location was erected in 1878, and the chancel in this building dates to that original church. It has no basement and rests on a fieldstone foundation. The original bell still hangs in the bell tower. The circular attic window at the front of the building was originally painted with an eye, a traditional symbol of creation, and locally referred to as the “all seeing eye.”

Constitution

On May 15, 1876, a congregation meeting took place at which a name was chosen and a constitution adopted. The name selected was “Throndhjem’s Norwegian Lutheran Church.”

The following names signed the constitution: Peder O. Berg P. Danielson James Nyhus Ole Rygg E. Nilsen Bertinus Nilsen Guttorm Nilsen N. Solberg P. Olsen E. Stratte H. Olsen Ole Matsen Herman Lyng Amund Fossum Ingegrigt Skauge Johannes Fossum Oluf Stratte A. Guttormsen Ole Hansen Ole Johnson O. Anderson E. Skauge J. Danielson Eskel Quinnell Lars Berg O. Anderson H. Grotte Ole Skauge

Trondhjem Cemetery

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and located across the road from the Old Trondhjem Church, the cemetery was established before the church building. On September 2, 1876, the church minutes state that the congregation came to an agreement to locate the graveyard on Johannes Fossum’s land, on the boundary between Weathland sic. and Webster townships where they expected a road would be located at some future date. The road was indeed located there, and it now passes between the church and the cemetery.

Trondhjem Cemetery Listings

Here you will find listed all burials in the Trondhjem Cemetary since its beginning in 1876, compiled by John Dalby.

History, Page 2

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