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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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Museum Blog June 2018

June 26, 2018

Lonsdale Bank 1927.pngLonsdale Bank about 1927

Photo in Old Trondhjem Museum Collection

Starting when the railroad came through in the first years of the 1900’s, Lonsdale was founded and replaced the village of Trondhjem as the commercial center for the local farming community. Farmers shipped their livestock to market by railroad, the Lonsdale Bank provided mortgages and loans to finance farm work, and other businesses sold hardware, grocery staples, and, of course, alcohol. The bank evolved over the years as the State Bank of Lonsdale and today is Frandsen Bank and Trust housed in a modern brick structure with a large staff. The 2010 census shows Lonsdale has a population of 3,674. The village of Trondhjem has disappeared.

 

Notice in the photo, the kerosene lantern on the post serving as a street light, the wooden board walk, and the screen door entry. The man sitting in the window is not identified.

 

Museum Blog May 2018

May 19, 2018

Photographs in the Trondhjem Museum Collection

Blog Photo.jpgFloyd Johnson hauling milk February 2, 1936

At out last museum committee meeting, Sandy Johnson Valek brought a package of old photographs she is donating from her late aunt Ruth Johnson Little’s collection. Included were several fascinating farm photos of the Louis and Petra Johnson family farm and many photos of people in the Trondhjem community in the early to mid-20th century. This is exactly what the museum committee is pursuing. We receive photos of the Trondhjem and surrounding communities. Sometimes people want to keep their originals but are happy to allow us to copy them and add them to our digital collection for future generations to view and we will preserve the hard copies in our historic collection.

Other people have photos that they want to donate, knowing that they will be available far into the future for others to view and they’ll be carefully preserved in our fire safe. So, if you have photos that would be relevant to the Trondhjem Community, we would be pleased to either copy them and return the originals to you or save them. In either case, they would become a part of the preserved Trondhjem history. We have calls and letters and visits from the descendants of early residents. We can often show them our old photos of their families. The Trondhjem museum can serve to preserve important information from your collection for future generations.

At out last museum committee meeting, Sandy Johnson Valek brought a package of old photographs she is donating from her late aunt Ruth Johnson Little’s collection. Included were several fascinating farm photos of the Louis and Petra Johnson family farm and many photos of people in the Trondhjem community in the early to mid-20th century. This is exactly what the museum committee is pursuing. We receive photos of the Trondhjem and surrounding communities. Sometimes people want to keep their originals but are happy to allow us to copy them and add them to our digital collection for future generations to view and we will preserve the hard copies in our historic collection.

Other people have photos that they want to donate, knowing that they will be available far into the future for others to view and they’ll be carefully preserved in our fire safe. So, if you have photos that would be relevant to the Trondhjem Community, we would be pleased to either copy them and return the originals to you or save them. In either case, they would become a part of the preserved Trondhjem history. We have calls and letters and visits from the descendants of early residents. We can often show them our old photos of their families. The Trondhjem museum can serve to preserve important information from your collection for future generations.

Heading Down the Road to Worship

May 11, 2018
Starting July 22, 2018, the members of Trondhjem Lutheran Church will hear readings in worship from the book of Ruth.
Come join us as we travel down the road to the Old Trondhjem Church for worship on July 22, 29, August 5 and 12, 2018 at 9 a.m.
All are welcome!Schmitz 2

Museum Blog March 2018

March 1, 2018

Memories of a Country School

Margaret Halverson Heglund

(Excerpts from a former TCPS Newsletter)

I can remember as a preschooler riding along in the car when my Dad drove my older siblings to the little country school, District 107 called Sunnyside, (also called Trondhjem School) located below the hill from the Historic Trondhjem Church. I would watch Elna, Gordy, Lyla and Gloria go up the stairs and into the schoolhouse –and I could hardly wait until I was old enough to join them. By the time I started first grade, Elna and Gordy had finished 8th grade and were going to high school in Northfield. Lyla was in 7th grade, Gloria in 4th and my cousin Eldon Fossum in 2nd grade. I was the only First grader – in fact, I was the only person in my class for all eight years of country school which meant I had no competition – but also I could progress as rapidly as I was able with no one holding me back.

One of my favorite memories of first grade was the “Kitchen Band” in which the students (all fourteen of us) participated. As the only first grader I got the lead the band as a majorette while the rest of the students played Kazoos or banged various

kitchen pots and pans together as drums. It was very exciting when we got to perform at the Faribault High School auditorium for a Rice County Country School event.

When was in second grade my sister, Arlys and cousin Ramona Fossum started First grade. That year I attended school with three sisters and two cousins.

There was a morning recess, noon recess and afternoon recess. The teacher would ring the bell to let us know it was time to get back to our lessons – “reading writing or ‘rithmetic.” We didn’t have any elaborate playground equipment – only a kick ball, a kitenball and a bat. During recess time we would play kick ball or kittenball or games like “The Farmer in the Dell” or “Drop the Handkerchief”. One day when we were playing kitten ball, my sister Gloria was pitching and got hit by the ball knocking the wind out of her. She was unconscious momentarily and I remember being terrified that she had died! She recovered quickly and as I recall, the game continued.

During winter the pond across the road from the schoolhouse froze over and we would bring our skates and enjoy skating on the pond during recess. A warm spell one winter caused the ice to get a little soft and I remember Lyla fell through the ice with water up to her waist. I was so afraid that she was going to drown. I those days girls did not wear jeans or slacks to school. We wore dresses and cotton stockings. Imagine Lila’s embarrassment when her wet wool dress began to shrink as she sat at her desk in the afternoon. By the time school was over for the day her below the knees dress had become a miniskirt!

Museum Blog Autumn 2017

November 17, 2017
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Ladies Aid, Trondhjem style:

Do you remember when your mother went to Ladies Aid? That was the big social event of the month for the women of the church. Everyone would be dressed up and would have on those freshly polished nice black shoes that laced up the front with black shoe laces.

The hostess would work for days doing a thorough house cleaning. Then she would spend a day or two baking goodies for the big lunch. She cooked a large pot of “egg” coffee and served sandwiches made from homemade bread, pickles, cake, cookies and some times a bowl of red jello.

The pastor was usually present and would give devotions. A collection was taken and each lady was expected to give 10 cents. If they needed additional money once a year they would have an auction of items the women had made.

The Trondhjem Ladies Aid was organized in 1778. The first meeting was held at the home of Johannes Fossum. There were 32 members. It was also called Trondhjem Kvindeforeningen (woman’s society).

This photograph from the TCPS Museum Collection was taken in 1910 at the home of J.K. Johnson. Writing on the back of the photograph states “the man in the tall hat was our Pastor Oftedal. We liked him very much.”

Museum Blog: July

July 22, 2017

July 2017

The Museum Committee of the Trondhjem Community Preservation Society has embarked on making Trondhjem Community history a part of this TCPS Website. Our first installment focuses on early community member and World War I veteran Ole Berg. This blog, by Merle Fossum, is followed by links to more information about Ole Berg, posted on-line by the Minnesota Historical Society and Minnesota Reflections, part of the Minnesota Digital Library.

Check it out! And visit our blog in the months to come.

Ole Berg

1890- 1960     World War I Veteran

Ole Berg was born in the Trondhjem community to Norwegian immigrant parents. They lived in a squatters’ dwelling that they built in what was called “The Indian Woods.” This was a heavily wooded area that had not been cleared for farming located about a mile or two southeast of the church and owned by an absent investor. They supported themselves with a large vegetable garden and by hunting small game in The Indian Woods. Ole’s father, Johannes worked for cash helping community farmers doing odd jobs and especially tiling wetlands to drain them and make them available for agriculture.

Ole was known in the community as a very intelligent person. He loved to read and gain knowledge. When World War I broke out he was drafted and served in France, fighting in the battle of the Argonne Forest, one of the bloodiest and most brutal battles of the war. Ole received many letters from friends and family in Trondhjem during his service and saved all of these letters for the rest of his life. We don’t have any of the letters he sent home but in from his mother she wrote, “What you wrote about (in last letter) have scared the life out of me. Live well Dear Son Ole

 When he came home from the battles, he suffered terribly from what was called “shell shock”, today known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is said that in the middle of one night he knocked on the door of his neighbor, Eddie Halverson, in great distress and said, “I shot Melford Docken!” (Another young neighbor). That was his terrifying hallucination and was not true but Eddie didn’t know it was a hallucination until he went to the Docken home and found everyone there was just fine.

A near neighbor to the Berg family, Leif Fossum and Ole spent many hours in their youth hunting together. Ole taught his younger friend, Leif, much of what he knew about hunting. Leif was a teen-ager when Ole returned from the war and he described taking Ole to the Veterans Administration Hospital in Minneapolis to get help for his shell shock. After a period of hospitalization, he was granted a military disability and a monthly stipend. A guardian was appointed for the rest of his life. He was never again known to have delusions or in any way shown signs of mental disorder. For much of his life, his old neighbor and hunting friend, Leif, became his legal guardian and Ole took up where is father had left off, digging trenches to lay drain tiles and draining much of the wetland of the Trondhjem community.

More about Ole Berg:

MNHS Education Portal

 Minnesota Reflections, Minnesota Digital Library
Read more…