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Cemetery Corner

June 30, 2020

The Trondhjem Cemetery Corp, like the Historic church, is on the National Register of Historic Places. It was established in 1876 when Johannes Fossum donated one acre of land for its use. According to his obituary, Johannes was buried in the cemetery after he died of TB “consumption” on November 22,1911 at the age of 71. Johannes Fossum is the Great-Granduncle of our Vice President Ramona (Fossum) Pumper and our past President Merle Fossum.

The Trondhjem Cemetery is an entity of its own. While we work closely with Trondhjem Lutheran Church and the Trondhjem Community Preservation Society, the cemetery is not funded by either of these organizations. As we come into the spring season, we will once again begin necessary but costly lawn care. The cemetery is very difficult and time consuming to mow due to the headstones, many of which are not in a straight line which increases our costs. If you would like to help support our cemetery, donations for this historic site can be sent to:

Trondhjem Cemetery Corp
PO Box 123
Northfield, MN 55057
Deb Simon
12527 50th St W
New Prague MN 56071

Please write checks to “Trondhjem Cemetery”
Deb (Johnson) Simon, Treasurer, Trondhjem Cemetery Corp

Want to research a burial? Go to and click on “Cemetery” for name search to locate the cemetery

Annual Meeting and Budget

June 30, 2020

With the cancellation of our Syttende Mai celebration this year, we lose the opportunity to hold our Annual Meeting for Members. At this meeting, we regularly present our budget for the coming fiscal year (May 1 through April 30) and approve appointments to the Board of Directors. Given current circumstances, all current Board Members have agreed to stay on, and we are offering our proposed budget for the coming year below. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at with any questions.

Contingency Building Repair Fund $3,000.00
Electric 1,000.00
Events (Musicians, misc. expenses) 1,500.00
Insurance 3,800.00
Internet 600.00
Lawn care, snow removal 2,000.00
Maintenance 600.00
Museum 500.00
Printing and Mailing (newsletter, etc.) 1,100.00
Office Supplies 300.00
Propane 2,800.00
State Property Tax 100.00
Security System 800.00
Miscellaneous 400.00
Technology 600.00
Total: $19,100.00


A Word from our President

June 30, 2020

As I sit down to write this, our Nation as well as our local communities are engulfed in an unprecedented response to a pandemic, which is unpredictable and devastating on so many levels. Like you, I have been receiving messages by the hour from government, organizations and businesses about their status and response to this virus, whose severity and unknown longevity are causing so many closures and changes.

We don’t know what will happen over the next months, but it is clear that things will still be unsafe into May. As a result, we have made a decision as a Board to cancel Syttende Mai for next month, with the hope of perhaps hosting an event in the Fall. We are hoping we will be able to safely hold our Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social in July, however. We will keep you updated on our website.

All of this has made me consider how much of our fundraising is dependent upon the events we host for the benefit of our Members and our community – primarily our annual Syttende Mai celebration and summer Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social. When/if we are forced to cancel these events, what impact will that have on our financial status and health? While the bulk of our annual budget comes from donations, annual and special events bolster our mission and our visibility. Like you, our monthly bills must be paid even when our events are cancelled.

Elsewhere in this newsletter you will see our best estimate for next year’s budget (May 1 to April 30). Our expenses are pretty basic, and set. This seems to highlight the necessity to move from a focus on event based fundraising to planned, annual giving as a more stable, sustainable financial structure. Please take a moment to review our proposed budget, and think about planned annual giving to the Trondhjem Community Preservation Society, as we move past this chaotic and frightening time. It would mean a great deal to our stability going forward.

While our scheduled community events may have to be postponed, the regular work at TCPS goes forward: care and maintenance of our precious historic structure, museum committee when possible, and hosting a few private events. As always, we are grateful for your interest and support. If you have ideas on new and innovative ways we can live out our mission, please let us know!

Be well and be safe-

Nancy Halverson Norton President TCPS Board of Directors

2020 Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social CANCELLED

June 17, 2020

2020 Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social is CANCELLED due to COVID 19.
While the Board of Directors of TCPS regrets this, the safety of our members, guests and volunteers is our priority.

Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social – Sunday, July 28, 2019 from noon to 3:00 p.m.

July 8, 2019

2019 Ice Cream Social

Heading Down the Road to Worship

July 7, 2019

Trondhjem Lutheran Church is holding services every Sunday in July, 2019 at the Historic Trondhjem Church at 9:00 a.m.  All are welcome!

Museum Blog January 17, 2019

January 20, 2019

Gifts come to the Trondhjem History Museum from time to time. Last fall Earl Krigbaum, a member of the Trondhjem Lutheran Church presented a beautiful commemorative brooch to Sandy Valek. He had inherited it from his aunt and considered our museum to be the best place to preserve and display this fine artifact.

Historic  Brooch

Cast metal

Early 20th Century, circa 1914.

Donated by Earl Krigbaum.

“Birkebeiner men bring the young Haakon Haakonsson on skis to Trondheim”  Translation of text


This brooch shows a scene of the rescue of the infant future Norwegian king Haakon IV following the death of his father. In the winter of 1204-1205 two warriors called Birkebeiners saved him from hostile forces in Eastern Norway who wanted to kill him.  They skied across the mountains, carrying him to loyal supporters in Trondhjem. This scene is a representation of a painting by Knud Berslien dated 1869.

Birkebeinerene painting.jpg

“ Birkebeinerene”  Painting by Knud Bergslien, 1869    Norwegian National Gallery

 The scene depicts the skiers crossing the mountains to save the infant king. Birkebeinerene was the name for a rebellious party in Norway, formed in 1174. The name had its origins in propaganda from the established party that the rebels we so poor that they made their shoes from birch bark. Although originally a pejorative, the opposition adopted the birkebeiner name for themselves and continued using it after they came to power in 1184.

Museum Blog August 2018

August 22, 2018

The “Indian Woods” of Old Trondhjem Community

-By Merle Fossum

My father, Leif Fossum, often talked about the “Indian Woods” as he remembered his childhood growing up on a farm located next to the Woods.  I’ll tell you here about some of his memories. I wonder if any reader here knows about this history or has stories or information about it.

The Woods covered several hundred acres of virgin timber and a large wetland that he called the Cranberry Slough. It’s unclear why the woods was called “Indian Woods” because there were no Indians living there, although there had been a Dakota Indian village on the shore of Union Lake and another on Circle Lake just a few miles east.  This woods was located about two miles southeast of the historic church. It was south of the present Union Lake Trail and east of Garfield Avenue. When I asked Dad who had owned the Indian Woods, he was not clear about that, but I understood that it was owned by an investor… someone who did not live in the community.

Some of my father’s happy childhood memories were about hunting in the Indian Woods. His friend, Ole Berg, lived with his family in a cabin in the Woods. Ole and Dad hunted together there for squirrels and prairie chickens that they brought home for family meals.

There was a cartway or trail winding through the Woods. In the very early days of Norwegian settlement in this community, probably in the 1860’s or ‘70’s, a single man, a resident of Trondhjem, was found dead laying beside the trail.

Dad recalled that when he was four years old, his grandfather, Amund Fossum, died. Amund had a farm on the west side of the woods and Dad’s family lived on their farm on the east side. Dad’s vivid memory was that on the morning of his grandfather’s death, his father, John, carried him on his shoulders walking through the Indian Woods to Amund and Johanna’s home.

Today the “Indian Woods” no longer exists except in the stories that remain. If you as the reader of this blog have stories that come to mind, please contact me so we can collect and save them in the Trondhjem History Museum.


Cell phone: 612-987-9814


Museum Blog July 2018

July 26, 2018

Trondhjem Village

Main Street of Trondhjem, MN about 1900


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

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.