Category Archives: 2015

Syttende Mai!

Want to know what Syttende Mai is all about and have some fun as well?  If you do, the place to go on the 17th of May this year is Ballard, in Seattle. All the information you need to make the most of the day may be found on the  Seattle’s 17th of May Committee website .

jsw_img_0469Last year, about 20,000 people lined the streets there to watch more than 100 groups – including marching bands, Norwegian-American lodges, drill team, classic cars and much more —  participate in the Syttende Mai parade. It was impressive!

Seattle’s first Seventeenth of May celebrationjsw_img_0418 took place in Seattle in May 1889, before Washington became a state in November and before the Great Seattle Fire in June.   More about the history of Syttende Mai may be found at

Other U.S. cities that celebrate in a similar major way include Brooklyn, New York, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Stoughton, Wisconsin.

“Hipp, Hipp, Hurra!

Alt for Norge

Daughters program photo (2)If you’ve never heard of this TV show, it’s undoubtedly because it’s one that is on Norwegian TV – TVNorge.

Apparently, one of the popular pastimes in Scandinavia these days involves gathering around the television to watch Americans stumble through a cultural obstacle course as they get in touch with their Norwegian heritage.

Producers of Alt for Norge  (or “The Great Norway Adventure,” as it’s called in the States) recruit American contestants for the show who are of Norwegian descent but who have never previously visited their ancestral homeland. The winners get a monetary reward and an in-person meeting with their “lost” Norwegian relatives.

Two of those former contestants  who now have a little farm in the Olympia area  – Alf and Lulie Herigstad — are coming to Whidbey Island to tell us all about their adventuresTheir venue will be a Daughters of Norway meeting on Saturday, May 9, at 10:30 a.m.  at St. Peters Lutheran Church in Clinton, at 6309 S. Wilson Pl. – and the program is open to all who are interested in coming!

If you want to know a little more about the Alt for Norge TV program (now in Season 5) before coming to listen to Alf and Lulie, and get an idea of what they went through, several whole episodes of the series are available on YouTube.  Just type in “Alt for Norge” in the YouTube search bar.

This Daughters of Norway  meeting is also special because it is in conjunction with the 17th of May, Norway’s “Constitution Day”.  The Daughters will be pleased to provide some typical 17th of May celebration food after the presentation, such as sausage/hot dogs with small lefse/lompe, soup, fruit and desserts.  The presentation will take place in the sanctuary at St. Peters, with lunch to follow in the fellowship hall.  All are welcome, Scandinavian or not! There is no charge for this event, but donations will be gratefully accepted from non-members for the meal.

If you have any questions, please contact Kristine Nerison Collins 360 221-5280.

Author Linda Strever to give talk at Nordic Hall

LindaStrever2On Monday evening April 27th, at 7 pm,  author Linda Strever will  introduce us to her book Against My Dreams:  An Immigrant’s Story– a collection of narrative poems written in the voice of her Norwegian immigrant grandmother, Gunnhild Olavsdatter Breland. The manuscript was a finalist for both the Intro Series Poetry Prize and the Levis Poetry Prize from Four-Way Books, the New Issues Press Award in Poetry and the Ohio State University Press Award in Poetry.  A book signing will follow the program.

The author will be doing a second program about her new lyrical novel, Don’t Look Away,  on Tuesday morning, April 28th at the Coupeville Library beginning at 10:30am.   She will be available for  book signing following this  presentation as well.

Both programs are co-sponsored by the Nordic Lodge and the Friends of the Coupeville Library.

More information about Linda Strever and her writing can be found on her website at

The Nordic Hall is located at 63 Jacobs Rd., about one miles south of the intersection of No. Main St in Coupeville and highway 20.

Reflections on the history of Central Whidbey Island

At the upcomingRoger Sherman, 2005 monthly meeting of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge on Saturday, April 18th, well-known local historian Roger Sherman will be the program speaker,  sharing his knowledge of Central Whidbey Island’s history and helping us appreciate its past, present and future through his pictures, stories and musings.  Roger was born on Whidbey Island and has lived on Ebey’s Prairie all his life.  He is a fourth-generation farmer and along with other members of his family is part of the Sherman Farms organization.

Roger leads at least a few special guided tours of the pioneer section of historic Sunnyside Cemetery each year, the cemetery being located  on the hillside overlooking Ebey’s Prairie,  and is the narrator of the 31 minute historical documentary on DVD  “Sunnyside Cemetery: Where Central Whidbey Sleeps” that was released in December 2013.    He is also the author of The Sinking of the Calista – a Maritime History of Central Whidbey Island and the accidental sinking of a local passenger ferry in the 1920’s.

This meeting & program will be held at the Nordic Hall, 63 Jacobs Rd.,  Coupeville.  A light breakfast will be served at 9:30 (donation appreciated), a brief business meeting will begin at 10am and the program will start about 10:15am.   Jacobs Rd is located about one mile south of the intersection of No. Main and Highway 20 in Coupeville.

Need some help with your Norwegian or Swedish genealogical research?

Local GenealogWIN_20150311_153439 (4)ist Virginia Lindsey will again be offering personal guidance/mentoring in Norwegian and Swedish genealogical research this spring.  The cost for three personalized sessions will be $90.

A no-obligation free informational meeting will take place on Monday, April 6th from 2pm – 4pm at the Nordic Hall, located at 63 Jacobs Rd. in Coupeville.  Two hour personalized sessions will be held in Virginia’s home in Freeland.

If you will be attending this meeting,  please bring your questions and any information you already possess  to assist Virginia in determining how to best design sessions that will help you in your research. Fees are due when individualized sessions are scheduled,  payable to Virginia.

Virginia has been doing genealogical research since 1991 and is an active of member of the South Whidbey Genealogical Society.

For more information, please email the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge at .

Vikings are again the topic for Lodge’s monthly meeting

jse_Jill HeinAt the February 21st meeting of the Whidbey Island Nordic Lodge,  Jill Hein will present a short power point presentation about her visit to L’Anse aux Meadows, where more than 1000 years ago the Vikings established a base camp at the northern tip of Newfoundland. By being the first people to cross the North Atlantic and encounter indigenous people in North America, they completed the circle of human migration around the world.   A short business meeting will precede the program.
10:00 a.m. Nordic Hall.