Though my grandfather passed away when I was a young girl, I will never forget the pride he felt for his Norwegian heritage. His family had immigrated to the US in the late 19th century. At first they settled in Northfield, Minnesota and later Erskine, Minnesota. Today we had the opportunity to see the community and the farm from which our family came.
The weather was sunny, bright and warm, a welcome change after Trondheim, as we headed west to Romskog this morning to meet our family. GPS and Waze work fairly well here, however, they’re never 100% in these old cities. Nonetheless, we made our way through the Norwegian countryside, which was growing increasingly wild with our drive. The landscape reminds me a lot of Northeastern Minnesota, so it really isn’t a surprise many Scandinavian settlers chose to settle in that region.
We met our extended Trandem family at beautiful small, lakeside church in Romskog. As we walked into the church grounds we were greeted by our Norwegian family and shown where our ancestors were buried. It was crazy to see graves going back to the 18th century. The weather has worn their gravestones, so they’re a bit hard to read which you’ll notice on the pictures. Our family gave us a history of the church and the items in it, which was fascinating.
The kids finding all of this boring had made their way down to the lake and were climbing on the rocks and gallivanting about the beach. Our kids were in heaven and would have been happy to stay at the beach all day, but our relatives had tailored a tour of the town, so we embarked on exploring the Romskog area by car.
With each stop on the tour, my boys became more enthralled with the area. The beautiful lakes, forests and hills were definitely calling their name. I’m pretty sure they want us to buy a cabin on Lake Romsjoen as soon as possible. For the adults, seeing the Trandem farm and houses was amazing. We got to see the home where my Grandfather’s grandfather Andreas, whom I was named after, was born. In fact, he lived there until he immigrated to the US. The farm, which had once covered much of Romskog County and extended to the Norwegian-Swedish border has since been sold off. Our family now lives in a house above the farm and others now live in Sweden.
Post tour, they hosted us at their home for lunch, which was incredible. Their hospitality, their food, their garden and their home were incredible. They were so welcoming of all 16 of us, including our six kids. Our kids, meanwhile, had the time of their life playing in their yard and running and playing together. It was truly a magical day. Moreover, it was a wonderful opportunity for us to connect with our past and our extended Norwegian family.