Founded in 1920, re-established in 2002.
Some history of the reunions of Oppdal descendants in America:
It was in the Yankton,
SD area that many of our forefathers settled when they emigrated from
Oppdal, Norway at the end of the 1800's. It was here that descendants
of the over 2,000 Oppdalings, who immigrated to the United States,
gathered three weeks ago. The Opdalslag was reactivated eighty-three
years after it was begun in Seattle, WA.
In August of 1920, Erik
H. Loe was responsible for beginning the organization in Woodland Park
in Seattle, WA. Although a Trondelag had been in existence, the Oppdal
people decided that they should have their own lag. The first year the
lag had 68 members, but soon it became one of the largest lags in the
United States. The Opdalslag had its largest membership in 1931 with
401 members. In 1925, five years after the Opdalslag was organized in
Seattle, WA, the many Opdalings who had settled in the Midwest near
Yankton, organized their own lag.
At the library in
Oppdal, there is enormous meaningful information contained in the 13
yearbooks published, by the lag, between the years 1922-1941. In these
yearbooks there are about 1000 pages containing interesting stories of
the lives and experiences of the Opdalings who left Oppdal, and about
those who died far away from their homeland. Obituaries have a special
place in the yearbooks. They also have fascinating histories or
stories of the Opdaling's new lives as well as nostalgic remembrances
of the homeland they had left.
The homeland was unable
to support the steadily growing population. Census numbers from 1800
on in Oppdal climbed so dramatically that it became necessary for many
to say good-bye to friends and relatives to seek a new life in
America. Many of them never returned. In 1865 there were 4500
inhabitants in Oppdal. Fifty years later the numbers were 3760. This
decline was caused by the massive emigration. The Opdalings settled in
two places in USA: Snohomish County in state of Washington, and on the
prairies in the territories between Sioux City, Iowa, Sioux Falls and
Scandia Lutheran Church in Centerville, S.D.
Opdalslag Charter members
Names for 2011 Charter Members Picture
Front Row: Evy Kuecker, Edla Aune, Harold Nyhaug, Judy Johnson and Lillian Johnson.
Back Row: Howard Reese, Norma Nyhaug, Ken Mjoen, Peggy Nyhaug, Carol Broderson,
Mary Kepp, Russ Nyhaug, Deb and Steve Lamb, John Reese, Verna Nelson,
Sherree Schmiedt, and Pauline Strait.
List of Charter Members
Dick and Arlene Fossum
Evy and John Kuecker
Steve and Deb Lamb
Marjore Lee Lindsay
Eunice and Ed Mansfield
Harold and Peggy Nyhaug
Russ and Norma Nyhaug
Virgil and Darlene Pederson
Vance and Virginia Sneve
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE 2016 OPDALSLAG HERITAGE FESTIVAL
annual Opdalslag Heritage Festival was held September 10th and 11th, 2016, at Scandia
Lutheran Church in Centerville, South Dakota.
We were again blessed
with a beautiful weekend. Our number of members and guests attending has remained
about the same the last few years. We served 38 at the Saturday banquet and 25
at the luncheon on Sunday.
started at 1:30 on Saturday with the flag salute and the National Anthems of both
the United States and Norway.
Mjoen and her daughter Emma Christianson then gave an entertaining demonstration
on lefse making. Many of the group had a chance to participate in rolling out
the lefse, baking it and, most importantly, eating it.
Broderson had many of her hardanger embroidery pieces displayed and explained
the art of making these beautiful doilies, table runners, ornaments, etc. She
also displayed many Swedish huck weaving pieces, including a beautiful throw,
and explained the process in making these items.
the demonstrations and a break for coffee and goodies, President Ken Mjoen
conducted a short business meeting. Current Vice-President Evy Kuecker will
move up as President, and the other officers currently serving agreed to stay
on for another year. This left the Vice-President position open and, after
much "coaxing", Joyce (Reese) Stolp agreed to fill this position. Treasurer
John Reese reported a checking account balance of $2,409.04, and Pioneer
Cemetery account balance of $2,153.29. A discussion was held about increasing
participation at our annual festival - we need to be sure to advertise our
gathering and invite others to attend.
Lamb conducted a very meaningful memorial service for members who died since
our last meeting. Those remembered were: her mother Lillian Johnson, who was a long-time member
of our Opdalslag, and former member Rev. Charles Wilson. She lit four candles,
one representing our grief, the second one courage to confront our sorrow, the
third was lit in their memory, and the fourth representing our love.
group picture was taken outside on the Scandia church steps since it was a nice
sunny day, after which the banquet was served by the Centerville Steakhouse. A
birthday cake in honor of Mavis Overgaard was brought by Mavis' daughters and
was enjoyed with ice cream after the meal. When asked how old she is, Mavis
said "too old".
program was presented by Mary Lou Erickson, "The Swedish cleaning lady".
She told jokes and interacted with the group and had us all laughing.
sale of Norwegian and other goodies was ongoing during the day. For a fund raiser,
the silent auction was replaced this year by the sale of "Caution
Norwegian Crossing" signs, which were a hit with the members.
began with Scandia church services. It was rally Sunday and the many children
of the congregation were a large part of the service (blessing of the backpacks,
summer reading program awards, bible camp stories) followed by a noon luncheon provided by the officers. Several members then participated in a "show
and tell", bringing Norwegian items and explaining their use, old Per and
Ola "comic books", and Norwegian jokes.
more visiting and then cleaning up, we headed home until next year.
Strait, Opdalslag Secretary
ORD FRA PRESIDENTEN
Greetings from The President
Greetings to each of you from the new president of Opdalslag.
I have been active in Opdslaget since we re-organized in
1999. Our first Lag was in 2002 and we just completed our
Opdalslag Festival in September 2016, this being our fifteenth
year. It is hard to know how much longer we will be able to
have our organization as we have lost many due to deaths and
some members, once upon a time, never came back. We are small
in numbers, but our enthusiasm is very strong.
As most of you know, most all of us are all related to one or another.
We had a very excellent Festival this Sept. and we hope many
of you will try to encourage more members to come back or
try to get new members.
Jeg ønsker deg hver en lykkelig takkefest og en riktig god
jul og et godt nyttår.( I wish you each a Happy
Thanksgiving, a Merry Christmas and a good New Year).
Message from Opdalslag Committee Members
Our Opdalslag is in need of
younger members in order to keep our organization going. We enlist
each of you to identify and encourage potential members (relatives
or not) to become interested in membership in our organization.
This is a wonderful Lag and it takes many people to make an
organization. Many of our members are getting up in age and it
would be nice to invite potential members to join our Lag. It is a
joy to keep up on genealogy and our Norwegian heritage. This is
one way to keep in touch with our Norwegian relatives and friends.
Views of Norway
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
15th ANNUAL OPDALSLAG HERITAGE FESTIVAL
SEPTEMBER 9 & 10, 2017
CENTERVILLE, SOUTH DAKOTA
SCANDIA LUTHERAN CHURCH & FELLOWSHIP HALL
2017 Schedule to be determined!
Registration: Pick up name tags, meal tickets, membership cards,
etc. at registration desk.
1:00 & ongoing
Bake sale of Scandinavian goodies
(Please bring items of baked goods to sell)
Flag salute, Norwegian national anthem and a sing along
Coffee and visiting
Kransekake demonstration by Lori Christianson
Short business meeting
Program by Betty Rist and Sherry Hoisenech, including
singing, stories of their Norwegian ancestors coming to
America, Norwegian wedding dress and other clothing.
Registration for those not already registered
Scandia Lutheran Church worship service
"Bring, Show and Tell" participation by our members
(Members are urged to bring Norwegian item or items to
show and share stories about)
PRE-REGISTRATION REQUIRED FOR BOTH MEAL FUNCTIONS!
No meal tickets will be sold at registration table.
For more information on lodging, or for pre-registration materials, contact:
158 West Lake Drive,
Arlington, SD 57212,
Phone: (605) 881-2980;
E-mail: phstrait (at) gmail.com.
PRE-REGISTRATION FORMS ARE DUE BY SEPTEMBER 1TH
Our dues run from Sept. 1 through Sept. 1 and the dues are $15 per person or $25 per couple.
Dues are to be sent to Pauline Strait the secretary. Her address is:
158 West Lake Drive
Arlington SD 57212
The Oppdalslag met at Zion Lutheran Church, rural Volin, on the 24th and
25th of June, 1933. The meeting was very good and well received. The
weather on Saturday was quite cool so many people came that first day.
Registration began at 10 o'clock and many yearbooks were distributed.
After lunch, which was served by the women of Zion congregation, the
business meeting began at 2 o'clock conducted by the president, Pastor
J. B. Reese. The secretary's report was read and approved, likewise the
treasurer's report. The members of the museum committee from the
preceding year remained the same, because they had nothing to report.
The following people were elected for the following year:
President-Pastor J. B.
1st Vice president-A. H. Hagen, Irene
2nd Vice president-Martin Bjorlo, Wessington Springs
3rd Vice president-Chris Nyhaug, Volin
Secretary-S. O. Vognild, Irene
Financial secretary and treasurer-O. I. Sneve, Irene
Directors-H. O. Vognild, Volin and H.B. Reese, Wessington Springs
Editor of the yearbook-Mrs. Kristine Haugen, Sioux City, IA. It was
decided that H. B. Reese would help gather material for the next
yearbook which would come out in two years providing that the officers
feel that it will be economically possible.
Resolutions committee-Mrs. Martin Bjorlo, Miss Guri Back and Haakon
A motion was made to send
a greeting with H. B. Reese to the Western branch when he together with
his wife and son travel out there. Greetings to the Lag came from Even
Satrum, Kidder, Johanna Hooker Nelson, Kendrick, ID, and Knute Lien,
Oppdal, Norway. It was decided to send greetings to Ole Back and family
because of Mrs. Back's illness, likewise to old Ingebrit Satrum of
Canton. It was left to the officers to decide the time and place of the
In the evening two hundred people enjoyed a sumptuous meal provided by
the women. They had made all kinds of good Norwegian food including
rømegrøt, gomme, and much more. During the meal Evelyn Vognild, June
Pederson, Lillian Engen, and Mrs. Carl Wright provided beautiful music
and Mrs. Fjaere sang beautifully "Kan du glemme gamle Norge."
The president thanked the congregation for letting the Lag meet there
and Pastor Fjaere gave a welcome from the congregation.
The evening program began at 8 o'clock with a song by the men's choir of
the congregation. Dr. Einar Haugen, a professor of Norwegian language
and literature from the University of Wisconsin gave a very good talk on
Rolvaag and his writings. He reminded us that it was Rolvaag who through
his writings had acquainted the world with the kind of people the
Norwegian pioneers were and of what they had done out here on the
western prairies. For it was from here that his ideas came that he used
in writing his world famous stories. Sæterjenten's Søndag was played
beautifully by Evelyn Vognild and Mrs. Carl Wright and short talks were
given by Pastor Fjaere and Mrs. Kristine Haugen. Pastor Fjaere gave the
Sunday morning there were many people who came and the large church was
overflowing for worship services. President J. B. Reese began by reading
Psalm 90 and offering prayer. The Zion church choir sang and a
collection was taken to defray the expenses of the lag. Pastor Fjaere
preached the festival sermon using a text from Jeremiah: "Blessed
is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is."
Many thanks Pastor Fjaere for the clear and good talk you gave us. The
church choir sang another song and the benediction was given by Pastor
Sunday afternoon was spent in greeting and visiting with old
acquaintances and friends.
Sunday evening there was music again by the aforementioned ladies. The
resolutions were read by Guri Back thanking the pastor and the
congregation and all who had taken part in the program and to the women
of the church for their gracious hospitality. Then one of the Norwegian
American films was shown-"A trip through the country of
Norway." Pastor Fjaere closed with prayer. Coffee was served in the
church parlor. Thanks to everyone who came and to help make this so
festive and enjoyable.
The officers of Opdalslaget are:
Evy Kuecker 3101 11th Ave., Kearney, NE 68845-3332,
E-mail: evykuecker (at) charter.net
Pauline Strait, 158 W. Lake Dr., Arlington, SD
E-mail, phstrait (at) gmail.com
Evy Kuecker 3101 11th Ave., Kearney, NE 68845-3332,
E-mail: evykuecker (at) charter.net
* Newsletter Editor
Deb Lamb 106 Cass Ave., Atlantic IA 50022, 1-712-243-6694
E-mail: sdlamb (at) mchsi.com
* Past President, Joel Fagerhaug
* Vice-president, Joyce Stolp
* Treasurer's , John Reese
* Advertising, Computer & Media Coordinators,
Sherree Schmiedt and Evelith
* Historian, Mary Rist
* Past President, Paul Miller
* Edla Aune
* Carol Broderson
* Stephanie Fagerhaug
* Judy Johnson
* Ken Mjoen
* Russ and Norma Nyhaug
* Peggy and Harold Nyhaug
* Diane Reese
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