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 2019 OPDALSLAG HERITAGE FESTIVAL
The 18th annual Opdalslag Heritage
Festival was held at Scandia Lutheran Church in Centerville, South
Dakota, on September 14, 2019, beginning at 9:30 a.m. It was a one-
day event this year, and was a very full day. About 30 members and
guests registered, including four ladies from Canada (three of whom
became members). Three others became new members which also made it
President Evy Kuecker welcomed the
members and guests, and the flag salute and the National Anthems of
the United States, Norway, and Canada were sung by the group.
Evy then presented a genealogy program
and workshop. She had prepared and distributed voluminous
individual genealogy material to each of the members present.
Members were then "put to work"
bringing the material up to date and making any additions or
corrections. Information was shared with each other and we finally
decided we are all related in some way.
After a lunch of sub sandwiches,
salads, bars and cookies, a short business meeting was held:
- Evy thanked the officers for
providing the salads and goodies. She also stated that we pay $100
for the use of the fellowship hall and kitchen each year, but
Scandia does not charge for the fall and spring meetings we have
there, so we feel we are being treated very well.
- Carol Broderson reported for the nominating committee that all
current officers have agreed to serve for another year and, there
being no nominations from the floor, they will remain as officers
for the next year, as follows: President - Evy Kuecker; Vice
President - Joyce Stolp; Secretary - Pauline Strait; Treasurer -
John Reese; Editor - Deb Lamb; and Historian - Mary Rist.
- Pioneer Cemetery - Joyce Stolp reported that there was not a clean
up weekend this summer, but her husband Gordon stops several times
during the summer and sprays the weeds and checks on the fence, etc.
Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve then made
a very interesting presentation, talking about and reading from her
book The Trickster and the Troll.
Deb Lamb conducted the memorial service
for members who have passed away since our last meeting, being Edla
Aune, Harold Nyhaug, Raymond Henderson and Anita "Nita" Johnson.
After a break for coffee and goodies
and taking the group picture, Kris Rowley, a troll story teller and
author from Spirit Lake, Iowa, presented a delightful program on
trolls, relating many, many stories about trolls. She also had some
of her large collection of trolls on display as well as copies of
her book Trolls. Kris' husband Dave, known as The Guitar Man, then
entertained with his guitar and his music, many of the songs having
been written by him, and had the group joining in and being
The very busy and exciting day ended
with a delicious banquet catered, as usual, by the Centerville
Steakhouse. Each place had a troll favor decorating it (thanks to
Deb Lamb). The meal also included lefse made which was purchased by
our Opdalslag. The lefse remaining after the meal was sold to the
Pauline Strait, Opdalslag Secretary
ORD FRA PRESIDENTEN
President Message Fall 2019
The Opdalslag Festival held 14 Sept 2019 was a huge
success even with the water problem we had to dodge to get to
Centerville, SD. This was a special day since we had our first
ever guests from Canada. Dreena Davis, Denise and Lois Griffin
and Chauffeur Tracey Ventzek. They fit in as if they had
always attended our Lag. The first three ladies found
relatives and had a very good day. Thanks to you Canadians for
attending. We hope you will come again next year. A special
thanks to all participants for being willing to fill in your
family history during the genealogy session. Adam Reese (John
Reese’s son) and John Aden from Vermillion were in attendance
and we welcome you both to our Lag. Andrew Reese also became a
member but was unable to attend the meeting. Six new members
were received into our Lag for 2020.
It would be nice if everyone would try to encourage others
to join. Thanks to the officers and committee members for your
dedication. It takes everyone to make our festival successful.
Wishing you a God høsttakkefest (Happy Thanksgiving) and
God jul and Godt nytt år (Merry Christmas and Happy 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
Opdalslag Stevne has been postponed until 2021
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
17th ANNUAL OPDALSLAG HERITAGE FESTIVAL
SEPTEMBER 12, 2020
CENTERVILLE, SOUTH DAKOTA
SCANDIA LUTHERAN CHURCH & FELLOWSHIP HALL
Planning is underway for our next lag which will be held on
Saturday, September 12, 2020 at Scandia Lutheran Church. The
committee is working hard on providing a fun and informative day for
all who can attend. Save the date on your calendar and watch for
your Spring newsletter with more details and the registration form.
Please consider inviting friends and family to attend our next
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:
100 28th Ave SE, Apt 210,
Watertown, SD 57201,
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:
100 28th Ave SE, Apt 210
Watertown, SD 57201
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, 100 28th Ave SE, Apt 210, Watertown, SD 57201, 1-605-881-2980,
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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