Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Fourth of July, Norwegian-American Style

This photograph of a large neighborhood gathering was taken on Independence Day, 1916, at the Nels and Ellen Langseth farm in Sinclair Township, Clearwater County, Minnesota, about four years before my mother was born in nearby Dudley Township.  The Langseth family left Norway for the United States in 1902 [1].  To rural Norwegian-Americans, July 4th was the most important day of the year, next to Christmas.  Everyone strived to complete farm chores early in the day so they could attend huge community gatherings and have plenty of time to visit with one another.  I hope they all brought enough food!  On second thought, there is no chance they would have run out of vittles.  Pass the lefse, please... and save me a dish of that hand-cranked ice cream!

[1] 1920 U.S. Federal Census for Sinclair Township, Minnesota.

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