September 29, 2015

Little Norway Building goes home to Norway

Little Norway is gone forever.
Just a short ride from Chicago, approximately 5 miles northwest north of Mt Horeb Wisconsin on county highway JG a quaint little attraction called Little Norway stood. 

"Operated by the same family since 1937, the quaint attraction had, over the years, drawn thousands of visitors, who came to walk in the gardens, peek into the small museum of Norwegian artifacts or take a tour led by guides in traditional Norwegian dress.
The half-dozen original log cabin buildings on the property had been erected in the mid-1800s by a Norwegian immigrant farmer, who built them, according to Norwegian tradition, on a south-facing slope to catch the warmth of the sun. Each building had been meticulously restored and furnished with Norwegian antiques and artwork.
Lars Soelberg, left, and Ansgar Selst help dismantle a dragon from the roof of the Norway Building in Blue Mounds, Wis., on Sept. 9, 2015. (Stacey Wescott
Lars Soelberg, left, and Ansgar Selst help dismantle a dragon from the roof of the Norway Building in Blue Mounds, Wis., on Sept. 9, 2015. (Stacey Wescott / Chicago Tribune) (Picasa)
The most striking feature of the property was no doubt the Norway Building, which stood on the hillside overlooking the valley. With its gabled roof topped by dragons, and ornate shingles crafted to look like reptilian scales, the building gave the secluded property a sense of enchantment, and made a visit feel like stepping into the pages of a fairy tale.
Commissioned by Norwegian officials for the World's Fair, it had been built as a symbol of cultural pride and patterned after the stave churches that, in the Middle Ages, dotted the rugged Norwegian landscape."***
               Wikipedia photo
               Wikipedia photo
I have been to Little Norway. It was a lovely place with Norwegian buildings and artifacts and guides dressed in Norwegian costumes. It is a loss to those of us of Norwegian Heritage in the Midwest who may never have the chance to see the beautiful and impressive stave churches and architecture of Norway. But it is for the best as now this lovely building, falling into disrepair, will be saved in Norway.
a continuation of the above article by Colleen Mastony  at the Chicago Tribune
- Ranae