-by Cheryl Rosvold-
is the story about Norwegian immigrants: A man from "farm
Rosvold" and his wife from Østrem who came to America over 100
in Alnes on the island of Godøya in 1880,
with his parents, Hans and Tidemine, to the Røssevold farm when he was
1900. Olivie, born 24 January 1878, was the daughter of 52 year old
Ingeborg Martinusdatter Østrem.
Lars and Olivie decided to move to North America they already were
parents of two children and Olivia was pregnant with the third.
These children were born at the Røssevold farm.
Tidomon Larssen Rosvold
1900, d Poulsbo Washington USA 1955)
1902, d Tacoma, Washington 1925)
1903, d Saskatchewan Canada 1993)
18 March 1903 Lars departed from Liverpool aboard the Celtic (White
Star Line) arriving in New York on March 28. His destination was
noted on the ship's manifest, Mayville, North Dakota. Lars was going
to the home of a friend, Elias Rosvold. Another passenger, Nils
Petersen, Aalesund, age 17 was also going to Mayville. They could
keep each other company on the long trip west. A third passenger,
Kornelius Ragnvold Østrem, an 18 year old blacksmith was heading for
November 3, 1904, Olivie, accompanied by four year old Hans and two
year old Ingeborg arrived in New York aboard the Cedric. They were
joining Lars Rosvold in North Dakota, a train journey of 1400 miles
(2400 Km). Conspicuously absent from the ship's manifest was the one
year old Lilly who had been born with one arm ending just below the
elbow. Olivie was heartbroken to leave Lily with her paternal
grandparents in Norway.
and Olivia Røssevold and their growing family would remain in North
Dakota for eleven years.
this time the following children were born:
(b 1906 USA died BC Canada, 1954)
(b 1907 US died BC Canada 1977)
(b 1910 US died Tribune Saskatchewan Canada 1925)
(b 1911 US died 1913 US)
(b 1914 US died BC, Canada 1974)
1884) came to live with them in August 1905. She married in North
Dakota and later moved with her husband and children to Minnesota.
She died in 1985.
1914 many Norwegians in the states of Montana and the Dakotas were
migrating north across the Canadian border. By 1921 one third of the
Norwegians in Canada had been born in the USA. The Rosvold family
moved to Tribune, in south east Saskatchewan in 1915.
following children were born in Tribune:
born in 1915 died in Eldersley Saskatchewan.
born in 1917 died in BC
(b 1920 and died in BC in 1976))
Lloyd, (twins), born in 1920 died in Tisdale Sask in 1986).
(born in 1922, died in Saskatchewan 2008)
in Halifax aboard the STAVANGERFJORD from Bergen on Feb 1, 1925.
Winter is an inauspicious time to travel across Canada. She took the
train from Halifax and met many of her family members for the first
time in the little farmhouse on the prairies. She was married in
Tribune in 1925 and raised two daughters. She was a gifted seamstress
and knitter and sold crochet work to make extra money.
financial collapse in 1929 was accompanied by the Great Depression.
On the prairies it was called "the dirty thirties". There
was a sustained drought and great dust storms carried away the top
soil. Grasshoppers ate whatever vegetation was left. There was no
money, the payment for any crops that survived was low, there was no
feed for the animals.
14 years in the Tribune area Lars and Olivia again packed up their
family, and like many farmers during this decade moved another three
hundred miles north to the community of Elderslie where there was
virgin land covered by brush (small bushes) as well as more rain and
forests. It was a new frontier. Lily and her family followed a few
was the tendency for many ethnic groups to gather and live in small
communities and the Norwegians were no different. They brought their
traditions, language and religion with them. Therefore, Lutheran
churches would spring up in these areas. Second and even third
generation offspring could speak Norwegian. They spoke Norwegian at
home and learned English when they went to school.
on a small piece of land. Simple wood houses were built on the
property for Lars and son Norris and their family.
the next few years more Norwegians from Southern Saskatchewan moved
to the district. The Rosvolds welcomed the newcomers and offered them
a place to stay while they built their own small houses. The settlers
came from many different areas of Norway, but regional loyalties had
long been left behind. That is how my mother,
parents came from Valdres, met my dad, Harold Rosvold.
would have starved the first winter if it had not been for the
homes were humble and money was scarce the community had a lot of
spirit. There was no Lutheran church in the area so services were
held in people's homes. Families tended to be large so there were
lots of young people. Everybody was hard up (poor) and they talked
about next year with great optimism. Next year things will be better.
That is why we call Saskatchewan "next year's country".
was referred to as the "old country."
have been passed down through the generations and are still enjoyed
today: lefse, lutefisk, Klubb, Romgrot (porridge), sandbakkles, and
employment was an issue it may have encouraged many young men on the
prairies to sign up as volunteers during the Second World War. Three
of Lars and Olivia's sons, Ingvar, Lloyd and Harold served in Europe
as Canadian soldiers.
a high school mathematics teacher in the US, married and had two
sons. He died in Poulsbo, Washington in 1955.
in 1925 and is buried in Tacoma Washington. She was 23 years old,
married and had a three year old son.
in 1942 (64 years old) and is buried in Tisdale Saskatchewan. Her
children said she had "the patience of a saint and never
moved to Canoe, BC where a number of his sons were working in the
forestry industry and spent his remaining years near the mountains.
He was buried in British Columbia in 1961.
of the Rosvold children farmed or worked in the forestry industry.
Harold Rosvold, born and raised in Saskatchewan, loved to farm and
worked in agriculture until he retired. When he retired he enjoyed
spending his winters in the warm climate of Arizona but his summers
were spent at his lakeside cabin in Saskatchewan. He loved to golf
include forty grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren. We
are scattered from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from Nova Scotia,
Ontario, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia Canada as well as
California and Washington State.
cannot account for everybody but will mention my own siblings, the
children of Harold, the youngest. Our brother owns Balarian Arabians
in southern Alberta. His son lives in Canmore, Alberta and his
daughter lives in Nova Scotia. One sister, a teacher, and her son
live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Her daughter is a teacher in
Calgary. Cheryl and one son live in Victoria BC. Her other son lives
in Calgary. He loves snow, the mountains and the back country and
teaches avalanche safety. He first wore skis in Norway when he was
six years old. So far there are four grandchildren: Ruby, Ava, Erik
is what happened to one family who left Norway on a hope and a prayer
seeking the American dream and a better future for their children.
They started their journey in Mayfield, North Dakota where people
from Emblem had already established themselves. Therefore, during
their first decade in America they were in a community where they
already knew people and shared a common background. It was a very
different landscape but the people were familiar. Then they helped
settle Saskatchewan which had gained the status of a province in
1905. 6.9 % of the population of Saskatchewan is of Norwegian
Heritage today. (According to 2011 census).
when things are ever changing, and relationships fleeting, it gives
me comfort that distant relatives still live on the Rosvold farm in
Norway, perhaps interacting with people who have been their
neighbours for centuries.