Norway, Illinois is the first permanent
Norwegian settlement in North America, settled in 1835
by the Sloopers, led by Cleng Peerson. The Sloopers
were immigrants who came to America on the sloop
Restaurasjonen, arriving in New York in 1825 and later
coming to Illinois.
The museum began
in 1978 in the oldest Norwegian Lutheran Church in
America The museum is dedicated to Norwegian culture and
strives to honor and preserve the memory of the
Norwegian forefathers who settled in the area. The
museum continues to provide a link to the past and its
continued preservation into the future. The museum
features household items, spinning wheels, rosemaling,
bunads, a Viking display, immigrant's trunks, early farm
tools and so much more.
The building is an excellent example of carpentry by
pioneer Norwegian craftsmen. All the structural beams in
the attic were hand hewn from soft pine and fastened
with wooden (hard wood) pegs rather than nails. The ends
of some of the beams in the attic still bear various
craftsmen's symbols stamped into the wood. Material for
the building was hauled 70 miles from Chicago to Norway
(IL) by wagon and oxen. It was dedicated as a house of
worship in 1848 replacing a log cabin church built in
1838 and was decommissioned as a church in 1918.
The Norsk Museum is open to the public on Saturdays and
Sundays, June through September, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00
p.m. Special openings can be arranged for groups.
Admission is free, but the museum is maintained from
Directions: Norsk Museum
3656 E. 2631st Rd. Sheridan, Il 60551
Located directly behind the Norway Store on highway 71,
9 miles northeast of Ottawa, IL.
The Norsk Museum is voluntarily staffed and is a 501(c)3
nfp organization. Checks should be made payable to The
Norwegian Center, Inc.
The Norsk Museum
member organization of the Norwegian
The Norwegian National League is a non-profit 501(c)(3)