Lögberg-Heimskringla - 24.08.2001, Blaðsíða 8

Lögberg-Heimskringla - 24.08.2001, Blaðsíða 8
8 • Lögberg-Heimskringla • Friday 24 August 2001 Travel Mountain, North Dakota Some historical and travel notes »¦:':':' í!:S Arlan Steinolfson Fargo, ND Continuedfrom last issue Just over a mile west of the north end of Mountain, you will find a mosttelling reminder of the reli- gious dissension which at times fractured the early community. Here in an untended mound is another cemetery. Though in deplorable condition, this will hopefully soon be rectified. On land originally homesteaded by Jón Björnsson Víum, and in an obvious mound that fortunately has been disturbed by lit- tle other than nature, lie the remains of some of the earliest settlers in the area. Thingvalla Township was also home to Björn Pétursson, the first ordained Icelandic Unitarian minis- ter in North America, and some believe this is the cemetery from that ministry. Little is known about this early group's activities, but the cemetery which has likely not been tended for about 70 years, is "dead" proof that they were indeed here. (The restoration of this cemetery has begun! Article forthcoming.) In the north end of Mountain is the American Legion Hall. Originally built under the auspices of the Ancient Order of United Workmen, many of whose lodges in North Dakota and elsewhere were instigated by another Icelandic immigrant, ísleifur Vernharðsson Leifur, just over 100 years ago, this became the site for all events that did not take place in either the church or school, and many events that were associated with both. When the AOUW (now Pioneer Mutual Life Insurance) divested itself of the fraternal nature of the lodges the building and grounds were taken over by the American Legion, as was sponsorship of the annual 2nd of August Celebration. In addition, the Legion always per- form the ceremonies during Memorial Day observances. Just over 3 miles south of Mountain, Thingvalla Church and Cemetery, can be found. Built at the site where highway 32 crosses a small branch of the Park River, and very likely not coincidentally, where a main branch of the early ox-cart trail crossed the same creek, it was another community center called Eyford with a post office and store across the road from the church. North of the church is the recently reconstructed memorial to the humorist and poet (kímniskáld) m m, Cairn at Cemetary in Mountain, ND 'Ír&'. Photo courtesy of Lillian Vúborg Kristján Níels Jónsson Júlíus, com- monly known as KN Júlíus, which Icelanders are rarely permitted to pass without joining him in a short snort for the ages. man was married, of course, to an Icelander). To be continued... Address corrections or additions to the above to arlans@aol.com or Though the views are likely not Arlan Steinolfson, 744 48th Street Cemetary in Mountain, ND. Photo courtesy of Lillian Vilborg very impressive to native Icelanders, one should never visit Mountain without driving 3 miles west to Schroeder Hill, named after one of the few non-Icelandic homesteaders in the area. Looking east from the top of the hill provides a grand panorama of the valley. Even on a bad day you can see the buildings in Canton (or Hensel), 12 miles away and the eastern limit of this portion of the Icelandic settlement. It is said that on good days, you can see Minnesota, on the other side of the Red River, over 35 miles away. This view was commemorated during North Dakota's lOOth Anniversary in 1989 with the poster "Life in the Vast Lane" pro- duced by Wayne Gudmundson, a descendent of Icelandic settlers in Thingvalla. While driving south from Mountain, and paying close atten- tion to the land to east, one can see where once travelled the Mountain Flyer. Most remnants of this early railroad have long since disap- peared but the route ran from Edinburg through Mountain to the cement mines at Concrete, 5 miles to the northwest (where the fore- Southwest, Fargo, ND 58103. Additional articles related to the Dakota Icelanders can be found athttp://hometown.aol.com/arlans/m yhomepage/dakotal .html Slæmar fréttir berast fljótt. Come to the Nordic House of Canada to EnjoyaFavourábly Pricea Friday Smorg! either lunch or evening! t* The Cultural home off~ the Winnipeg Rrón Membersbi}) in títe dub is not recufced Winnípes, MB Tel: (204) 774-8047 <m ih i^nn* Rin* xm mv ww&t mri u r%rmr mvnwu & nm * r\n wmmr

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