The Norwegian Lutheran Church Historical Society of Calumet
Sons of Norway Ulseth Lodge:

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2006 Activities:

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Click here to join the Norwegian Lutheran Church Historical Society of Calumet

2006 Calendar:

2 December 2006 Norwegian Julefest!! We will meet at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock for a short business meeting at 5:00 Saturday followed by Potluck Julefest Dinner then a Program with music, stories, and video on Norwegian Christmas celebrations. Don't miss this fun evening! Contact Eileen for more info.




26 October 2006 at 7:00 PM Hardanger Concert at Finlandia's Finnish-American Heritage Center on Quincy Steet in Hancock. The public is invited to join us for an evening of Norwegian Song, Hardanger fiddler music, and Storytelling!! Singers, song writers and performers Sarah Granskou and Sarah Nagell, Norwegian descendents from Canada, will be here to provide an exciting performance sure to delight and entertain people of all ages! click here for more info (a WORD .doc file)  A donation will be collected at the door to pay the performers expenses.

17 September 2006 Ulseth Lodge business meeting at 6:30 pm with guest speaker, open to the public, at 7:30 at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock. Our guest speaker will be Bente Nilsen, visiting here from the Nordland area of Norway. Bente works at Eidsvoll, the Norwegian Constitution Center, and is a scholar on their Constitution and how it is similar to the American Constitution; her talk will be about the 1814 Norwegian Constitution. Her local host, Kathlene Carlton Johnson, will show pictures of her recent trip to Syttende Mai celebrations in Norway. Please bring a desert or cheese & crackers etc to share.

Bente answers our questions


Charter Members!


16 September 2006 Parade of Nations
starting at 11:00 AM in Hancock to the Dee-Amphidrome in Houghton.
Walk with the Norwegian Flag!
Enjoy ethnic food afterwards!



27 August 2006 Sunday at 4:30 pm EST at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock: Charter Night for the Ulseth Lodge! There will be guests from the District and National Sons of Norway here to conduct the ceremony. Potluck Dinner to follow! Wear Norwegian clothing if you have it!

Charter Night!

Pres Wayne Stordahl & District Officers:
L-R: Mary Bennett -Dist Secr, Gilbert Bergsrud -Dist VP, Raymond Knutson -Tres, Jostein Bakken -Int Director, Harland Anderson -Dist Pres.

Harland Anderson, Dist 5 President
Presents Ulseth Charter!

Wayne & Susan receive their
Charter Pins

Susan plays the
Norwegian National Anthem

Jostein Bakken, Sons of Norway
International Director

Bob & Louise Giles & mom
from the Detroit Lodge
Greeted by Connie & Susan

Susan & Joseph Present Gifts
to District Officers


Lefsa, Cheese, Ligonberry Juice!

19 August All Day Saturday: Heritage Days in Calumet. Norwegian Waffle breakfast 8 am to 11 am Saturday by the Norwegian Lutheran Church Historical Society as a fund raiser for the Restoration of the NLC. Any members of the Ulseth Lodge willing to help with this fundraiser, contact Susan Rokicki. Please go and support the NLC, which is the future home of the Ulseth Lodge, by buying and eating Norwegian Waffles!

Clarence Monette & -- sell our
great Waffles

Nordbergs wait for the treat.

Nancy Imm & Connie Julien serve up
Norwegian Waffles.

30 July 2006 Sunday: Summerfest! beach party and bonfire on Sunday, July 30th starting at 5:00 pm. rain or shine (we have a big porch/sun room.)  This will be a fun filled potluck dinner (your chance to try a new Norwegian recipe!) with music (be sure to bring your musical instrument and S of N song book) and fun on the beach.  Host for our 1st Annual Summerfest will be the Larry & Connie Julien family on Lake Superior. 
Pictures of Summerfest:

Summerfest potluck

Susan plays Norwegian songs as we sing.

25 June 2006 Sunday: Our Lodge was officially inducted into the National Sons of Norway!! The Institution Ceremony started at 4:00pm at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Hancock, followed by a potluck dinner.  Distinguished guests from the SofN District 5 performed the Institution Ceremony and swore in the 2006-07 Lodge Officers. Concluding the ceremony, we sang a popular Norwegian song during the ceremony named La Oss Leve For Hverandre by the 1960's group named Gluntan from Trondheim. Click here to view the program for the Ceremony.   Pictures of the Induction:

District Officers conduct
Institution Ceremony

Sandy Carstens Sworn in as Treasurer
by Dist 5 Pres Harland Anderson

Connie Julien Sworn in as Historian & Publicity Officer


Wayne Stordahl Sworn in as
Lodge President

2006 Ulseth Lodge Officers
with Dist Pres Harland Anderson

District 5 Officers & Family


15 June 2006 Thursday at 7:00 pm: Very important organizational meeting!

We have enough members to form a Sons of Norway Lodge and will have the District manager here to induct our new Lodge officially into the SON organization at the end of June. Therefore we will need to have a very important meeting before our induction to nominate officers for a 2 year period and discuss a name for our local Lodge.
This organizational meeting will be Thursday, June 15th at 7:00pm at the Gloria Dei Lutheran Church located at 1000 West Quincy Street in Hancock. We would like all of our SON members to be at this very important meeting, so please try to attend! Also put June 25th on your calendar for our induction meeting and potluck!
Some names discussed as possible names for our Lodge are:
Ulseth Lodge (in honor of Molly Ulseth who saved the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Calumet which will eventually be our SON headquarters: Molly's father, Nels Ulseth and his uncle Edward Ulseth built the church in 1898)
Another name that has been discussed would be a lodge named after the copper mining community in Norway that supplied the copper for the Statue of Liberty: Vigsnes or Visnes Kopperverk on the island of Karmøy in Rogaland, just north of Stavanger, south of Bergen.





June 23-25 in 2006: Annual Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival; In Fargo & Moorhead, ND/MN.
Explore the unique cultures of Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Saami Land. Experience the finest in Nordic Hospitality, Food, Entertainment and Family Fun.  Discover Scandinavian Arts, Traditions and Contemporary Cultures and more!
Next year Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival in Fargo/Moorhead: June 22-24 in 2007

May to August: the Sons of Norway and the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Calumet had a table display in the Dee Summer History Museum in Houghton.

17 May 2006 Syttende Mai celebration: featuring a light Norwegian style noon luncheon 11:30-1:30 at Finlandia's Heritage Center on Quincy Street in Hancock with Norwegian music, artifacts, crafts and fun. The public is invited to join us in celebrating this Norwegian festival. A $5 donation will go towards restoration expenses of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Calumet. Pictures of our Syttende Mai:  (click image to see larger picture)

Organizers: L-R: Patricia VanPelt, Connie Julien, Sandy Carstens, Eileen Stordahl.
missing: Karena Schmidt


Patricia Van Pelt

Connie & Patricia

15 May 2006 Jane Nordberg of the Daily Mining Gazette wrote two articles in the paper about the history of the Calumet church and the upcoming Syttende Mai celebration after interviewing local members of the SON Lodge:
"Sons of Norway say Velkommen
The Norwegian flag will be waving proudly in an unlikely place on Wednesday - The Finnish-American Heritage Center in Hancock.
  The Finn-Am is the site of this year's "Syttende Mai" celebration, which literally translates in English to "!7 May" know by Norwegians as Norwegian Independence Day or Constitution Day.  On May 17 of every year, Norway commemorates the 1814 adoption of its first constitution with parades and other activities.
  Wednesday's celebration will take place from 11:30 to 1:30 pm, with a Norwegian open-faced sandwich luncheon on offer, as well as displays of Norwegian crafts, books, literature and music.  A suggested $5 donation will go towards restoration expenses of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Calumet (see related story).
  The event is sponsored by the local Sons of Norway, which sees the event as not only a fund-raiser but a way to raise awareness and ideally, increase membership.
  "If we have forty members, we can organize as an official lodge," said Connie Julien, one of the committee members helping to organize Wednesday's event.  Membership currently is hovering close to 35, said Sanda Rokicki, also a lodge member, who has attended Sons of Norway meeting sin neighboring states to learn more about how to organize one locally. "If we meet the guidelines for membership, we'll be the only Sons of Norway Lodge in the Upper Peninsula," Rokicki said.
  There are currently 420 Sons of Norway lodges, most of which are located in the U.S. Michigan has six of those, all based downstate.
  No proof of lineage is required for membership in the lodge, said Julien, only an interest in all things Norwegian.  The group hopes to meet someday in the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Calumet, but until that venue is restored, meetings occur at other sites in the area.
  Patricia Van Pelt, another member, suggested the group partner with the Finnish -American Heritage Center on ths year's celebration to raise awareness outside of Calumet and take advantage of some of the two groups' shared history.
  "There's a very strong link here between the Finns and the Norwegians," said Jim Kurtti, editor of the Finnish-American Reporter based at Finlandia University.  Many early Finns actually emigrated from Norway, he said, or were sent there by the Finnish government.
  "There was a great deal of dislocation," Kurtti said, particularly in the late 1880s. "Many people who do research here find out that they're not a hundred percent Finnish, but have Norwegian ancestry in there too."  Over the years, the center has acquired Norwegian centered material that may be of more use to the Sons of Norway group, he said, and intends to donate that material once they have a formal place to store it.  "It's really not in our mission to keep it," he said.  "It really should be in their hands."
  In meantime, the center is happy to provide its theatre space for Wednesday's event.
  "We're very excited to tell people more about the history of the Norwegians, and I'm looking forward to hearing the music and seeing the crafts," he aid. "Of course, the food will be good, too."

The second article dated 15 May 2006 in the Daily Mining Gazette by Jane Nordberg:

"Norwegian Church restoration efforts continue

Broken stained glass windows and peeling plaster plague the interior of the Norwegian Lutheran Church in Calumet. A volunteer group is working to rebuild the structure, which is over a hundred years old.

CALUMET — The Irish, the Finns, the Croatian, the Cornish; each of these immigrant groups had their own places of worship in the Copper Country and the Norwegians were no exception. Calumet’s Norwegian Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Elm and Seventh streets, has as storied a past as any.
  According to church records, the First Norwegian Church of Calumet was established as a congregation in 1871 to serve an immigrant population from Alten, in northern Norway, who were attracted by work in the area’s copper mines. By 1873, it boasted a congregation of 243 members.
  Its first pastor, Hans Rornas, also spoke fluent Finnish, and early services were conducted in Finnish and Norwegian, with a smaller number of Swedes also being served by the church. At that time, the church was on Pine Street, then on Mine Street. The cornerstone for the current structure was laid in July, 1898. It is said to be an exact replica of a church in Kristiansund, Norway, the birthplace of Edward Ulseth, a prominent local contractor and civic leader at the time whose firm managed the construction of the new building. The church remained a dynamic, functioning institution until, like so many other local institutions, its membership suffered after the closure of the area copper mines and related industries. Church services were held sporadically until the 1980s, when maintenance was suspended.
  A small group of remaining members purchased the property in the early 1990s to help preserve the structure and document the history of the once-active church.
  Touring the structure today is like a study in contrast, as wood siding and portions of the roof boast a new initiative, while the interior’s broken stained-glass windows and cracked plaster display just a fraction of what remains to be done.
  “There’s nothing worse for a building to sit empty and abandoned,” said Joseph Mihal, President of the Norwegian Lutheran Church Historical Society, the organization that has owned the church since 2000.
  The non-profit society’s nine-member board oversees the fund-raising and restoration efforts for the church, made possible through hundreds of hours of volunteer labor.
  “We’ve got it so that it’s stable, so it’s not going to receive any further damage due to rain and snow,” said Susan Rokicki, a society trustee. “We’ve had a lot of issues just trying to keep the elements out.”
  Rokicki noted the curved pews, constructed to allow everyone in the church to view the services without obstruction. “It’s odd to see this kind of theatre seating so early,” she said. “It’s a sign of how egalitarian they were.” Narrow stairs lead to the structure’s surprisingly large basement, formerly a meeting place for the Sons of Norway lodge. Retired engineer Bill Kallman has “worked wonders,” Rokicki said, in stemming the water damage and repairing the basement’s warping floor.
  Funding for the restoration comes from membership dues, contributions from individuals, fund-raising events and grants from the Leuthold Family Foundation of Minnesota, as well as the Sons of Norway.
  “We’ve come a long way, but there’s still so much to be done,” Mihal said, citing repairs to the apse roof, glass windows, tin ceiling and other interior finishes.
  Eventually, when restoration is complete, interpretive panels will be installed in the church to detail its long history, and the building will be opened as a meeting place and venue for weddings and special events.
  “Summer helps, and we try to keep the doors open so people can come in and view the sanctuary,” Mihal said. “It’s a beautiful place, and hopefully, will be even better in time.”

2 May 2006 Members of the Syttende Mai planning committee met with Jim Kurtti from the Finnish American Heritage Center, Jane Nordberg of the Daily Mining Gazette newspaper and visiting author, Solveig Tolvik who was in town signing her new book "Nikolai Fortune". Her book is about 4 generations of women in her family who she thought were Norwegian because they had come to America to the Copper Country from Artic Norway. But it turned out they had been like many who came to work in our Copper Mines from that area; they had come from northern Finland and migrated to Artic Norway/Lapland because there were jobs in the mines or fishing industry there and fish a plenty to eat during a time of repeated crop failures in the Scandinavian countries. But the Artic Norway mines were closing in the 1860s so these people then migrated to the Copper Country here in Michigan to work in the mines. Jim told us about the first Scandinavian churches that were built here. The first, established in 1868, was called Holy Trinity and was located near Calumet in an area now known as Frenchtown and served Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish people. There was a second Scandinavian church located in Calumet also. As finances allowed and disagreements forced, these divided into their own respective congregations. Jim told us of some impressive alter paintings done by the same painter for each of these churches. One of those alter paintings from the Calumet Scandinavian church is now located in the archives of the Finnish American Heritage Center. The other alter painting that went from the Frenchtown Scandinavian church to the Norwegian Lutheran church that was located at the top of White Street in Hancock is now displayed in an office in the Gloria Dei Church in Hancock. The Frenchtown and White Street churches are now just rock foundations among the weeds.

18-19 February 2006 1st Annual Keweenaw Scandinavian Dance & Ski Weekend: dance, ski, smorgasbord!!
For more info, contact Karena Schmidt  $25 registration.
One of the highlights of the event was music by Ole Olssons Oldtime Orkestra, pictured at right:

 please send this webmaster pictures of this event for this webpage!

Photo courtesy of Ole Olssons Oldtime Orkestra

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200520062007, 2008, current year


Norwegian Lutheran Church
Historical Society
608 Elm Street
Calumet, Michigan 49913
(906) 337-3731 for further information or email webmaster

News Pictures History Restoration The Society Contact Home

Click here to join the local Sons of Norway Lodge