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The Budstikken

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The official newsletter of the Valdres Samband is "Budstikken".   It is published in May and December of each year.  Members receive issues of "Budstikken" as a part of their membership dues.  It contains information about Samband activities.  There are interesting articles about Valdres ancestors and Samband members in America and Norway, plus countless other topics relating to Valdres heritage.

Arlene Quam is editor of "Budstikken".   She welcomes articles relating to Valdres experiences and heritage.

You may send such articles to her at:  13595 320th Street, Brooten MN 56316 or send your submission, comment, or suggestion via .

Non-members can request a one-time complimentary copy of the latest issue by clicking here.  We hope it will encourage you to become a member! See the Membership page for membership information.


What does "Budstikken" mean?

By Betty Rockswold

Our publication Budstikken means "message stick".   It gained its name from a hollowed out wooden tube with a cap at one end and a sharp nail or point at the other end.

A budstikke was used to leave messages or news at a neighbors or friends home when they were away.  The deliverer would remove the cover, insert the message in the tube and replace the cap.  This was then forced in between the logs of the house near the front door.  When the people returned home they would read the message, and if necessary, would replace it in the budstikke and pass it on to their neighbors in the same manner.  It would be returned to the original owner when they got together at church or other community gatherings. "Budstikken" = "The Budstikke".

By Betty Rockswold


The History of "Budstikken"

By Cathy Paulson

According to the "History of Valdres Samband" written by Carl T. and Amy A. Narvestad, the first publication to appear was a four-page copy of the Grunnlov (constitution) written and published in the Valdres dialect dated May 17, 1902.  It was then followed by "Beretninger og Rapporter", a 36-page report of the stevne of 1902.  The page size was 3 1/4 by 4 3/4 inches.

Next came the "Valdres Helsing", a quarterly publication.  Its first issue, dated December 1903, consisted of 32 pages and a cover.  The page size was 4 by 5 1/2 inches.  The publication was edited by president Veblen (founding father) and the Samband secretary (Johnson or Sundheim) and in 1910 expanded to a monthly publication.  Thirty issues of "Helsing" were issued.

"Samband" succeeded "Valdres Helsing" in 1910.  Its first issue dated November 1910, was published by the Samband Publishing Association which was separate from the Valdres Samband.   The publication had 32 5 by 8 inch pages. It ceased publication in October 1917.

The next Valdres publication was "The Valdris Book", sub-titled "A manual of the Valdris Samband" written by Andrew A. Veblen and was published in 1920.  This 303-page "Valdris Book" was written in English.

In 1922 the "Valdreser i Amerika" was issued by A. M. Sundheim who was then the Samband president.  This 222-page book was written in Norwegian.  It contained a history of the Valdres Samband, a membership record with genealogical information about members, and biographical sketches of a number of outstanding Valdres in America.

In March, 1927, the publication "Samband" was revived as a quarterly publication.  It was edited by Sundheim alone until March 1930 when Helge Hoverstad's name appeared on the masthead as assistant editor.  This new quarterly was improved by the use of pictures.  The last issue, in March 1935, editor Sundheim made the point that had each member paid his dues (or subscription) of one dollar, "Samband" could still be saved.  The number of paid-up memberships in 1935 had fallen to 95, compared to 425 memberships in 1932.

Printed or mimeographed Christmas greetings and post cards announcing the stevne dates and sites were the only published contacts with Valdres members until 1959.  This was the 60th anniversary of the Valdres Samband and a 36-page booklet was issued.  The jubilee book contained a history of the Samband in both Norwegian and English.

In 1962 a resolution was passed at the stevne that Valdres Samband should issue a mimeographed newsletter to its members (now at its low of 48 paid-up member families) twice a year.  In December, a two-page issue of the "Valdres Samband Newsletter" appeared, edited by Carl T. Narvestad, the newly elected secretary.  It was well received and membership began a slow growth.  After four issues, the publication expanded to 4 pages in December 1964.

In 1967, the financial condition of the Samband had improved to make it feasible to publish a thirty-two page brochure with a soft cover, entitled "Valdres, Queen of the Valleys".  This book was prepared by a committee headed by Narvestad, Miss Clara Thorpe, and Mrs. Arne M. Berg.

By May 1970, an eight-page offset printed news sheet called the "Valdres Samband Budstikken" was approved.  It was co-edited by Carl T. Narvestad and his wife, Amy A. Narvestad.  This eight-page 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper was produced camera-ready by the Narvestads with only an old typewriter and elementary printing equipment.  Nearly twice as many new members enrolled the first six months after its issuance as the total membership was in 1962.

Membership continued to grow.  In May 1971, "Budstikken" became a 16-page news magazine with advertising.  The December 1971 issue was profusely illustrated with pictures, many taken by Carl W. Sorenson, a Texas member of the Samband.

The May 1972 issue saw new text type as the Samband purchased an IBM Executive typewriter with a carbon ribbon.  In December 1972, "Budstikken" went to 20-pages.  The publication was continuously improved and much credit was due to the meticulous care exercised in the printshop darkroom by Samband member James Laraby.

By the fall of 1970 the supply of the brochure, "Valdres, Queen of the Valleys", had been exhausted by the growth in membership.  A second edition was printed.  Whereas the first printing in 1967 was enough to supply the membership of that time and the new members acquired until 1970, the tremendous surge in new memberships exhausted the second edition in two years.

The book "Valdres Samband 1899-1974", from which the above information was taken, is the biggest single undertaking of the last half century of Samband history.  It conforms to Article eight of the constitution of 1902 which specifically made the collection and dissemination of such information a duty of the Samband and its members.

In addition, we thank the following people for their contribution and dedication to the Valdres Samband by serving as editors of the "Budstikken":

The "Budstikken" of today is a 40-page magazine, filled with pictures and wonderful stories about our heritage.  And now we embark on a new adventure - the Internet and e-mail.  The Internet will never replace the published (and unpublished) works of our forefathers and foremothers.  Instead, it will continue to collect, preserve, and disseminate information according to Article Eght of the Constitution of 1902.

Consider the words of our founding father, Andrew A. Veblen, written in English in June, 1904 and apply them to modern and future technology as well as the next generation:

"Neither is it correct to suppose that the privilege of becoming members belongs only to those who can speak or understand the Valdris dialect. But a word or two seems desirable about the relations to the Samband on the part of Valdrisers born and reared in this country, many of whom do not know any Valdris and often not even Norwegian. One of the chief aims is to gather, preserve, and impart knowledge of Valdris and people of Valdris origin; to serve as a bond between them and to keep alive their common traditions, to foster knowledge of their ancestry and cherish a filial interest in the beautiful ancestral home of the race. By the operation of natural causes the language of our fathers will be forgotten among our descendants a few generations hence. But the sentiment and interest that called the Samband into being need not die with the language. They should endure as long as there remains Valdris blood to transmit; and to keep them alive and perpetuate them is a special function of the Valdris Samband. It is easily seen, therefore, that it is important to prevail especially on the young to identify themselves with this society and become interested in the work it is seeking to do. For this reason the Samband not only admits to membership American Valdrisers who may not be familiar with the language of their forefathers, but specially and emphatically solicits and invites them."

What a "futurist" this man was!  Children of the information age, Velkommen to the Valdres Samband!


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Last updated: December 26, 2016

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