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2007 Valdres Samband Stevne
June 21-23, 2007
Winnishiek Hotel and Vesterheim Museum
Decorah, Iowa


 

 

 

The stevne in pictures!

CLICK HERE for photos of the stevne

 

 

One hundred and eight people gathered in Decorah for the 2007 stevne.  Chaired by Michael Bergan, it offered great opportunities to savor Decorah and the one-of-a-kind Vesterheim Museum. The Hotel Winnishiek was built in 1904-05 and provided lodging for Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha in 1939.  The genealogy room bustled throughout the stevne, and the Memorabilia display was of great interest to stevne-goers.  It included photos of Valdres House at the Vesterheim and the Neste House at the Valdres folk museum.
Thursday, June 21, 2007

The four hour tour of historic sites around Decorah included stops at the Rovang School, Washington Prairie churches, and the Jacobson Farm.  The Get Acquainted Social was held at Baker Village on the campus of Luther College. The local Sons of Norway lodge provided a terrific buffet that reflected a traditional celebration of Midsummer's Eve.  Lodge president Carol Hasvold noted that about 80 percent of the original Norwegian settlers in the area had Valdres roots.  The Senior Nordic Dancers of Decorah put on a wonderful programming of dancing, accompanied by a small orchestra that earned a standing ovation at program's end.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Guided tours of the Vesterheim Seminars were held.  A special exhibit, "From Valdres to Vesterheim" was organized to coincide with the stevne.  A 25 foot long display case held Valdres bunader, musical instruments, and the 1923 Valdres fane (banner) were among the pieces on display. Lunch at Bethania Lutheran Church at Vesterheim featured a menu of Norwegian favorites. On Friday afternoon, the Hauge Gallery was home to demonstrations by Judy Shuros using a spinning wheel; Sarah Iversen, needle felting; Rebecca Hanna, relief carving; Sara Tollefson, rosemaling; and Kim Glock, wood carving.

Seminars

Midge Kjome, president of the Decorah Genealogy Association, discussed local genealogy resources; Bill Musser, director of development at Vesterheim, talked about old time fiddle and dance traditions;  Martha Griesheimer presented "Interpreting the Primstav Murals of the Gathering Room;"  Adam Lovell offered expert advice and insight on how to preserve treasured artifacts; Tova Brandt, a curator at Vesterheim, discussed the museum's history and how artifacts can tell a story.  Carol Hasvold spoke about Norwegian Silver.

Friday Evening

The Friday evening program was held in the Steyer Opera House adjacent to the hotel.  There were greetings from the Samaband President, Doris Hayes, Janet Blohm ultz, executive director of the Vesterheim, and Don Arendt, Decorah's mayor.  A Sing-Along was lead by Harold Lerohl, accompanied by Jan Lerohl.   The all male Luren Singing Society was organized in 1868 and provided a wonderful program that began with Bernhard Gluth playing the Lur and included a wide variety of Norwegian, American and African-American folk songs and spirituals. Jennifer Harrison sang three soprana solos by Norwegian composers.  Eric Layden accompanied both the Singing Society and Ms. Harrison.  

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Seminars

Dag Rossman presented an interesting talk about Viking Mythology and Brian Betteridge talked about the Neste House project.

Business Meeting

Sincere appreciation was expressed for the work of Doris Hayes as president and Bob Skogman, who had served on the board for 21 years.  Earl Evenstad took over the reins of the president, with Aaron Hanson elected vice president. Diane Lerohl was re-elected secretary and Patricia Lerohl, treasurer. Bruce Weaver and Glen Olson were elected directors.  Rev. Doanld Berg presided at the Memorial Service.

Saturday Evening

The Saturday evening Festive Gjestebø took place in the Steyer Opera House.  Dan Huebner, chairman of NAGC-NL in Madison greeted everyone and spoke about the newly organized center, which had previously been connected with the Vesterheim. Doris Hayes has been elected to the board of NAGC-NL.  The Bunad Parade was led by violinists Clara Bergan and Kristin Flak.  The program began with the Call of the Lur by Harold Lerohl.  Johanna Bergan served as the evening's emcee.  Entertainment was provided by The Footnotes, an old-time dance band from Decorah.  Michael Bergan and his daughter Clara shared the first dance, and then everyone joined in.  The evening ended with Harold Lerohl leading the audience in singing "O Valdres" and "God Bless America."

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