Children's Blizzard Chapyers Intro

Topics: Homestead Act, Norway, Family Pages: 2 (635 words) Published: February 5, 2012
American railroads lured many Norwegian immigrants to the land filled with freedom, hope and delusions of grandeur. In the year of 1876, Ole and his new bride Gro Rollag left Norway for the promises made in a brochure. Between the years of 1850 and 1900, 16.5 million people immigrated to America. There were several reasons for their leaving family farm lands. The family farm lands are divided as they expand the family size. The oldest child gets the bigger parcel, and then the land is parceled out in smaller lots. By the time Ole and Gro had children, their parcel of land would look like a postage stamp. This made them one of the first of the Rollag’s to leave the family for a hopefully better life, and part of the seven hundred and fifty thousand Norwegian’s to leave for America. Ole was facing five years of military service, which is not always a pleasant experience. Gro was three years older than her husband, not the prettiest girl, and turned her nose up to housework in lure of reading books. Their hometown was Tinn in Southern Norway. The Rollag’s spent their honeymoon on the boat to America in 1873. The first destination was Decorah Winneshiek in Iowa, which was known for the long cold winters, grasshoppers and virgin soil. When arriving to Iowa, they stayed with a distant family the Jacobsens, who let them know that the brochures lied, go figure! During this time, they worked and saved for relocation to somewhere with more promise. North of Iowa was Minnesota and South Dakota, where there was a growing township. In May of 1874, Ole and his wife pulled up the tent stakes, and headed with a group of Norwegians to Rock County Minnesota. The trip was not a pretty one, which makes me feel thankful for room service and my motorcycle. It took three weeks and 260 miles, and very nervous individuals who could see the grasshopper devastation. Many homesteads were empty, which is not a good sign. The first group of people they encountered told them...
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