Garrison Keillor Luther College Sept 27

Reposted from various sources:

Garrison Keillor Tue, September 27 @Luther College Center for Faith and Life Garrison Keillor, the host and writer of the acclaimed “A Prairie Home Companion” public radio program, will highlight the Luther College Center Stage Series of professional performing arts events for 2011-12. Keillor will take the CSS stage in the Center for Faith and Life Main Hall on Tuesday evening, Sept. 27 to present “The Aura of Flora In Decorah with Garrison Keillor.” Subscription tickets for the CSS will go one sale in early June at the Luther College Box Office. A limited number of ticket subscriptions will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis through the Luther College Box Office. Subscription purchasers are assured tickets to the Keillor performance. Non-subscriber tickets will go on sale Sept. 2. “The Aura of Flora in Decorah with Garrison Keillor” is a special Sesquicentennial event for Luther College. Keillor will present a program, tailored to reflect the history and heritage of Luther in celebration of its 150th anniversary in 2011-12. The evening’s presentation by Keillor and will consist of light-hearted talk and story telling, accompanied by music by his pianist Rich Dworsky. Keillor is a well-loved Radio Hall of Fame inductee, winner of the Peabody Award and a National Humanities Medal. He is best known as the host and writer of “A Prairie Home Companion” and “The Writer’s Almanac,” heard on public radio stations across the country. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including “Lake Wobegon Days,” “The Book of Guys,” “Love Me” and “Homegrown Democrat.” Keillor was born in Anoka, Minn. in 1942 and is a graduate of the University of Minnesota. He lives in St. Paul with his wife and daughter. He has two grandsons. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts & Letters and the Episcopal Church. Heard by millions of public radio listeners, Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” captures Midwestern hearts. His charm, clever wit, and intimate observations illuminate his signature storytelling on the air and in print. The performance is sponsored in part by Decorah Bank and Trust, and net proceeds will support the Luther College Sesquicentennial Fund Endowed Scholarship.

Huebner Challenge Exceeds Expectations

[progpress title=”Oral Histories & Genealogy: Dan Huebner matched each dollar we donated! We reached $50,000 thanks to: SG Assisted Living, Mike & Diane Schmidt, Bob Solum Memorial, Georgia Rosendahl, Karen Bingham, Sara Deters, JC Nerstad, Llewellyn Storlie Family, Dr. Jim & Karen Gray, Dan & Mary Ann Skifton Thurmer, Dr. Gary & Rosaaen Olson, Mark Ellingson, Dean Ellingson, Gordon & Barb Pitel, David & Gail Judisch, Mervin Dvergsten…” goal=”50000″ current=”50000″]

Calling Performing Artists age 12-19

ARTIST REGISTRATION — Musicians and Dancers
and all other Performing Artists

All levels of Artists, ages 12-19, are encouraged to participate, from first timers to those more experienced. This evening on April 7 is about gathering, enjoying, and appreciating young people’s talents.  The audience demographic is expected to be families and youth.

Date: Thursday, April 7, 2011
Place: Spring Grove Cinema Stage on West Main Street in Spring Grove, MN
Time: 7 p.m.

Concessions will be available in the Cinema lobby.

Fee: $5.00 (non-refundable)
Make checks payable to: Giants of the Earth Heritage Center
Mail to: Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, PO Box 223, Spring Grove MN 55974

Or present at the ticket booth upon arrival.

Questions/Concerns: Contact Bill (507-498.5611) or Karen (507-498.3223, ext 0)
or email:
City ____________________________________ State ____________ Zip Code__________________
Phone _________________________________________________________________________________
Email Address________________________________________________________________________

Artists are responsible for their own set-ups. Set-up begins at 5:00 p.m. and must be completed by 6:45 p.m.   All artists must check in at the registration table IN THE LOBBY by 6:00 p.m. before setting up.

Space is flexible and can vary according to your need – please specify

Admission fee is $1.00 per person

The winner of the April 7 event will be chosen by audience applause.  A committee from the Giants Board will serve as judges.

The winner will open for one concert at Music in the Park in Spring Grove this summer.

The next Emerging Artist Event in Spring Grove is May 12

Fine & Folk Arts School & Events

Printable Booklet with registration info

For the optimal experience and updated class information please visit our Facebook events page, and sign up using that medium.

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center Facebook Events Page

Genealogy: Who Do You Think You Are?
Learn research techniques and tools from resident historian and genealogist Georgia Rosendahl and genetic genealogy specialist Johnathan Storlie, PhD.
Wednesdays from 10:00AM until 5:00PM
with focused instruction at 11:00 and 4:00
Ballard House – Free Will Donation

Hootenanny for All Ages
Young and old gather to sing together. Re-learn songs from your childhood as well as new ones from kid’s current repertoire and teach children songs you love. Learn some Norwegian folk songs too. Open to all ages. Free milk and cookies!
Wednesdays February 2 through March 9 from 3:30-4:30PM
Wednesdays September 21 through October 19 from 3:30-4:30PM
Ballard House – $1.00/child. Adults accompanied by a child are free.
Musicians: Bovee and Heil, and Rachel Storlie
Bob Bovee and Gail Heil of Spring Grove have been performing together since 1980, singing and playing American traditional music of the Southern mountains, the Midwest and the West with fiddle, guitar, harmonica, banjo, and autoharp. They love to play traditional American rural music. With a repertoire including dance tunes, ballads, cowboy songs, humorous and sentimental numbers, blues and rags, their show is spiced with stories, history, and folklore that will entertain audiences of all ages.
Rachel Storlie of Spring Grove grew up in Caledonia and graduated Luther College as a Voice major in May of 2010. She sings all the time and loves jazz, classical, art songs, and musical theatre songs. Rachel said, “I want more people to learn that life is enriched by song, and anybody can sing. These times together on Wednesdays are going to be so much fun. I can’t wait!”

Gals and Dolls Tea
This will be an excellent opportunity for children to learn or brush up on proper introductions, dining etiquette and other social graces.  This experience can build confidence and skills that make social situations easier – and bring benefits that last a lifetime.
Bring your Favorite Doll – Fancy dress is encouraged, or dress to match your doll’s costume!  There are three rest rooms at the Ballard House where one could change clothes after school.
Special Craft Finale: Volunteers will help inspire each girl to create a special card and matching envelope for her Valentine.  Girls will use stickers and decorative paper to make a one-of-a-kind card.  (No paint will spoil fancy clothes.)
February 11 right after school
Ballard House – Free to girls who make reservations in advance by calling Jill at 498.3586. Doll friends are free and one doll chair will be provided for each girl. For all adults and for girls who do not make advance reservations, the fee is $3.

Singles and Sweethearts Soiree
Guys, Be Smart for your Sweetheart! There’s a cool Valentines Party at the Ballard House, 163 West Main Street in Spring Grove. Enjoy heritage soups, hearty appetizers, and fabulous desserts like crazy cool fondue (chocolate), blotkakke (whipped cream cake), veiled farm girls from the 1870s and more. Dancing is encouraged, so dress in the period of the 1870s or the 1970s if you wish.  Music will be by Bovee and Heil and from favorite LPs of the 1970s.
February 12 beginning at 3:30 PM
Ballard House – $20 per person; Reservations by calling 563.419.0986 and save $5

Learn How to Sew a Busserull
Celebrate Syttende Mai wearing this traditional Norwegian
garment (shirt). Learn the history of the busserull. Wear it when the King and Queen come to visit.
February 24, March 3 and 10 from 4:00 to 5:30PM.
Ballard House – $15.00 plus cost of materials (estimated at $98)
Instructor: Jill Storlie
Each set of classes is limited to 10 Registrants
You may choose to bring your own sewing machine.

Beading with Megan
Learn how to design and create beautiful jewelry pieces for yourself or for gifts. No previous expertise required. If you own a kit to bead Norwegian costumes, bring it. (Kits may be ordered through Giants). Ages 14 and up.
Tuesdays, March 8, 15, 22, 29 at 7:00 PM
Pre-register by February 28.
Ballard House – $10.00 plus materials; Instructor: Megan Jones

Sew a Spring Grove Bunad
to Wear Before the King and Queen
If you don’t already own a bunad, make a utilitarian one now.
March 15, 22, 29 and April 5 and 12, 5:00 to 8:00 PM
Ballard House – $25.00 plus cost of materials (estimated at $50 for the jumper fabric, pewter closures and the apron fabric. Blouses may be made in a subsequent class). Pre-register by March 1.
Instructors: Bonnie Krogstad, Barb Solum;
Darlene Fossum–Martin will be the Design Coordinator

T-Shirt Design
Create an original design and learn how to screen print it. Inspired by your favorite activity, or family reunion, or any event you want to advertise, your T-Shirt can be a fashion statement or a commentary on some social issue, a welcome to the King and Queen, or an ad.
Ages 13-16 have first dibs.
CLASS 1: March 24, 31, April 14 and 21 from 6:30-9PM
CLASS 2: September 6, 13, 20, and 27 from 6:30-9:00 PM
Ballard House – Pre-register: 507.498.5617 by March 1
$20. plus materials;
Instructors: Jill Storlie with Karen Fried and Mary Zaffke assisting

Norwegian Folk Dancing
Have you ever heard of these dances?  The Seksmannsril, Halling, Springvals, or Reinlander? Join Norwegian folk dance instructor Rachel Storlie on a journey through time to old Norway, where you will learn the dances of our ancestors!  From the gymnastic showmanship of the Halling to the fanciful “weaving dance,” let your spirit and body become a part of the cultural cloth of Norway.  Sign up with a friend or sibling, your secret crush or life partner!  Show off your newly-acquired skills by Syttende Mai! Ages 9 and up–or contact instructor for permission.  Level: beginner-intermediate. Be prepared to dance for the King and Queen of Norway
SESSION 1: March 31, April 7, 17 from 7:00- 8:00 PM
April 17 Presentation Performance (along with students from the Two Step Class); Music by Foot-Notes; Public invited to dance following performance. $5 per couple suggested donation for the public.
SESSION 2: September 15, 22 and 29 from 7:00- 8:00 PM
Ballard House – $15 per person each session;
Instructor: Rachel Storlie and a technical assistant
September 29 Presentation Performance; Music by Foot-Notes; Public invited to dance following performance. $5 per couple suggested donation for the public.
Rachel grew up in a highly Norwegian-American household in Caledonia.  At the age of 7, she began Norwegian Folk Dance lessons with Sandra Kawatski and Betty Posaas in LaCrosse, Wi, where she learned the gamut of traditional dances over her 10 year commitment to the group.  She has performed Norwegian folk dances at numerous Sons of Norway events, private functions, and by special invitation at the grand opening of the Epcot Center’s Norwegian Pavillion at Disney World in Florida. Contact info for Rachel, e-mail: phone: 507.458.1255, address: 144 1st Ave. SW, Spring Grove, MN 55974
Music by the Foot-Notes – Beth Rotto was mentored by Fiddler Bill Sherburne of Spring Grove and Bill Musser grew up in Spring Grove

Victorian’s Secret Fashion Show and Happy Hour
Pre-quel to “The Underpants” showing at the YOOH building at 7PM.
April 1 and 2 at 6:00PM Happy Hour; 6:30PM Fashion Show
Ballard House

Circle Song
Young children, fathers, mothers and caregivers sit on the floor or in chairs set in a circle and sing songs that nurture the spirit, along with songs that are wacky and just old-fashioned fun. Ages birth and up.
Fridays, April and May at 9:30 AM
Spring Grove Assisted Living Lounge
$1 per child, parents/caregivers are free; Leader: Rachel Grippen

Two-Step Time (Cancelled)
Come singly and grab a partner, or bring one with you. Learn, or practice if you’re rusty, this basic dance step. Upon graduation on April 17, the class will be dancing to music by the Foot-Notes at the Fest Building. The Norwegian Folk Dancing Class will perform as well and this will be open to the public. After your performance, the public can join in the dancing.
April 2, 9 and 17 at 7:00 to 8:00PM
Fest Building – $15 per person; Instructor: Alan Hockersmith
Pre-register at or call 507.498.5070 by April 1 if possible.
Suggested donation for the public April 17 is $5 per couple

Singing Songs of Immigrant Families
Learn songs in Norwegian that our forebears sang in this area 150 years ago. The songs teach the stories of our past in a fun and interesting way. Learn songs to sing for the King and Queen. Take the music home with you to keep on singing. Open to all ages. Maximum 20.
April 9, 16, 23, 30 and May 7 at 10:00 AM
Ballard House – $15
Instructors: Rachel Storlie and Kathrine Myrah

Writing Your Family Stories Seminar
Stop thinking about writing your history and just do it!  This class will give you practical tips to help you find your own “voice,” and suggestions on how to organize your work.  There will always be class time to write, and the ultimate decisions on your work will be yours. You may choose to bring your writing journals or a laptop if you have one.
Tuesdays April 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 7:00 PM; Then once monthly
Ballard House – $20. Instructor Mary Deters

Knot Tying
Learn how to make knots used by sailors in square-masted longboats. The “monkey’s fist” was first used by mariners for throwing a towline to another boat or to shore. The knot is about the size of a “fist” when tied. Mariners coined the name “monkey’s fist” because of its shape. The “monkey’s fist” is an ideal knot for many climbing situations also, where a rope needs to be thrown. It also makes a great toy for cats. Open to ages 10 and up.
April 6 at 3:30 PM
Ballard House – $5; Instructor Jill Storlie

Discover ways to connect with an audience while telling a true story or a yarn. What are the elements of a fabulous story? What do you need to know to tell one? Ages 8 to adult.
Thursdays April 7, 14, 21, 28 at 6:30PM
May 5 will be the public performance
Ballard House – $30; Instructor: Richard Simon Hanson, PhD.

Swing Dance– Beyond the Chicken Dance
Learn for the first time or warm up those rusty muscles and bones to be “the couple” to watch on the dance floor. Just in time for the Military Ball, High School Prom, and Senior Prom. Ages 14 to adult. Participants must bring a partner.
April 8, 15, 22 and 29 at 7:00 PM
April 29 Graduation Dance Night – Music by DJ Joe Deschler
Ballard House – $5 per person each week
Instructor: Alan Hockersmith

Emerging Artist Musician’s Event
Open stage for aspiring talented 12-19 year-olds – Thanksgiving night will be open to people of all ages. Audience will rate performances and winners of the April and May events will “open” for Music in the Park musicians during the summer series at Viking Memorial Park.
Thursdays April 14, May 12, October 13,
and November 24 (Thanksgiving night) at 7:00 PM
Spring Grove Cinema – $5 per contestant; Pre-register by calling 507.498.5617 (so we know if you have special requests to augment your performance).
$1 Admission for audience

Cemetery Walk – Where’d You Get Your Genes?
Choose a name from a tombstone in the West End cemetery or the one next to Trinity Church, known as Pioneer Cemetery. Research the name at Giants of the Earth Heritage Center and create the character of this past resident of Spring Grove. Theater training will include voice and diction exercises, character building, and individual coaching on roleplaying.
Concurrently there will be a photography of tombstones class taught by Kathrine Myrah, photographer. Some of those photographs will be displayed at the Ballard House. Open to ages 11-adult
April 19, 26, May 3 and 10 at 4:00 PM;
October 4, 11, 18 and 25 at 4:00PM
Ballard House – $7 each class
Instructors: Bill Fried, David Storlie, Georgia Rosendahl
Public Performances at the Cemetery on May 17 at 5:00 PM at the West End and on November 1 at the Pioneer Cemetery next to Trinity Church at 4:00 PM.

Wee Masters Open Studio
An Art Exploration Class for three, four and five year old  pre-schoolers; We will look at works from Picasso to Pollock and  discuss basic terminology. We will offer a variety of media for children to create their own masterpiece to take home. Limited to 10 students.
Fridays April 22 (Good Friday) and 29 from 10 – 11:30 a.m.
Bluff Country Artists Gallery Studio – $10 per family
Instructors: Lara Mendez and Robin Bartell

Picture a Tombstone
All students should bring their own cameras. Meet at Ballard House for opening instruction before going to the West End and Pioneer Cemeteries. All images taken by each will be printed as thumbnails in 8×12 and one enlarged 8×12 will be ready for display before the Cemetery Walks in May and October.  Ages 10 and up.
April 30 and October 22 at 3:00 PM
Ballard House – Cost per student $10; Instructor: Kathrine Myrah

Ga På Tur Nature Walk
Trail traverses meadow, woods, and large overgrown rock quarry with ponds and new growth. Learn to identify trees and plants with DuWayne Oakes and others.
First Saturday each month May through October at 9:30AM
Meet at Red’s Hometown Market parking lot, south edge;
$3 per person

Print Making
Children will create original designs inspired by the scenes and images on the walls of the Ballard House walls – stamping, block printing and more to make note cards and artwork for presents, wrapping paper or to hang on the family’s fridge gallery. Kids ages 6-8.
Mondays May 2, 9, 16 and 23 from 4:00 to 5:00 PM
Ballard House – $15 plus materials; Instructor: Doris Morken

Immigrant families made their own soap using lard and ashes. Jean Custer has a home-based business of hand-made soaps. Learn how to make soaps for gifts or for yourself. 90 year-old Valborg Clauson will come and tell how she and her family made soap. Children under 13 must be accompanied by an adult.
One day soapmaking will be the old-fashioned kind and the other will use more modern methods.
May 6 and 7 at 10:00 AM
Ballard House – $5 per session, plus materials
Instructors: Sharon Wiste, Rebecca Lingen and Jean Wiste Custer

Syttende Mai Celebration
Please see website for comprehensive listing of events Giants will be hosting during the Syttende Mai celebration.
May 15 at 2:00PM – Luren Singers Concert
at Trinity Lutheran Church
May 20, 21, and 22

Fishing Apron Sewing Class for boys and girls
Make an apron to wear fishing when you go to Schech’s Mill on June 21 (see listing later in this booklet). Bring two yards of fabric or let us know if we need to get it for you. Patterns will be furnished. Learn how to use a sewing machine.
Tuesday June 7 at 9:00AM
Ballard House – $5; Pre-register by May 24.
Instructors: Marian Bunge, Geneva Tweeten and Janet Fossum

Stills, videos, architectural detail Learn composition from photographer Karen Fried. Record life in the now as it happens around you because it is tomorrow’s history. Become familiar with the standards set forth by the MN Digital Library. Bring your own photo equipment. Ages 10 to adult.
Tuesdays, June 7, 14, 21, and 28 at 7:00 PM
Ballard House. $25; Instructor: Karen Fried

Let’s Go To Country School
Pack a lunch. Please bring your journal to document your thoughts and experiences of this day.
Go for a ride and spend a day just like kids did a hundred years ago. You will learn how to respond to your teacher before you can ask or answer a question. You may have to learn how to pump water, or use an outhouse toilet.
Tuesday June 14 at 9:30 AM – Leave from Ballard House on bus
Teachers who will tell about their experiences and inform you of country school etiquette:
Lois Morken, Norma Reed and Shirley Sylling

Knitting Norwegian Winter Wear
Tuesdays, June, 14, 21, 28 and July 5 from 6:00 to 7:15PM
Ballard House – $20, plus materials as needed
See Giants’ web site for suggested materials.
Instructors: Karen Fried and Patty Storlie

Schech’s Mill Fishing Excursion
Let’s pretend it’s 1875 and you don’t have to help on the farm today. Boys will wear straw hats (which will be purchased for you if you let us know in advance). All will wear aprons (over their dresses and pants, no shorts or jeans) they made in the sewing class.
Each person will pick an immigrant name (first name only) for the day, best if you ask your parents to help you before you come. Please bring a sack lunch. We will tour the Schech’s Mill to learn how the stone-grinding wheel crushed grain. Then we will fish in the trout stream using cane poles, eat our picnic lunch, and maybe even fish some more. Please bring a journal so you can record your thoughts about the day.
June 21; Leave the Ballard House at 10:00 AM
$10 each for admission and transportation

Learn to weave baskets for different uses.
June 24, July 1 and 8 at 9:00 to 11:00 AM
Ballard House – $5 per session plus materials.
Instructor: Jill Stephenson

Kolrosing is a very old method of giving fine line surface decoration to wood. It started centuries ago with simply using the tip of ones’ belt knife to make fine decorative cuts – and then rubbing coal dust into it to bring out the pattern. Kolrosing is an old Scandinavian tradition, dating back to Viking times and was most often used to decorate utilitarian objects, such as spoons, small bowls or boxes, cups, etc. In Viking times, the designs were more geometric or “Celtic” in origin. These types of designs are very effective and popular today.
Contemporary kolrosing is not limited to traditional patterns – any design which can be drawn with a pencil can be done with a kolrosing knife, from simple borders to animal forms. Use your imagination! Ages 12 and up.
June 28 and July 5, 12, 19 at 10:00 AM
Ballard House – $15 plus materials
Instructor: Darlene Fossum-Martin

Field Trip to Clay Studio
Students of all ages will board a school bus and travel to Nate and Hallie Evans’ studio.  They will get an in-depth look at the firing, including talk about loading the kiln, why they built the kiln the way they did, etc., learn how the wood-fired kiln is stacked with objects to be fired, and learn about the chemistry of the firing process and how long it takes to fire and cool the kiln.  Nate and Hallie will explain how different spots in the kiln produce different effects, and guests can tour the workshop/showroom, etc. Please bring your journal to record your impressions.
Sunday, July 3, Leave Trinity Church at 10:15AM
$5 for the day, plus bring a sack lunch
Pre-register by June 21 so we can arrange for a bus.

Sample Locally Grown Natural Foods
Tour farms and learn what plants and animals are grown at that location, and learn answers to questions you may pose to the owners.
Some area farms may include:
Christian and Trish Myrah-lamb, grass-fed beef and eggs
Chris Blanchard – Rock Spring Farm – vegetables
Ryan Jepsen – bacon, grass-fed beef, hot dogs
George Griffin – chickens and heritage turkeys
Katie Wiste – goat cheese
At the conclusion of the tour participants will be served a meal of these locally grown natural foods.
July 9 from 10:00 AM to (approx.) 3:00 PM.
Leave from the Ballard House; $5 for cost of bus, plus cost of the meal.  Please see the web site for updated info concerning the cost of the meal. Tour Guide Jim Gray.

Sculpting Like a Master Fladager
Learn how to sculpt and carve clay into an art piece you have envisioned. You will study giants of the sculpting world, and visit the bronze sculptures in Viking Memorial Park. Please bring a journal to record your experiences in the “studio” as well as inspirations after learning about previous sculptors. Ages 12 and up.
July 25, 26, 28, 29
July 27 is a free day when students can work one-on-one with Craig
Ballard House – $20 plus materials.
Instructor: Craig Bergsgaard

Introduction to Rosemaling
Learn this traditional decorative art medium. Bring your own brushes or purchase on site. Ages 10 and up.
August 6 or 13 day-long course (see website for updated info)
Ballard House – $30 plus materials (estimated at $25)
Pre-register by July 15; Instructor: Betty Dowe

Beginning Norwegian
Learn to speak like the young people who lived here 150 years ago.The King and Queen of Norway are coming to America, and we hope that they will be persuaded to visit Spring Grove. We want all the young people here to greet them in Norwegian. Open to all ages. Youth especially are encouraged to attend. Hint: Bring a tape recorder.
Sundays August 21 – October 9 from 4:00 to 5:30 PM
Ballard House – Kathrine Myrah, coach. Kathrine grew up in Norway.

Mudpies, building with Clay
Brick factories were prevalent in Spring Grove during the 1890s-1910s. Many houses and the Trinity Church are still standing. Participants will hike to one of the sites from which clay was available for the brick works. Mix brick dust from the belfry of Trinity Church with clay which may be purchased or dug from the hillsides near Spring Grove to make your own personal bricks for a garden, paperweights or to make a gift for a Confirmand. Bricks may be taken home or donated to Giants of the Earth Heritage Center. Ages 8 and up.
Thursday, August 25 6:00 PM
Ballard House – $10 plus materials
Instructors Nate and Hallie Evans and Doug Cole

Hardangersøm Embroidery
Anyone with good eyes who can count and handle a scissors is capable of doing this form of Norwegian needlework.  Kloster blocks, eyelets, button hole, satin, and cable stitches along with woven bars are used to form squares, rectangles, triangles and diamonds.  Thread and drawn work techniques are worked on even-weave 22 count cloth to create heirloom household items. Ages high school through adult.
September 8, 15 and October 6 and 13 from 4:00 to 6:00PM
Ballard House – $20 plus the cost of class kit ($15)
(The kit contains everything except a small scissors- you will need to bring one with tips that are very pointed, narrow and sharp).
Maximum of 10 students in a class; Pre-register by September 1.
Instructor: Gale Buhr

Class of 1949 Reunion
September 10, 1:00PM at the Ballard House
Details at
Foods from other Cultures
Learn the social ways of another culture and prepare and eat food from four different cultures.
September 15 at 7:30 PM
Spring Grove Public School Home Ec Room; $5
Pre-register by September 1
Instructor: Nancy Gulbranson

Kolrosing for Kids in September
Make a bookmark or Confirmation present as well as other things.
Thursday, September 22 at 4:00PM
Instructor: Jill Storlie. Ballard House
Inspired by Headlines and Photos
Upon seeing historic photos or hearing old news stories, youth will create their own visual art or poetry or creative writing to respond to what they have seen and heard. Ages 9-12.
Tuesdays Sept 27, October 4, 11 and 18 from 3:30-4:30 PM
Ballard House – $4; Instructors: Janna Myrah, Georgia Rosendahl

Uff-Da Fest Celebration
Please see website for comprehensive listing of events Giants will be hosting during the autumn Uff-Da Fest celebration.
September 30 and October 1
Learn to Make Norwegian Foods
Learn the tricks to making great authentic Norwegian foods from members of the Sons of Norway.
October 6, 20, 27, November 3 at 6:30 PM
Ballard House – $5 per person per class Pre-register by Sept. 15.
Instructors: Members of Sons of Norway

Carving with Harley Refsal
Learn to make figures out of wood from a master woodcarver and Gold Medalist at Vesterheim, and paint them. Professor Emeritus Harley Refsal is internationally recognized in carving and is the 1996 recipient of the St. Olav Medal from the King of Norway. Begin the tradition of carving an annual ornament for your Spring Grove Christmas tree. Open to ages 10 and up.
October 8 – This course will run approximately 8 hours.
Ballard House – $80; Instructor: Harley Refsal

Hedebosøm Mini Course
A person doesn’t need to be Danish to master the simple techniques of hedebosøm.  This class is designed to teach beginners the basic stitches of this unique form of needlework that originated near Copenhagen many centuries ago.  Thread rings, buttonhole stitches and pyramids are combined to make interesting forms of needle lace that can exist independently or be used as inserts in fabric.
Thursday, October 20 and Saturday, October 29 from 9 AM to noon
Ballard House – $20 plus class kit fee of $5; Instructor: Roger Buhr
Ages: youth 7th grade and above to adult
Maximum number of students is 10; Pre-registration by October 12 is necessary so the instructor can prepare the kits

Pressing on in Clay
Each participant will create a unique-one-of-a-kind ornament out of squishy greenware clay – then complete the ornament with an application of glaze, that when fired will be rock-hard and ready for the Christmas tree! In the process you may get dirty – the clay does wash out – but don’t wear your Sunday best to class! Ages 10-Adult
Saturday, October 22 and Saturday, October 29 at 10:00 AM
Finished pieces can be picked up November 6
Ballard House – $10 plus materials
Instructor: Dawn Deines-Christensen, artist

Precious Metal Clay Sculpture (CANCELLED due to the current high cost of materials)

Scandinavian-inspired Artist Norma Refsal, certified by the Precious Metal Clay Guild, teaches a technique where participants will learn to create their own pieces from a clay and silver material. The object is then fired and the resulting silver object can be polished, soldered or enameled to finish the personal piece during this course. You will leave with your own piece! Lunch break will coincide with kiln firing process.
The PMC Guild is an educational organization founded in 1997 to promote instruction, research, teaching and exhibition of Precious Metal Clay. The Guild maintains this web site, sponsors a conference, publishes a magazine, and fosters a community of sharing and support. Membership is open to all.
Precious Metal Clay, PMC, is an exciting material developed and patented in the 1990s by Mitsubishi Materials of Japan. Microscopic particles of silver are mixed with a moist binder to create a material that has the feel and working properties of modeling clay. Using simple tools, objects are easily given shape, texture, and character. After air-drying, the objects are heated to temperatures approaching the melting point of the metal, where the particles fuse together to make a dense, fully metallic object. Fired PMC work can be polished, soldered, enameled, and enjoyed like any other silver item. PMC is available in three different versions of silver and in a 22k gold alloy
October 23 from 10 AM to 3 PM
Ballard House – $35 each; Maximum 8 participants
Instructor: Norma Refsal

Art for a Cause: Making Fleece Caps for Kids
This is a way to give back to the community while feeding your creative spirit and by giving kids a chance to improve their design eye. We will work side-by-side in an assembly line. Children will choose their own fabrics that adults cut, piece, and stitch while the child observes. The cap is presented to the child immediately upon completion.
October 25 – Spring Grove Fourth Grade Classroom
Free; Sewers Karen Gray et al

Words That Need to Be Written
Writers Gather and Share their Work, and a Joe Langland Retrospective
Recognized area writer Emilio DeGrazia, will read from his own work.  Following his presentation, audience members will each have three minutes to read their original work in an inviting, non-threatening atmosphere. DeGrazia, a long-time resident of Winona, MN, began publishing poetry and creative prose in 1973, and founded Great River Review, the state’s most enduring small press literary magazine, in 1977.  His published books include two novels, two collections of short stories, a collection of essays and most recently a memoir, Walking on Air in a Field of Greens. He and his wife Monica have co-edited two anthologies for Nodin Press of Minneapolis, Twenty-Six Minnesota Writers (1995) and Thirty-Three Minnesota Poets (2000).  Recently DeGrazia assembled Seasonings, his first collection of poetry. His secret desire is to be a poet when he grows up.
The Joe Langland Retrospective will be mounted in the space adjacent to the Writers.  Poet Joe Langland, recently deceased, is a Spring Grove native.
October 25 and November 15 at 7:00 PM
Pre-register by October 17 and November 6
$5.00 per audience member
Ballard House – $5 per audience member;
Those who read from their own work will receive a refund of their fee

Hand-Made Kiln-Fired Clay Ornaments
Play with clay to design and paint ornaments for your home for the Holiday Season.  Nate and Hallie will teach you the properties of clay, how to explore texture and use under glaze as decorative art. At least one parent with their child(ren)
Sunday, November 20 from 2-4 pm
Ballard House – $5.  per person or $20. per family
Instructors: Nate and Hallie Evans

Learn to make traditional decorations for a Christmas tree. Decorate the Ballard House tree with one and take one home for your tree. Sing carols around the tree by joining hands and rotating in concentric circles walking in opposite directions. Enjoy eating special Norwegian food treats. Experience a visit from the Julenisse and learn what Julenissen do in Norway. Take home a bag of treats.
December 10 and 11 from 1:00 until 3:00 PM
Ballard House – $2 per person

Giants of the Earth Members only Little Christmas Eve Celebration
Celebrate as the Norwegians do. Desserts, kaffe, and other treats
Thursday, December 22 at 7:00 PM. Ballard House
Tatting for Beginners
January 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM
Ballard House – Instructors: Bill Fried and Kristi Myrah Griffin

AartStravaganza – And Baby Makes Three
Sigmund Aarseth, Recipient of the 2010 King Olav Medal for painting from the Norwegian Crown paints murals on four walls of the west room in the Ballard House. Author of Painted Rooms: where traditional Scandinavian arts meet contemporary living, he is an expert in this medium. Local high school students who have art as an elective will come to the Ballard House to watch him paint and have dialogue with the artist. “And Baby Makes Three” is an event at the local cinema; date to be announced. Sigmund will paint a four foot by five foot canvas of the fourth in a series of murals while he and the audience listen to music.
Spring Grove Cinema – $5 admission

Dinosaurs, Vikings and Dragons
For boys ages three and up. More details to follow.
Date to be announced; please see website
Ballard House; Instructors: Kris Bjerke and friends

Feb 12 Valentines Party for Singles & Sweethearts

Click for Larger Image

Guys, Be Smart for your Sweetheart!

There’s a cool Valentines Party at the Ballard House, 163 West Main Street in Spring Grove for Singles and Sweethearts on Saturday, February 12 beginning at 3:30 PM.  Make reservations in advance by calling 563.419.0986 and save $5.
Enjoy heritage soups, hearty appetizers, and fabulous desserts like crazy cool fondue (chocolate), blotkakke (whipped cream cake), veiled farm girls from the 1870s and more.
Dancing is encouraged, so dress in the period of the 1870s or the 1970s if you wish.  Music will be by Bovee and Heil and from favorite LPs of the 1970s.
Sneak Peek
Also, there will be a looping film show of Oral Histories previously made with local folks who recalled some past experiences on a variety of topics for our cameras. A review of the Giants Web Site will be available as well.
People who want to continue the evening at the Cinema or the Talent Show at the local high school will be able to enjoy the early portion of the party and leave for other things.
Celebrating the Huebner Matching Gift too
Dan Huebner, retired Vice Chair and Director of the Grumman Corporation now living in Decorah, gave a $25,000 matching gift for programming to Giants, and this party also celebrates the progress made thus far in the quest of $25,000 to match the gift.
Cost is $15 per person in advance or $20 at the door.  For advance reservations checks can be made to Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, Inc. and mailed to PO Box 223 in Spring Grove 55974.  Please indicate the names of those covered by the payment.
This event is sponsored in part by the Class of 1978 and the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, Inc.

If you are making a long drive down to Spring Grove that day, you might also consider attending the Sons of Norway talk by Dr. Johnathan Storlie at 11AM in the Legion Hall on Using Genetic Testing to Find Your Ancestors.

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2011
Contact:  Karen B. Gray

Feb 11 Gals & Dolls Tea

Gals and Dolls in Spring Grove
It’s Tea Time in February
Come to experience tea at the Ballard House in Spring Grove after school on Friday, February 11 from 3:30-4:45 PM.  Served in our elegant Heritage Center’s Grand Room, this after-school 75 minute event will introduce girls of all ages to the Afternoon Tea Party experience of our ancestors.  Adding to the ambience, tea will be served using an assortment of china cups and saucers, silver service and candles.
According to a 1902 book on etiquette, “teas have become the necessities of life; they fill a place in our social communion with one another that no other form of entertainment could so well encompass.”
This will be an excellent opportunity for children to learn or brush up on proper introductions, dining etiquette and other social graces.  This experience can build confidence and skills that make social situations easier – and bring benefits that last a lifetime.
Bring your Favorite Doll
Fancy dress is encouraged, or dress to match your doll’s costume!  There are three rest rooms at the Ballard House where one could change clothes after school.
The event is free to girls who make reservations in advance by calling Jill at 498.3586. Doll friends are free and one doll chair will be provided for each girl.  For all adults and for girls who do not make advance reservations, the fee is $3
Special Craft Finale
Volunteers will help inspire each girl to create a special card and matching envelope for her Valentine.  Girls will use stickers and decorative paper to make a one-of-a-kind card.  (No paint will spoil fancy clothes.)
Volunteers may call Jill at 563-419-0986 to help set up and participate.
This delightful learning experience is hosted by Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, Inc.

For Immediate Release: January 28, 2011
Contact: Karen B. Gray

Honor Your Immigrant Ancestors

Want to honor your immigrant ancestors? Put their names prominently in gold on the beautiful walls in the Giants of the Earth Heritage Hall of Giants. The names will be placed on the walls of the side of Spring Grove in which your immigrants ancestors lived. For example, Ole Nerstad and Kjettle Garnaas lived west of Spring Grove, so their names appear on the west wall.

Giants of the Earth offers this special offer as a thank you to donors who have given over $2,500. For each $2,500 donation, one immigrant ancestor will be written in the Hall of Giants.

In addition, your immigrant will receive special attention as we complete our Giants of the Earth Heritage Center area Bygdebok, detailing the history and genealogy of the Houston, Winneshiek, Fillmore, Allamakee Co. area.

Please make your donation today by going to our right sidebar and choosing how you would like give. Giants will then contact you to learn more about the immigrant you would like to have honored in our Hall of Giants.

“He only deserves to be remembered by posterity who treasures up and preserves the history of his ancestors.” —Edmund Burke

Area Collaborative Online Bygdebok

Area Collaborative Online History Book / Online Bygdebok

Giants has a vision of creating a single family tree that includes a file for everyone who ever lived in or near Spring Grove, Minnesota. We are close to realizing that vision. That family tree will provide the organizational framework to file and index tens of thousands of community pictures, videos, and artifacts. Each ancestor associated with an image, audio file, or video will be cross-linked to that image. Since so many people are related in Houston, Winneshiek, Fillmore, & Allamakee Counties, you will find that much of your work is already done for you. Thanks to the power of computer technology, we hope that this Bygdebok will grow to well beyond our area. If you have a Mabel, Caledonia, Houston, Black Hammer, Decorah, or other area family tree that you would like us to add to our website, please send your gedcom file to Currently, we actually have four trees on our site–one Spring Grove tree which is primarily Georgia Rosendahl’s work, one Storlie tree, one Grunhovd tree, and one Tweito tree. Our trees will be merged and periodically upgraded with a more complete and pruned tree as our tree improves. Currently the media and source links will take you to our tree. In the future, we will likely be at a point where we enter our data/sources/pictures/videos directly to this site. Your donations will help speed up this process and help us to promote this among the younger generations, who we feel can benefit the most from the lessons of genealogy, but who typically cannot afford the high costs associated with

Giants Heritage Center

Georgia Rosendahl Banquet at Giants Hall

Ballard House Magically Transfigured into Giants of the Earth Heritage Center

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center members celebrated the tranformation of the large room in the Ballard House into Giants’ Hall with a great gala dinner on Oct. 30 honoring the beloved Spring Grove genealogist Georgia Rosendahl. At $65 a plate, tickets were sold out a week in advance, showing how grateful the community is to Georgia for her work and her spirit. To see more pictures click here, or to share your own, visit our Facebook photo page and add to our album. The multiuse great hall features Spring Grove history murals created by the internationally renowned artists, Sigmund Aarseth, winner of St. Olav’s medal, and Sallie de Reus, famous for creating the Norwegian room at the Epcot center. The previous weekend, Sigmund Aarseth painted 3 paintings before a completely packed Spring Grove Cinema which he then donated to Giants of the Earth for their auction on the 30th at the dinner. The 3 paintings were sold for $3,500 each to Dan Huebner, Mike & Diane Schmidt, and Jim & Karen Gray. The buyers then generously donated them back to the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center, saying that these should stay in the town of Spring Grove, where they were painted, for all to see and enjoy.    

Future work will continue to increase the ability of the Heritage Center to provide unprecedented oral history, genealogical, and relative finding services to Giants of the Earth Heritage Center members. Giants will soon be setting up a room for taping and a studio for editing our Oral Histories, which will be our senior citizens’ recollection of important events in their lives, including subjects such as farm horses, war experiences, family dynamics, humor, Christmas events, and country schools.  

We anticipate the official opening of the Heritage Center for genealogical purposes to be on Wed, February 9. Either John Storlie or Georgia Rosendahl, or both, intend to be present from 10 PM to 3 PM to assist people in their genealogical research, including genetic genealogy.  Please check our calendar for hours and events.

Hootenanny on Wednesdays at 3:30PM

Hootenanny at the Cinema.
On Wednesdays come to Hootenanny.
It begins at approximately 3:30 so school children can attend. Cost is $1.00 for each child, and also $1.00 for adults not accompanied by a child.
Adults with a child get in free.
Bob Bovee and Gail Heil, and Rachel Grippen Storlie are the instructors. This is the first offering of our Giants Folk School. It will be held at the Giants of the Earth Heritage Center in the Ballard House on Main Street in Spring Grove.

Giants Receives Giant Grants

Giants of the Earth Heritage Center has just been notified that it has been rewarded two giant grants.

The first grant is a pledge to match the first $25,000 given by donors to Giants Heritage by Feb 14, 2011, to fund heritage programming (more info later).

The second grant, from Google, is designed to help promote our website and our mission of resurrecting multigenerational consciousness for purposes of promoting good community stewardship. The grant provides $330/day in free advertising for our website for an unlimited time. That translates into $10,000/month; $120,000 per year; or $1.2 million over the next ten years. This will be a lot of Google Adwords advertising. So far, every dollar we have spent has drawn two new people to our website. We currently average $1 per day in Adwords advertising, and we have grown tremendously using that, It is hard to comprehend how fast we can grow if we increase our advertising by 330 fold. We already have over 1,000 people a day looking at our online Giants of the Earth Heritage Center web and Facebook pages. Using this grant money, we plan on unleashing a ceaseless hailstorm of online advertising, beginning near the end of January that should draw 660 NEW people per day to our online pages, or over 240,000 new people per year in addition to the number of visitors that the site would have without advertising. Considering that these people will also talk to their friends and families, Giants of the Earth Heritage Center’s website popularity is likely to grow even faster.

With this kind of advertising we can really mobilize a critical mass of people to accomplish our mission of preserving, interpreting, and passing down every family’s unique heritage.  By getting more people and families to reflect on the heritage they pass on to generations, we hope to empower people to live their lives with greater purpose, decency, creativity, and “seventh-generational” thinking.

We hope to accomplish these goals without overtaxing people or businesses. Because many hands make light work,  we want to encourage as many people as possible to participate, in whatever way they can, by rewarding our supporters at least two fold every time they support our mission in some measurable way. Further, we can reach out to other non profit historical societies and help them to accomplish our common mission by working together. As our Giants of the Earth Heritage Center database grows, so too will our ability to provide complete genealogical and genetic genealogy services. People have been talking for years about preserving video stories of our seniors before they pass away, but they never figured out how to do it efficiently and retain a personal, hometown, touch. Giants is moving quickly to provide both oral history services and a family friendly database to view these in.

When it comes to passing down heritage, we don’t want to just preach to the choir. We hope to excite people who haven’t in the past been all that interested in genealogy, for whatever reasons. Because genealogy empowers a people with a greater sense of purpose, we want to provide at least some of our services for free to young people who are making big decisions. Young families, and particularly most of our youth, who are perhaps in the most need of a personal history, won’t have access to their grandparents and great grandparents stories unless we preserve them now. We can preserve and pass down the wisdom and experiences of grandparents for generations to come. When a community promotes wisdom, good judgment, and virtue it can be truly said that a rising tide lifts all boats.

We will provide meaningful services to members and publicly honor our supporters

Hopefully, Giants can introduce a new word into the vocabulary of all nonprofits: incentivization. Many people have heard of the “tragedy of the commons”, which basically illustrates that systems which don’t reward people or groups for existential/ontological stewardship, but rely on guilt to induce such stewardship, will fail. Guilting people into community stewardship may work in the short run, but such stewardship is rarely sustainable, because people see egotistic free riders enjoying the fruits of their altruistic volunteer labor and they become resentful. Although they might feel entitled to such resentment, it is in practice rarely productive. Hopefully, we can avoid all that kind of negativity from the outset, if possible, and this grant (together with another large programming-related grant which will be announced soon), makes it possible for us to reward our volunteers and supporters and leave freeriders and “naysayers” realizing it is time to rethink their modus operandi. By providing meaningful services to our members and honoring our individual, family, and business supporters we will ensure our continued success. As they say, nothing succeeds like success.

We want to reward people and businesses for doing the right thing and thinking about the greater good. Spring Grove is already talked about in “high places” (that is currently classified, but will be announced soon), and we can now really put Spring Grove on the map by being leaders in genetic ancestry. We can start to thank our volunteeers, our members,  and our business supporters on the grand scale they deserve for their vision, their generosity, and their committment by recognizing them on the website. Also, our website’s great popularity will encourage people to use our eBay Giving Works application, which is on our site, because by donating as little as 10% of their eBay proceeds to Giants, they will receive unprecedented exposure that will help them sell their products. Further, for those items that have historical value, our site will help eBay sellers document each item’s individual connection with history by linking it into with the people who used it our genealogical database. Thus, our site will greatly increase the item’s value by documenting its authenticity and identifying others who may have an historical interest in collecting that item.

Please join Giants today. We intend to honor, serve, and reward our members, volunteers, and supporters, who, as good and faithful servants, deserve to be listed among the Giants of the Earth.

Barneløpet -Kids’/Family Ski/Walk Loop

Barneløpet Children’s Ski/Walk Event at Decorah Prairie
DECORAH, Iowa — Help your kids shake off their cabin fever at the twelfth annual Barneløpet Saturday, February 5, at 10:00 a.m. The event is sponsored by Sons of Norway Valdres Lodge #503 in Decorah, Iowa, Sons of Norway Heimbygda Lodge #376 in Lanesboro, Minnesota, and Sons of Norway Valheim Lodge #364 in Spring Grove, Minnesota, along with Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum.
    Barneløpet is a non-competitive ski or walk event for children ages 3-13. It is open to girls and boys of all skill levels and is a great event for the entire family to get out, get involved, and enjoy winter.
   The event will take place at the Decorah Community Prairie, which is accessed by car at the south end of Ohio Street, near Aase Haugen Nursing Homes. The trail will be in a loop, with the start and finish at the site of the butterfly garden. Participants will have three different loops to choose from. Along with the main loop for skiing, there will be a shorter one for younger skiers and a specific loop for walkers.
   In the absence of snow, children will walk the course. “The only type of weather that will keep us from holding the event is an ice storm or temperatures that are 0 degrees or below,” said organizer Darlene Fossum-Martin. If in doubt about weather conditions, listen to local radio stations for cancellations.
   The terrain is flat and the trail is groomed. Caregivers can walk or ski the course with the children, or may choose to stand along the course and cheer. 
   Participants register the day of the event between 9:40 and 10:00 a.m. After completing the course, participants are welcome to hot chocolate and cookies. Special thanks to Sons of Norway members for providing the cookies.
   Everyone’s a winner! Each registered participant will receive a printed bib for the event and a medal. This event is modeled after the American Birkebeiner race held in Hayward, Wisconsin.
   The entry fee is $3, and participants must provide their own skis. There are a limited number of children’s skis for rent at Decorah Bicycles, and you can call them to make reservations. For more information about the Barneløpet event contact Vesterheim at (563) 382-9681.

Becky Idstrom
Editorial Assistant, Publications Office
563-382-9681, ext. 115
Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
523 W. Water St.
P.O. Box 379
Decorah, IA 52101

Norsk Wood Carving Classes

We are happy to pass along the following announcement from Giants of the Earth King Olav member Phillip Odden and his wife, and Harley Refsal, of Luther College, concerning their Wood Carving Classes in 2011 in Baronett, WI.

Keep in mind also that Giants of the Earth is planning on offering Fine Art/Folk Art classes in Spring Grove in the future, and we hope to include a woodcarving class. We’ll post more info on that in about a month. Below is the info about the classes in Baronett.

Else and Phillip are offering three, five day classes in 2011.
Harley Refsal of Decorah, IA will teach a weekend class in his popular flat plane style figure carving at our studio in September.

Spring class:
April 13th – 17th, Wednesday through Sunday class by Phillip and Else

Fall Classes:
September 19th – 23rd, class by Phillip and Else.

September 23rd, 24th, and 25th, weekend Figure Carving Class by Harley Refsal.
Winter Class: December 5th – 9th, class by Phillip and Else.

Where: Classes will be held at the Norsk Wood Works carving studio, which is located at Phillip and Else’s farmstead on county road H west of Barronett, Wisconsin.
Cost: Tuition for each 5 day class offered by Else and Phillip will be $500.00

 Tuition for Harley Refsal’s figure carving class will be $200.00 

Half of tuition is due with registration.
Class descriptions:
Else and Phillip studied carving in Norway and are the authors of Treskjærerkunsten, the art of wood carving, and Lærebok I Treskjæring, the official woodcarving book for the school system in Norway. Under their business name, Norsk Wood Works, Ltd., they produce carvings and furniture which are delivered to buyers all over the US and in foreign countries.
Each class will cover sharpening, wood selection, design and pattern selection, carving techniques, and finishing. Students can choose from a wide selection of carving patterns in acanthus, rococo, or dragon styles.
The class will include people just beginning to carve as well as experienced carvers. Carving tools, wood and patterns will be available from Norsk Wood Works. Be sure to bring any tools you already have.
Each student will receive a good deal of one to one instruction. You will be able to complete at least one reasonable project during the week you are in class. Class size is limited to 12 students. The class starts at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 5:00 pm.
Harley Refsal is a professor at Luther College, Decorah, Iowa and is the author of several figure carving and pattern books. Harley is well known for his figure carving and pleasant teaching style. He teaches several classes each year in this country as well as in Scandinavia. Tools, patterns, books, and carving blanks may be purchased from Harley at the class. Class size is limited to 15. This class runs Friday evening, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Plan to spend a enjoyable time in rural Wisconsin carving with a wonderful group of people in a pleasant atmosphere. We do our best to accommodate your individual needs. A simple lunch will be served each day at noon.
Norsk Wood Works Wood Carving Classes
 Registration 2011One half of the tuition must be paid at the time of registration. This is refundable up to 6 weeks prior to class start. The remainder is due the day the class starts.Send check or money order payable to:

 Norsk Wood Works Ltd.

20337 County Road H, 
Barronett, WI 54813
Home Phone:Work Phone:E-mail 
Please circle the class you plan to attend:
April 13th to 17th. Relief-carving class with Phillip & Else. 
Fee $500.00.                                         Due with registration: $250.00

September 19th – 23th, Relief-carving class with Phillip & Else. 
Fee $500.00.                                  Due with registration: $250.00

September 23, 24 and 25. Weekend figure-carving class with Harley Refsal. 
Fee $200.00                Due with registration: $100.00

December 5th – 9th, Class by Phillip and Else. 
Fee $500.00.                                                            Due with registration: $250.00

Over the 20 years we have been teaching carving techniques we have had the pleasure to see many people develop a skill for self-expression. Many have found a relaxing activity that fills hours of meaningful work. Woodcarving engages both the mind and the body. Relatives and friends of these carvers receive great joy in the carvings they produce.
Plan to spend an enjoyable time in rural Wisconsin, carving with a wonderful group of people in a pleasant atmosphere.     We do our best to accommodate your individual needs.
Phillip Odden and Else Bigton
 Phone:715 468 2780  email:

Norwegian Christmas Tree Fest Dec 12

Giants of the Earth will be hosting a Christmas party for children and families Sunday December 12th from 1-3pm at the Ballard House on Main Street in Spring Grove, Minnesota. We will be creating ornaments and caroling around the tree like they do in Norway. The kids can make ornaments to put on the tree and to take home. We will be making traditional Norwegian ornaments like; paper chain links, paper baskets, woven paper baskets and straw hearts.
There will be refreshments and we should be visited by a real Norwegian Jule Nisse.
There is a suggested free will offering of $2 per child.

Speaker from Norway Nov 18th

Norwegian Roar Moe speaks at Spring Grove Cinema Nov 18 at 715 pm v2 poster

Roar Moe, teacher, historian, sailor .. the last husmann?

November 18th, Thursday night at 7:15 Spring Grove Cinema shares with the public his concerns and successes – Here in SE MINN, NE IA, SW WI—Spring Grove and Norwegian Ridge, Minnesota
As technology develops, we ignore the traditional skills and practical problem-solving abilities of our earlier and immigrant ancestors?  Do we always buy a new one or call someone to fix everything? Are we in front of a tv too often?
Follow the trail from the past of Norway’s fishing and farming coast through a story in pictures of self-sufficiency and practical skills without the engine or computer.  Discuss where this story is heading and what it means to students attending Roar Moe`s Litle Færøy Coastal Academy.

See the attached flier and please forward this invitation to friends.  Please post in any local bulletin boards.  Students will enjoy this engaging presentation as well.  Invite them to dinner in Spring Grove (Ivy Grove, Doc`s Blue Moose, The Skyline) before the program and free coffee and goodies afterwards with Sons of Norway Valheim Lodge at Giants of the Earth Heritage Center next to the Cinema at the Ballard House.  You can see the new renovation and Sigmund Årseth’s artistic depiction of the immigration from Norway and early days of Spring Grove and Norwegian Ridge.

SEE YOU THERE 7:15 November 18th.. NEXT THURSDAY!  Meet Roar after the program at The Ballard House.

3d Heritage Center

Preliminary work on wall of Giants Hall of Heritage Center

First floor of Heritage Center with dinner tables


3d rendering of Hall with dinner tables


The 3d mockup of the 1st floor of the Heritage Center is nearly completed, although I will still have to change the wall decor and make some other changes. This 3d model will allow us to try out different arrangements of furniture, exhibits, studio equipment, etc. in silico prior to actually making the physical changes. Above you can see one possible way of arranging the tables for our now sold out Gourmet Dinner honoring Georgia Rosendahl and the completion of Giants Hall of the Heritage Center on Saturday, October 30.