Celebration of Restoration

Restoration and Celebration in Spring Grove October 30
Giants of the Earth Heritage Center in Spring Grove has been renovating a historic building at 163 West Main and is ready to reveal all the changes accomplished to date on Saturday, October 30 beginning at 6:45PM.
A gala celebration with valet parking, a string quartet from Luther College, and a gourmet meal lend themselves well to a program honoring Georgia Rosendahl, local historian and genealogist.   Georgia is a very modest, retired dairy farmer who now is able to work just as hard on an avocation, researching genealogy and recording history.
Her father Oscar Kroshus, and her neighbor, Percival Narveson were the historians who first kindled Georgia’s passion of learning who people’s families were.  They kept newspaper accounts of people in the area, and Georgia too started pasting obituaries and articles into scrapbooks.
Later when the computer age came along, Georgia shifted to storing information electronically and has worn the letters off four keyboards, “filled up” those computers with so much genealogical info that it made them crash.  She currently has 40,059 names in her latest working computer. People call and E-mail her on a regular basis from around this country and the world seeking information about people in their family trees who have connections to Spring Grove.  It is surprising how much information she is able to recall without looking data up in the computer.  It seems she uses the technology only to verify what she remembers, and to be able to share it in a usable format.  One of her greatest pleasures is to hear or read expressions of joy and gratitude from those she assists.
She maintains a very large library as well, and some years ago purchased a huge bookcase from a Main Street business in Spring Grove, and then built an office large enough to accommodate the bookcase.  Some of the reference books belonged to Percival Narveson, and the rest she has collected at farm auctions and estate sales, and by purchasing new genealogical resource books as they are printed.
Authors such as Kathy Stokker and Chad Muller seek out Georgia as a resource when they write books about Spring Grove’s people, history and traditions.
Georgia is a very active member of the Houston County Historical Society’s Board of Directors and also the Sons of Norway Lodge in Spring Grove.  She has gone around the Midwest presenting programs on Ola and Per who were created by her father-in-law, Peter J. Rosendahl.  Ola and Per is the longest continually running comic strip in the United States.
Giants of the Earth recognizes what a national treasure Georgia is, and she will be the first Honoree of this organization at a dinner in the newly restored room of the Ballard House on October 30. 
The room has been painted this past week by a painter from Norway, Sigmund Aarseth who received the King Olav Medal this year from the Crown, and his American collaborator, Sallie Haugen DeReus, a Gold Medalist rosemaler in the annual Vesterheim competition.  The walls around the room show their interpretation of the areas of Norway from which immigrants of this area came, the bunads of those areas, and historic aspects of life in Spring Grove through time.
For more information concerning the festivities of October 30, please call 498.5617, or read more on the Aart Stravaganza post.

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