"Wisconsin's Largest (and only) Stave Church!" Little Norway by yooperprof

Little Norway Travel Guide: 1 reviews and 4 photos

Norwegian Wood!

I'm a little surprised that there's a VT page for Little Norway. It's not a town or village, but instead is a small traditional Norwegian farmstead about 20 miles west of Madison. In a pleasant little wooded valley, an assortment of farm buildings and traditional cottages preserve the feel of early pioneer life in rural Wisconsin.

The building of greatest interest is the Stave Church which was constructed for the 1900 World's Fair in Chicago. This was at the time of the great Norwegian national revival, and people took enormous pride in showcasing to the world Norwegian craftsmanship. The wood for the church was assembled and prepared in Norway, then shipped across the ocean where the final assembly took place on the Fairgrounds (near the present-day Musuem of Science and Industry). At the conclusion of Fair, the Church was moved around to a number of different locations around the Midwest, before it ended up here in Little Norway in the 1930s.

Sod on the roof - provides good insulation!

Do you expect to see trolls, too?

Well, they have them in the gift shop.

A little bit of the old country. Interestingly, most of the woods around here were "cleared" by the early 1900s. But in the 1920s and 30s, major efforts were made at reforestation, the result being that today Little Norway is nestled in the midst of what looks to substantial second growth forest. There are photographs here that show the hillsides barren - used for grazing - when the farmstead was in its early years.

  • Last visit to Little Norway: Jun 2006
  • Intro Updated Aug 29, 2006
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