Segments in this Video

Norwegian Immigrants' Journey: Wisconsin to Minnesota (04:25)


A descendant of a Norwegian immigrant shares the story of her grandfather's experiences as he moved from Stoughton, WI, to Fertile, MN, a journey made by many Norwegian immigrants.

Immigrants' Journey: Wisconsin to Minnesota (03:25)

A Norwegian American drives along the trail her grandfather and others took to Minnesota--a journey of 8 weeks by foot and covered wagon. The pioneers had plenty of water and a relatively safe, but arduous, journey.

Immigrants' Journey: Wisconsin to Minnesota (04:59)

Excerpts from Norwegian diaries and archival photos provide images of the journey from Wisconsin to Minnesota. There was a high incidence of suicide among both male and female Norwegian immigrants.

Norwegian Settlements in Minnesota (03:06)

This segment focuses on the Norwegian pioneers who settled Fertile, MN. At first, the log cabins were scattered and many settlers sank into despair and loneliness, particularly the women who were left alone for long periods of time.

Norwegian Pioneers: Hardships, Harsh Winters, and Indians (04:17)

Excerpts from Norwegian settlers' diaries, archival photos, and personal testimony reveal what life was like for the Minnesota pioneers. Harsh winters, Indians, and fear dominated much of their lives.

Norwegian Pioneers Claim the Land (03:30)

Norwegians, driven by a desire to "do better," move westward. A photo montage shows the results of Norwegian labor in building log and sod houses and taming the land.

Norwegian Family Reunion (03:50)

This segment features the Venden reunion in Wisconsin where among the gravestones of their ancestors, they sing the Norwegian national anthem and remember their pioneer roots.

Norwegian Farmers in America (02:48)

Thousands of tourists and Norwegian Americans visit Little Norway, a pioneer farm of the 1860s. Nearly 50% of Norwegian settlers worked on farms, where their solid work ethic made them excellent farmers.

Americanization of Norwegian Immigrants (03:50)

Norwegian immigrants often met with local resistance as they settled in towns populated by more seasoned immigrants. They worked hard to integrate and Americanize themselves into the new consumer culture.

Norwegian Americans: Visiting the Homeland (05:03)

Norwegian Americans prepare for a sentimental journey back to Norway with their daughter.

Pilgrimage to Norway (04:42)

Today, Norway has one of the world's highest standard of living--very different from conditions that forced Norwegians to migrate to America. American Norwegians visit the land of their ancestors and find old friends.

Norwegian-American Heritage (03:14)

Visiting the family home, Norwegian Americans chance upon distant relatives. For the younger generation, it may not be as important to continue the Norwegian heritage in America but rather to integrate into one culture.

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Go West, Young Man

Part of the Series : Destination America
DVD Price: $79.95
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Around 1850, the vast fertile lands of the Midwest attracted nearly a million farmers from Norway, where land was scarce and often unfit to farm. Their life as pioneers was hard, but their descendants have prospered. (52 minutes)

Length: 52 minutes

Item#: BVL3371

ISBN: 978-1-4213-7858-9

Copyright date: ©1976

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

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Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA and Canada.