Northeast North Dakota is the home of a large Icelandic Settlement and many historic sites. The Icelandic pioneers first came to this area in 1878. These are a few area highlights.
Our annual Icelandic Heritage Celebration is called the 2nd of August or the Deuce of August.
This year, we will celebrate the 112th celebration on July 29, 30, and 31. We host the State ATV, Pickup, and Tractor Pull this weekend.
Our new Community Center is nearing completion and the Grand Opening will be held July 30. The Genealogy Center managed by George Freeman and me, with technological connections back to Hálfdan Helgason in Iceland will be assisting visitors for the 8th year. The Cousins Across the Ocean project is a huge success. We find living relatives for visiting Icelanders and it is very rewarding!
Read more about the celebration, Borg Home, Souvenirs, Events, Genealogy, Vikur Luncheon, and much more, plus information on the area Icelandic Churches can be viewed on the website: http://www.august2nd.com/
The oldest Icelandic Church in North America is called Vikur. The church and the cemetery are located on Main Street in Mountain. Very few cemeteries are found on Main Street! Pastor Páll Þorláksson is known as “The Father of the Icelandic Settlement in Dakota” and is buried beside the Vikur Church.
In 2003, one of our historic Icelandic churches burned to the ground in an accidental fire. Now, at the historic Thingvalla Church site, a tall bronze Christus statue, a native prairie garden, and 6 storyboard panels tell the story of the Icelandic pioneers and the church. One panel and a monument tell the story of K.N. Júliús, the poet who could turn tears into laughter. The website to learn more about this site is http://www.thingvalla.org/
Hallson Church is now located at the Icelandic State Park. Camping, boating, swimming, and fishing are popular activities. Also at the park is the Pioneer Heritage Center with restored historic buildings including an early Icelandic homestead. A 200-acre nature preserve is open to the public.
Across the highway is the Pembina County Historical Society with many historic buildings, machinery, a library, and a museum.
The poet, Stefán G. Stefánsson and his family lived in the Gardar area for almost 10 years. His father, Guðmundur and his four-year-old son, Jón, died and are buried at the Gardar Cemetery. A monument is located at the original Dakota Homestead of Stefán G. Stefánsson.
We invite you to come. Come and see all that the ND Icelandic settlements and the descendants of the Icelandic pioneers have to offer. We enjoy your friendship and are so very proud of our Icelandic heritage.