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Hofsós Emigration Center

Updated: Jul 10, 2020

The village of Hofsós is one of the oldest trading centers in Iceland and now it is an important place to preserve the emigration story. According to the website, the ”Icelandic Emigration Center was founded in 1996 and dedicated to commemorate Icelandic emigrants to North America and to promote connections between their descendants and the people of Iceland. The Center now offers four exhibits in three separate buildings, as well as a genealogical information service, library facilities, and more. The exhibitions combine text, photographs, and tableaux to illustrate the conditions in Iceland that influenced the decision to emigrate, the journey to the ‘New World’, and the new way of life they encountered.”

Hofsós Emigration center

Visitors can consult with staff about their Icelandic ancestors and tour the exhibits which are in Icelandic and English. My favorite exhibit is called “Prairies Wide and Free.” It tells the story of the Icelanders that emigrated to North Dakota – my home state. Last year, I was able to volunteer at this exhibit and it was a great experience to give tours to the visitors and to help take care of the North Dakota exhibit. The Glaumbær Folk Museum and the Icelandic Communities Association of North Dakota both worked to provide this exhibit.

The “Silent Flashes” exhibit is by the historian and genealogist, Nelson Gerrard. He collects photographs and he has put together this amazing collection of Icelandic photographs from all over North America and Iceland.

Silent Flashes

The “Stephansson Study” is an exhibit in the Old Co-op. Here, you can learn about the Stephan G. Stephansson. The exhibit was prepared by the Glaumbær Museum along with Viðar Hreinsson. Viðar will be the ‘International Visits Program’ speaker to North America this year through the Icelandic National League of North America. Here is a photo of Viðar at my presentation in Reykjavík.

Viðar Hreinsson and Sunna Pam Furstenau

The exhibit, “New Land, New Life,” tells the story of the many Icelanders who immigrated to the New World. You can see maps and charts and learn about the climate. This exhibit was also prepared by the Glaumbær Folk Museum. The Drangey Exhibit is in Pakkhúsið, which is a warehouse built in 1777 during the time of the trading monopoly. The wood is covered in tar and sits stately by the sea as one of the oldest timber houses in Iceland.

Hofsós Pakkhús og North Dakota Churches photo


The Facebook page is HERE.

Great food can be found at the restaurant, Sólvík, that overlooks the harbor. They make the best desserts, too. There are several guest houses in town for rent and the area is filled with great things to see and do.

Valgeir and Gunna have a flag factory in Hofsós and they are busy every day sewing special flags for people all around the world. The river Hofsá is a beautiful river that flows into the sea between the emigration buildings.


I love to see the basalt columns —- they say that is where the elves live.


The swimming pool in Hofsós is a must for everyone that visits.

Hosfós Pool

There are so many things to see and do in this area of the Skagafjörður – – go for a hike, climb up Drangey, go to Hólar and Glambær, ride horses, and much more. This is a place that is a must for any visitor traveling through the area.

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