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The Icelandic Emigration Journey - From Turfhouses to Prairie Homesteads

Updated: Jun 22

Update: Find the associated book on Amazon:


Emigration from Iceland began much later than in other countries. The Icelandic pioneers were proud of their heritage. They passed down traditions, stories, sagas, culture, and heritage through the generations. This book has many links to relevant and important articles, videos, presentations, and websites to tell the story of the Icelandic pioneers and the settlements of Minnesota and North Dakota.


This book includes a short history of Iceland and the Viking-Age settlement and photos of people, places, maps, and more. Learn about the most common emigration route, pioneer life, Icelandic churches in the settlements, and what the descendants of the Icelandic pioneers do today to keep their heritage alive for the next generations. There are descriptions of the journey from Iceland to America, ships, ports, and much more.

~ Icelandic Roots


by Romayne Kilde, Nordic Culture Clubs Scandinavian Festival


The Nordic Culture Clubs and the Fargo-Moorhead Icelandic Klub hosted the 2023 Scandinavian Festival with many special events, including several events associated with a special public art exhibition designed and curated by Sunna Olafson Furstenau for Icelandic Roots.


“The Icelandic Emigration Journey - From Turfhouses to Prairie Homesteads”

The Exhibition Grand Opening Reception

Wine provided by Björnson Vineyards and Matthiasson Winery Presentation and Art Walk with the artist Sunna Olafson Furstenau

June 20, 2023

4:00 – 7:00 pm


Rourke Art Gallery + Museum 521 Main Ave. Moorhead, Minnesota


The exhibit features fourteen large panels depicting photographs and drawings with a narrative telling the story of how Icelandic emigrants journeyed to a new life in Dakota and Minnesota. An accompanying booklet will be available at The Rourke and on the Icelandic Roots website beginning June 20th.


Iceland is the Land of Fire and Ice. Our story spans centuries from the Viking settlement in 870 to the modern day. Learn more about the mass exodus to North America during the emigration years of 1870-1914 and the Icelanders in Minnesota and North Dakota.

The exhibition will be on display for one month. Admission is free of charge, and all are welcome. Thank you to Sunna, Jeff Furstenau, and Icelandic Roots for sponsoring this art exhibition.


The rest of the weekend schedule is available on the website. The hours are 10-5 pm both days at the Hjemkomst Center and Viking Park in Moorhead, Minnesota. For more information on the Nordic Culture Clubs Scandinavian Festival, contact Romayne Kilde, Nordic Culture Clubs Festival and Event Coordinator at (218) 593-8412 or by email.

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