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Key Number: HS 81400
Site Name: Iverson Farmstead
Other Names:
Site Type: 0501 - Farming and Ranching: Farm or Ranch House


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
45 21 4

Address: N/A
Number: N/A
Street: N/A
Avenue: N/A
Near Town: New Norway


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape:
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure:
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes:
Exterior: N/A
Interior: N/A
Environment: Area: 60.214 ha/148.91 ac
Condition: N/A
Alterations: N/A


Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Started
Usage: Usage Date:

Owner: Owner Date:
Silver Creek Golf Course Ltd.

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: Gullik Iverson was one of the first settlers in the New Norway area.  He arrived in Alberta from Minnesota in June 1893, along with Evan Olstad a fellow Nowegian.  After selecting homesteads, they were joined by their families and other Norwegian settlers soon followed.  The area is still known for this concentration of Scandinavian settlers.  The remaining buildings from Iverson’s homestead include an early log house with tongue and groove cladding and separate summer kitchen.  It is impossible to date the house or kitchen exactly, but they may have been constructed as early as the late 1890s.  Both reflect the building techniques and styles brought to Alberta by Norwegian settlers from Minnesota and the Dakotas and exhibit a high degree of craftsmanship.
(Historical Significance)
The dates 1896 to 1914 are considered to be those of the major settlement period in Alberta’s history.   The 1880s and early 1890s, though, witnessed a trickle of immigrants moving into Alberta.   Utah Mormons selected the drylands of southern Alberta, Icelanders from Dakota Territory sought land in west central Alberta in the late 1880s, significant numbers of other Scandinavians -   Norwegians and Swedes – emigrated from the land of their first choice, the United States, to Canada and Alberta.
Amongst the first wave of Norwegians to move from the U.S. was the Gullick Iverson family.   Members of a Norwegian settlement at Cross Lake, Minnesota, the Iversons, like most of their countrymen followed the advice of their scouts and pulled up stakes in June 1893 to relocated in central Alberta, north of the Red Deer River.   They were among the first wave of Scandinavians to settle in what became a large, rambling bloc east of the Calgary-Edmonton rail line of the C.P.R.    Ethnically and religiously cohesive, the Scandinavian settlement retained much of its character until World War II.   When branch rail lines were built after 1900, the Iversons found themselves within two miles of the Camrose-Calgary branch line and the village of New Norway.
The Iversons settled on SE22 T45 R21 W4 that summer.   The size and configuration of the first home is unknown, but it was almost assuredly a well-constructed log building with dove tail corner joins, a technique and skill that the Norwegians brought with them to North America.   The 1893 home was probably what is now either the living room or kitchen with the rest of the main floor being added within a few years of settlement; it was quite common for early homes either to be replaced or to expand over a period of years according to need and the family’s financial state.   The second storey would have been an even later addition.

*     *     *
Shortly upon the completion of the Calgary & Edmonton Railway in 1891, lands off the rail line were surveyed and soon began to fill up with settlers.   Because so much land was thrown open to homesteading at once, group settlement was encouraged, whereby members of a particular ethnic or religious group could file for land in the vicinity of each other.   This would result in the ethnic mosaic which spread across much of the arable rural areas of Alberta.   One of the largest of these ethnic pockets was the Norwegian Lutheran settlement which centered around Bardo, near Camrose.   Most settlers here were actually first and second generation Norwegian immigrants from Minnesota, who began to arrive in the early 1890’s.   Many of these people had not been satisfied with the quality of the land in Minnesota, and, with the heavy advertising undertaken in St. Paul by both the Department of the Interior and the Canadian Pacific Railway, the “Last Best West” of western Canada seemed an ideal alternative, especially since the latitude here was roughly the same as their former homes in Norway.
Among the first Norwegian immigrants from Minnesota were Gullick Iverson, his wife and three children, who filed for SE22 TP45 R21 W5 in 1893.   This was two miles north of what would become the community of New Norway.   They came with acquaintances named Olstad and Berget from Cross Lake, Minnesota, and, before long, other Norwegian settlers were in the area, coming directly from Norway as well as the north mid-western United States.   In 1905, George Iverson, Gullick’s son, filed for a homestead on NW22, thereby expanding the family farm, while his two sisters married neighborhood farmers.   They all became heavily involved in community affairs, thereby entrenching their Norwegian ethnicity as well as tenets of their Lutheran faith.
When he proved up his homestead in ---, Gullick Iverson described the family dwelling as “---.“   Sometime thereafter, he constructed a larger log house for his family, one which is still standing.   Described as typical in design of other Norwegian log houses in the north mid-western United States, it has become a community landmark, and is structural evidence of Norwegian settlement in the area.   In 1993, it was designated a Registered Historic Resource, and is now being considered a Provincial one.

The historical significance of the Iverson Homestead lies in its provision of structural evidence of the settlement of the district around New Norway by Norwegian immigrants from Minnesota, beginning in the early 1890’s.   Though the date of construction cannot be pinpointed, this was probably during the very early 20 th century, making it probably the earliest structure in the district.

AGE:   Probably built in the very early 1900’s.
CONTEXT:    Common role of regional significance, few representatives.
EVENT/ACTIVITY:    Nothing extraordinary appears to have happened there, although at least one other early settler recalled having stayed there, so it may have been something of a stopping place at one time, although this would have ceased with the founding of New Norway in the early 20 th century.
PERSONAL/INSTITUTIONAL:    Iversons were active community members, along with almost everyone else in the district.   The local history states that their only son, George, never married, but reference is made to one Edgar Iverson owning the quarter-section in recent years.
REMARKS :    One of the few structural reminders of the founding of the settlement around New Norway.


Status: Status Date:

Designation Status: Designation Date:
Register: N/A
Record Information: Record Information Date:
Tatiana Gilev 2003/05/26


Alberta Register of Historic Places:
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