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Norwegian Settlers Monument - detail at dusk.
Norwegian Settlers Monument - detail at dusk.

Viking Memorial

Field review by the editors.

Norway, Illinois

In 1834, Cleng Peerson from Norway founded -- Norway. In Illinois. Later called "The Mother Settlement," it was the first permanent camp of Norwegians in the Midwest, and a future departure point for subsequent Norsemen and -women -- the great great great great grandsons and granddaughters of Vikings -- who would go on to conquer land in far-away places like Iowa.

On the 100th anniversary of America's Norway, five commemorative plaques were mounted on rocks and slabs outside the Peerson family cemetery. They're still there, like Viking runestones, offering mute testimony to the countless Olafs and Astrids that passed through on their way to someplace else. During our visit we noted that someone had spray painted on the back of one slab: "Odin Lives."

Also see: Vikings in America

Viking Memorial

Norwegian Settlers State Memorial

Hwy 71, Norway, IL
Norwegian Settlers State Memorial. Southwest of town on Hwy 71. I-80 exit 93, then drive northeast eight miles on Hwy 71. On the west side.
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Nearby Offbeat Places

Agricultural Crash MonumentAgricultural Crash Monument, Norway, IL - 1 mi.
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In the region:
Fabyan Old Dutch Windmill, Geneva, IL - 34 mi.

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