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ROAD TRIPPIN' Decorah: Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum
January 18, 2016 —
DECORAH, IA (CBS2/FOX28) - You cant mention the town of Decorah without images of a rich Norwegian history immediately coming to mind. In the peak years of the immigration from Europe, starting in 1825, thousands of Norwegian-Americans found their way to the Midwest to start a new life in the new land. Today, more than 50,000 artifacts and photographs in the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum are dedicated to preserving that heritage and reminding all of us about the courage and struggle. The Vesterheim includes amazing examples of woodcarving and the talents brought to America. There is handcrafted furniture fit for kings and queens that shows the most intricate swirls and latticework imaginable. The history of knitting and weaving in the Norwegian culture is also on display. There are tapestries dating back some 400 years and sweaters that actually began as underwear, not intended as the colorful, warm statement we know today, but as wool to be worn under your clothes. But amid all the treasures in the museum, everyone is drawn by the magnet that is The Trade Wind. The sleek sailing vessel rises high towards the open ceiling as it tells the nautical tale of Norwegian immigrants risking everything on the Atlantic to find a better life for their families. You can almost imagine them clinging to the deck in rough seas as they said goodbye to relatives at home, knowing they would probably never see them again. Outside the museum youll find buildings that bring realism to the experience. They range from the modest homes many left behind in Norway to the mills they worked in after arriving in Iowa. Its all woven together here to inspire visitors of all cultures to celebrate their own immigrant story. Come along as we explore one of the most culturally intriguing stops in the state as Matt Hammill takes you ROAD TRIPPIN to The Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, Iowa !