Sandbar Delays Arrival in Land of Opportunity

Emigrate register lists entire Norwegian family as they arrive in land of opportunity.

| Good Old Days

An extensive family history begins with a trip to the land of opportunity. The family left for America on July 14, 1870, as mentioned in the Emigrate Register No.4, folio 347. Included were: Hendrick Klemetson Greaker, 45; Berthe Arvesdtr, 38; Kristen, 16; Marta, 14; Andreas, 12; Hedvind, 7; Bernhard, 5; and Gulbrand, 2. They paid 340 daler, 60 ort in old Norwegian money – about 700 kroner today – before leaving from Tune, Norway. En route to America, the ship struck a sandbar off Ireland, where it remained for two weeks while cargo was removed to release the vessel. After five weeks at sea, they landed in the United States on August 10, 1870. They first went to Fairbault, Minnesota, on the steamboat Hero, for which they paid 100 daler.

The following excerpt is from a Fargo Forum article:

Living in Fairbault, Minnesota, Hendrick, who was a shoemaker, followed his trade there. One sunny April day in 1871 he took off his leather apron, laid down his shoe-last and awl, and with his two eldest sons, Kristen and Andreas, Hendrick started west on foot to find a home.

They carried necessities in packs on their backs: two army muskets, blankets, a frying pan, salt, coffee and other needful things. They slept wherever night found them, sometimes under trees beside a lake, sometimes in a settler's stable. They shot rabbits, hen-partridges and prairie chickens and cooked them over campfires. The way was long, but they couldn't get lost because they didn't know where they were going.

It was a rugged trip as they frequently had to hew their way through woods and brush. Late in May, they came to where the Red River divided Fargo and Moorhead. There was a shack on the Minnesota side of the river and a log house, owned by a half-breed Indian, on the Dakota side. A Hudson Bay ferry brought the travelers across.

On they trudged, through water that practically covered the prairie. Hendrick arrived at the Sheyenne River site one and one-half miles southwest of Horace, where he put down the pack on his back. "We'll stay here," he said, after digging in the ground with a spade. "This will be fine land in a little while."

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