The little church on the prairie built by Norwegian Lutherans who settled around Brampton, N.D., now rests half a world away on the home soil of its founders.
Painstakingly dismantled, shipped across the Atlantic and reassembled in Norway, the 1908 church is the star attraction of the Western Norway Emigration Center, a "memorial in honor of Norwegian emigrants and their descendants" in Sletta, a town on Radoy Island just off Bergen.
This spells a happy ending for Brampton Lutheran Church, which closed its doors in 1995. Rather than sell the property as real estate, its council gave the building and furnishings to the Norwegians.
A dozen volunteers came from Norway in 1996 to dismantle the church with help from Americans, including members of "Craftsmen for Christ." The church was shipped by rail to Houston and then by sea to Norway.
The church opened last year as a memorial and tourist attraction. It's still a house of God for special services. The emigration center's plan also includes a log cabin from Underwood, Minn., a schoolhouse from Forman, N.D., and a pioneer teacher's house from Brampton.
For more information contact, Western Norway Emigration Center, N-5127 Sletta, Norway; phone (+47) 56372000.
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