Emigration from Norway

Many of those who left knew that they would never return. If they left an old grandmother behind, it was pretty certain that they would never see her again, and if they left younger siblings, they could not expect to see them grow up, get married, and have families. They would never again get to see their village, their church, their fjord, their mountains,… their country. And before them lay the great unknown America that might bring them both happiness and pain. 


Many packed their belongings in something they called an "America trunk," or in a large ship’s chest. In it, they had to make room for everything they needed for the long trip and the first weeks or months in the new country. Today, we all own many, many more things than people did in those days. Kids don’t just have one or two toys each, but perhaps many more than they need. What do you think? Could you be happy with just one or two special things of your own? If you had to travel very far and could bring only one of your toys along, what would it be?

The emigrants had to pack clothes and food, but often they also brought along a few things that could remind them of their old country and their family, for example, photographs – if they had any, handmade things, a Norwegian Bible, or a few toys for the kids.



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Western Telemark in pictures and on film
See what Western Telemark looks like from a helicopter, or take a virtual trip along the Telemark Canal with the canal boat MS Henrik Ibsen.
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