In 1854 the first settlers from Norway and Sweden arrived in the area. By 1858, the village of Norseland had formed, with the Norwegians gathering for church east of town and the Swedes to the west. That year, the Burke brothers opened a general store which came to include a post office and a barber shop. This store was later owned and operated by the Emil Swenson Family, until its closing in 2007. In 1872 Bernt Peterson started a blacksmith shop, soon sold to Anton Olson and son Ole Anthony. In 1896 the Norseland Cooperative Creamery was organized. By the 1930s there would be an implement dealer, auto dealer, feed mill, café, auto repair shop, locker plant, baseball team, band and tavern. Though economic and demographic changes of the 20th century gradually forced the closing of several businesses, Norseland remains the symbolic heart of the community.