Giants in the Earth Country Historical

Giants in the Earth Country Historical (HM1WSV)

Location: Elk Point, SD 57025 Union County
Country: United States of America

N 42° 46.543', W 96° 41.263'

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Ole Edvart Rolvaag's First Home in America, 1896-1898

When the famous Norwegian-American novelist Rolvaag (1876-1931) came to America, he worked on the 200-acre farm of Severt Eidem (NE quarter, Section 12, and 40 acres, Section 1, Brule Township), two miles north of this corner. Rolvaag's first book The Third Life of Per Smevik (1912) and later novels reflect this experience. Pure Gold is set in a neighborhood like that around Elk Point, and events in the three Beret Holm novels — Giants in the Earth, Peder Victorious, and Their Father's God — are owing to Rolvaag's first two years in South Dakota. The Indian trail of Giants is like a trail nearby, and a hill reminiscent of the Indian hill where Beret sat is to be found a quarter mile north of the farmhouse.

In the fall of 1898 Rolvaag enrolled at Augustana Academy in Canton. He returned to the Elk Point area frequently, for Eldem's wedding in September 1898 and for summer farm work. After graduation in 1901 his home was to be Northfield, Minnesota, for the rest of his life. At Augustana Rolvaag met Jennie Berdahl and in 1908 married her. At her father's house near Garretson he heard many of the stories of pioneering that made their way into Giants and his other novels.

In 1978 the Nordland Heritage Foundation moved the Berdahl house to Augustana College in Sioux Falls as
a memorial to Rolvaag and the Norwegian Pioneers of the Sioux River Valley.
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Year Placed1981
Placed ByNordland Heritage Foundation, S.D. Department of Transportation, and the S.D. State Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Monday, February 6th, 2017 at 9:02am PST -08:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)14T E 689158 N 4738501
Decimal Degrees42.77571667, -96.68771667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 42° 46.543', W 96° 41.263'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds42° 46' 32.58" N, 96° 41' 15.78" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)605
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near SD-50, Elk Point SD 57025, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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