These stories can also be heard Sunday mornings around 10 am on WILD 102’s “Look Back in Time” program. Each week’s radio story will be posted here on our website.
Weekly radio stories are researched, compiled, and read by Sheila Winstead, RCHS Board Member.
Last week, I read about Mrs. Hildahl, a Norwegian immigrant to Roseau County who made a name for herself around the country creating dolls from yarn and sealing wax and beads, illustrating folk stories from Norway. This week, another newspaper article tells about Mrs. Hildahl sharing her art with others. This was 80 years ago, in the December 2, 1943 issue of Roseau Times-Region.
At the regular meeting of the Library Board held Tuesday it was decided to sponsor the Library Tea Wednesday, December 8th in Municipal Auditorium. It will begin at 8 o’clock in the evening.
The Library Board has something special to offer at this event. Mrs. Hild Naess Hildahl will give a talk on Norway as she saw it before the war. Her talk will also include stories of Norse Folklore, illustrated by characters made by her of yarn and sealing wax. Mrs. Hildahl has given this talk at Baudette, at the Bemidji State Teachers College, in Thief River Falls, and at Concordia College, Moorhead.
It is a fine treat for this community, and this program should be given to a packed auditorium. Mrs. Hildahl has received acclaim for her art and her presentation even in the Twin City dailies.
“This program marks the fifth anniversary of the Library. A free-will offering will be received for buying books at this program. Light refreshments will be served in the Library following the program,” stated Mrs. A. H. Fikkan, Library chairman.
Two weeks later, the program was described as very interesting in this article.
People of the Roseau community are still talking about the pleasant evening spent at the Municipal Auditorium last Wednesday evening when the American Legion Auxiliary celebrated the fifth anniversary of the Library.
Mrs. A. H. Fikkan, librarian chairman, gave a few words of welcome after which Wenona Ann Dahlquist and Martha Marie Row played a piano duet, “Norwegian Dance,” by Grieg and Mrs. R. S. Rice sang two Norwegian solos. Miss Anna Heyerdahl, librarian, gave a very fine report on the growth of the library during the past five years and commended the Auxiliary upon its accomplishment for community service. She then presented Mrs. Hild Naess Hildahl, the speaker of the evening.
Mrs. Hildahl took her hearers on an imaginary trip to the Norway of six years ago. Young and old sat enrapt while she in her inimitable way told of the various customs, superstitions, and folklore of her native country. She sang the old Norwegian songs and illustrated her points with the tiny artistic figures of her original handicraft. She took her hearers through the various seasons of the year and told of the sports and good times corresponding to each season and pictured Norway as the home of truly happy and lighthearted people.
She had her hearers attend a country wedding and saw the indispensable fiddler who is an important personage at a village wedding. His fiddle is a work of art and was made by Mrs. Hildahl’s husband. The skis, sleds and other miniature wooden pieces have been carved by him also and are a great addition to the figures. The children were especially pleased with Mrs. Hildahl’s story of the trolls, and her three-headed troll is a horror to behold, although Mrs. Hildahl said he is not to be feared because he is a coward at heart.
It is impossible to mention all the figures but each and every one is a work of art. People crowded around the tables displaying the beautiful , colored miniatures both before and after the program, and as they looked upon the various groups they felt as Mrs. Hildahl does that the Norway of happier days must and will return.
Rose Marie Alley Nesse sang two solos after which the crowd was treated to cookies, coffee and tea in the library. A centerpiece of Mrs. Hildahl’s miniatures graced the table at which Mrs. Spofford and Mrs. Hollister were hostesses.
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