MINOT — In a new, weekly series that will be posted every Sunday morning, KX News will share with you the reasons why you should come to the Magic City.
KX will feature many things — from activities, people and food, to stores, history, schools and more — all here in Minot.
So, in the first installment of Why Not Minot?, we feature the Scandinavian Heritage Park and all the history you can see that makes Minot, Minot.
The Leif Eiriksson statue was donated to the park from the Icelandic Heritage Society in 1994.
Eiriksson was an Icelandic explorer who was known as “Leif the Lucky.” According to the Vinland Saga of Iceland, he is believed to be the first European to step ashore in America in about the year 1000, calling it “Vinland.”
In 1925, President Calvin Coolidge announced to a Minnesota crowd that Eiriksson had been the first European to discover America, according to the History Channel.
Lief Erikson Day is celebrated annually on Oct. 9.
Long-time Minot resident and Norwegian-born Casper Oimoen has a statue that stands in the park today.
Oimoen was an olympian who was known for his ski-jumping skills. He was a member of the 1932 U.S. Olympic Ski Team and captained the team for the 1936 Winter Olympics.
He was also named to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1963.
Another statue that stands in the park is of the “Father of Modern Skiing,” Sondre Norheim.
Born in Morgedal in Norway, he was elected to the U.S. National Ski Hall of Fame in 1974.
Half of the funds for his statue were raised in Minot’s sister city in Norway in Skien. Norheim’s statue was dedicated during the 1987 Norsk Høstfest.
The Dala Horse is the most recognized, and national, symbol of Sweden. The Dala Horse at the park was built in honor of the Swedish immigrant ancestors who came to America.
The statue was dedicated Oct. 10, 2000.
The park is also home to the Minot Ward County Centennial Time Capsule.
The time capsule was placed June 29, 1989, in observance of North Dakota’s 100th birthday.
It will officially open Nov. 24, 2036.
And last, but certainly not least, to be featured, is the Gol Stave Church Museum.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held Oct. 12, 1999, to reveal the full-size replica of the Gol Stave Church. It was dedicated Oct. 10, 2000, to the immigrants from Scandinavia who moved to North America to make new homes.
And no worries, there’s still plenty more to see:
Like the waterfall, flag display, Sigdal House, Nordic Pavilion Picnic Shelter, restored Danish Windmill and even more to get a taste of Minot and the history behind us.