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About us

The Western Norwegian Emigration Centre is an open-air museum of buildings built by Norwegian-Americans in the USA and later moved to Norway. Visit the Emigrant Church, the school, the doctor's office, a residential house, town hall and prison. We tell the story of the great Norwegian emigration to America, and about emigration, immigration, and cultural encounters in our time.

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A new perspective on today’s migration

The Western Norwegian Emigration Centre is a real Norwegian-American prairie village, which has been moved from the USA to Sletta on Radøy. All the buildings were erected by Norwegian-Americans in Minnesota and Dakota between 1860 and 1920, where they were in use for many years. Then times changed, and towards the end of the 20th century the buildings stood empty. Then they were given as gifts back to Norway, dismantled and shipped across the Atlantic. 

At the Emigration Centre, visitors learn about what it was like for Norwegian emigrants to America, and we draw lines to cultural encounters in our own time. Work immigrants, refugees and other immigrants who come to Norway, bring with them their own culture, and also adapt to our society. 

The buildings at Sletta were dismantled by volunteers and shipped across the sea, before being rebuilt here, by the volunteers and founders of the museum. In 2010, The Museum Centre in Hordaland (MUHO) took over the management of the centre, aiming to show and tell stories about what people left behind in Norway, and what they foundin America. Even if they only brought a few things with them in their suitcases, their Norwegian culture was always with them. 

In addition to guided tours during the summer season, we arrange a variety of events throughout the year, mainly focused on emigration to America. 

 

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    Elizabeth's Jail and Town Hall from Elizabeth, Minnesota now houses temporary exhibitions. Lena Eikeland Kutschera
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    The Underwood Pioneer House: built in 1869 in Underwood, Otter Tail County, Minnesota. Lena Eikeland Kutschera
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    Dr. J.C. Serkland's Medical Office: originally built in Rothsay, Wilkin County, Minnesota. Lena Eikeland Kutschera
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    Marboe Township School (1893): a typical one-room schoolhouse from Sargent County, North Dakota. Lena Eikeland Kutschera

Emigranten Café and Shop

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In the basement of the Emigrant Church there is a simple café where you can relax with a cup of coffee and a bite to eat. The museum shop presents a selection of local gifts and souvenirs made in wool and other quality materials.

Administration

Museumssenteret i Hordaland
Vestnorsk utvandringssenter 
Salhusvegen 203
5107 Salhus
Norway