2015 7-lag Stevne in La CrosseLandings Lag (lag is Norwegian for group) is an organization for descendants of immigrants from Land, and this year they will be coordinating a stevne, or in English, a conference, at the La Crosse center in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, July 9-12.  The event, themed “Gateway to the Prairie”, features classes on immigration history and Norwegian-American culture, genealogy research assistance and entertainment.  La Crosse is an ideal location to hold a gathering like the 7-Lag Stevne because of the rich Norwegian heritage that has been preserved here in this corner of Wisconsin and the bordering states of Iowa and Minnesota.  Members of the 7-lag have ancestors from Sigdal, Numedal, Telemark, Toten, Ringerike-Drammen, Hadeland and Land, and there will be genealogy resources and assistance available for people with ancestors from these areas in Norway.  However, there will be an abundance of classes presented which will be of interest to any Norwegian whose ancestors settled the prairie.

The stevne will be held July 9-12.  Our stevne kicks off with our opening session at 9:00 AM Thursday, featuring Karen V. Hansen, a sociology professor at Brandeis University in Boston, as our keynote speaker.  Ms. Hansen is the author of Encounter on the Great Plains, and will speak on the issues of co-existence between settlers and Native Americans. Following the opening session, the genealogy room will be open, classes will be held and there will be a tour to Norskedalen and Country Coon Prairie Church.   

On Saturday, in addition to the classes and genealogy, we will offer a tour to Vesterheim Museum in Decorah, and for a relaxing evening, there will be a riverboat dinner cruise.  A closing session on Sunday will feature Gracia Grindal, retired theologian from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, as our featured speaker.  This session will emphasize the importance of the prairie churches in the lives of the immigrants.  

Our theme, “Gateway to the Prairie” will feature several speakers addressing the topic of Norwegian immigrant settlers and settlements on the prairies of the Upper Midwest. Among our presenters are Betty Bergland, professor of history at University of Wisconsin River Falls and co-author of Norwegian American Women: Migration, Communities, and Identities; Candace Simar, author of the Abercrombie Trail series of historical fiction, which depicts life on the prairie in the 1860s and 70s; representatives from Vesterheim, NAHA and the Giants in the Earth Center in Spring Grove; Westby native Blaine Hedberg; plus some of our experts in online genealogy will help you become better acquainted with online genealogy sites. The class schedule will cover our prairie theme and general topics of Norwegian immigration plus Norwegian arts and crafts. Crafts to be demonstrated include rosemaling, ski making, and baking.  

Attending a stevne is a great way to learn about your immigrant ancestors. http://www.7lagstevne.com