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Butte celebrates Norwegian heritage on Constitution Day

Posted at 4:44 PM, May 17, 2023

BUTTE — I got some krumkake, a wooden shoe, and a troll—it must be the 17th of May. That’s right, it’s Norwegian Independence Day and the Daughters of Norway in Butte are celebrating the town’s proud Norwegian culture and its contribution to the Mining City.

“Oh, it’s very important to me, of course, because my dad was born over there and so it’s important to me and I’m so proud to always remember it and honor it,” said 98-year-old Dorothy Anne Honeychurch of Butte.

The Butte Daughters of Norway celebrated Norway’s Constitution Day by hosting an event in the rotunda of the Butte Courthouse. They served Norwegian pastries and raised the flag. Many wore the traditional Norwegian bunad. Each dress has a design that's unique to a region of Norway.

Like many Scandinavians, Norwegians came to Butte to find work in the mines. Norwegians often found work at tie hacks in the timber industry.

“Well, they would chop down the trees and hew them into timbers to shore up the mines,” said Daughters of Norway member Debbie Sorensen.

The people of Scandinavia proved to be resilient enough to work in the Mining City.

“A hardiness, you think about those northern climates and what they had to do in order to survive and to make the best of it. Just that good work ethic and people who came to encourage others to strike out and try something new,” said Sorensen.