Norway, Illinois

Norway is an unincorporated community in Mission Township, LaSalle County, Illinois. Located along the Fox River, the community was the site of an early Norwegian-American settlement. Today it is the site of the State of Illinois Norwegian Settlers Memorial.[2]

Norway, Illinois
Hauge Lutheran Church in Norway
Norway is located in Illinois
Location in Illinois
Norway is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 41°27′56″N 88°39′52″W / 41.46556°N 88.66444°W / 41.46556; -88.66444Coordinates: 41°27′56″N 88°39′52″W / 41.46556°N 88.66444°W / 41.46556; -88.66444
CountryUnited States
640 ft (200 m)
Time zoneUTC-6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)815 & 779


Norway received its name from the nearby rural community of settlers from Norway in the area known as the Fox River Settlement. The village was the center of Norwegian immigration dating to 1834. The settlers had in large part relocated from the Kendall Settlement in New York State which had been founded earlier by pioneers who arrived from Norway during 1825 aboard the Restauration. Norwegian-American pioneer leader Cleng Peerson founded this second settlement in the Fox River Valley of Illinois.[3][4][5][6]

Norway does not have a local government, fire district, school district, local policing or postal services. Most local government services are provided by the nearby community of Sheridan. Postal addresses are designated as either being in Sheridan or Serena both of which are no more than six miles away.


Norway and the neighboring community of Newark represent the predominating Scandinavian heritage of the far northeast corner of LaSalle County, part of Kendall County, and far southeast corner of DeKalb County. Norway was also an early site of missionary work by Mormons, which laid the groundwork for later Mormon missions in Scandinavia.[7]

Just south of Norway, there is a memorial dedicated to Norwegian immigrants who settled in the area, with a small park, a cemetery, and a plaque from King Olav V. This memorial commemorates the Fox River Settlement, the site of the first permanent Norwegian-American immigrant settlement in the Midwest.[8]

Norsk Museum is located 9 miles northeast of Ottawa, Illinois on highway 71. The museum is located in a former Norwegian Lutheran Church which served as a house of worship from 1848 until 1918. Norsk Museum is dedicated to the Scandinavian settlers who founded the area around Norway, Illinois in the 1800s.[9]

Norway is deeply connected to its past, as most evidently shown at the Norway Store. The store has sat on the same spot for over a century, and the Borchsenius family, which started the store, still continues to own the store, as well as a nursery and a few other pieces of land in the immediate area.[10]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Norway, Illinois
  2. ^ 1834 Settlement at Norway, Illinois Archived 2009-03-27 at the Wayback Machine (Illinois History)
  3. ^ The Kendall Settlement Survived (Richard L. Canuteson. Norwegian-American Historical Association. Volume 27: Page 243)
  4. ^ History of LaSalle County, Illinois (Michael Cyprian O'Byron. Chicago: Lewis Pullishing Company. 1924)
  5. ^ The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration (1821-1840); Its Causes and Results (Rasmus B. Anderson, Madison, Wisconsin: 1895)
  6. ^ Strand, A. E. "The "Sloopers" Who Came to Illinois". A History of the Norwegians in Illinois (Chicago: John Anderson Publishing Co.). Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  7. ^ Homeward to Zion: The Mormon Migration from Scandinavia (William Mulder. Univ of Minnesota Press; 2000)
  8. ^ Norwegian Settlers Memorial Archived 2009-03-27 at the Wayback Machine (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency)
  9. ^ "Norsk Museum". The Norwegian National League of Chicagoland. Retrieved March 15, 2016.
  10. ^ Tom Sistak (January 6, 2012). "Family Tradition: Norway Store has been part of the Borchsenius family since 1848". Retrieved March 15, 2016.

External linksEdit