On to Minnesota!

Martin and Kamilla with Wagon on Farm

Like many Norwegian families, they moved to Minnesota where the farm land was reasonably priced, the climate was similar to their homeland, and there was a large Norwegian American population. They started their trip by train to Duluth where the purchased supplies including a horse and buggy and other bare essentials.

They drove their buggy to their farm, Sunny Hill, in Normanna Township &endash; 15 miles outside of Duluth. It was near a lake in a densely wooded area that had to be cleared by hand.

Their first "home" on the farm was a root cellar and that sufficed until they were able to build a small house. There were wagonloads of rock that need to be moved before tilling the land. Their crops consisted of potatoes, rutabagas, and carrots. Martin supplied meat to their diet by hunting. In the winter he hunted at night, laying in the snow waiting for elk but always on the alert for wolves . Money was probably short because Kamilla often remarked that one pound of coffee would last a year by re-boiling the old grounds and adding just a pinch of fresh coffee to the pot. Additionally, at some time during the family's stay in Minnesota, Martin broke horses.

Martin found part time work in Duluth as a finish carpenter on the "new" seven story Duluth Hotel. He soon became known for his carpentry and found more work in the building trade . Martin would spend the week in Duluth, living in a rooming house, and come home on weekends.

Martin, Kamilla and first 4 children

Ironically, the city girl, Kamilla, tended their farm, Sunny Hill, while the farming boy, Martin, was in the city. Their first three children were girls, Helen (b. 16 August 1912), Margaret (b. 17 April 1914), Mildred (b. 19 April 1916). Their first son, Norman, was born the 19 September 1917. After three girls, Martin was very happy when Norman was born because he really wanted a son.

Martin driving first car

Esther (b. 23 October 1919)  At the time that Helen was born, the family used a horse and wagon but by the time that Esther was little, they had their first car, a Model - T. In the autumn of 1918 there was a very dangerous forest fire . Martin put his children in a large hole in the ground and put a wagon over the hole to protect them. (Norman remembers thinking that it was funny.) During the family's time at Sunny Hill Farm (probably 1919), Martin was one of the two township supervisors for Normanna Township in Duluth County. (This township had a chairman, 2 supervisors, a clerk, an assessor, and a treasurer. Note: it is not known if this was an elected or appointed position, nor how long he held this position.) Tante Karoline, Kamilla's sister, visited at least once when the family lived here. The picture of her, during her visit shows Esther as a baby.

While Martin was in the Duluth area , he was granted American Citizenship.

Palmer (b. 24 March 1921) was also born at Sunny Hill farm with the help of neighbors and midwives.


See other images of from Duluth. Note: One interesting custom arose sometime during this immigration period. Many people had their photos taken and printed on postcards, which were mailed to their families in Europe. Several of these photos exist in the Woldhagen family, some of which were mailed to family in Norway.

Duluth Story:

Sunny Hill Schultz Lake City of Duluth The Trip to Florida

Woldhagen Family Site

Norway's Story

Kamilla's Story

Martin's Story

Family Images


Duluth area

Tampa area

San Antonio

This page was last updated by Carolynne White April 28,2008


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