Imagine my surprise when, while surfing the web, I stumbled across
dedicated to a statue of Rollo found in, of all places, Fargo, North
Dakota. It turns out that the City of Rouen, during the Norman Millennium
celebrations of 911, decided to create two copies of the Rollo statue
at Rouen, one of which they sent to Rollo's putative birthplace of Ålesund,
Norway, and the other to Fargo. The Fargo statue was dedicated in July,
1912; Rouen could not send a representative, but did provide a vellum
diploma, in a silk and leather case, done in the style of a 15th-century
Norman document, commemorating the gift.
I knew then that
I had to learn more about this statue. These pages will tell the tale of Rollo
statue; presentation book; the dedication; information plaque.
larger images, click on each picture.)
I first learned of Rollo of Fargo through Fargo-History.com,
run by John Caron; John subsequently gave me information about the statue's orientation
and setting that helped in planning my journey to Fargo. Before my trip, Stephen
Hubbard of the Fargo Public Library
sent me some newspaper articles concerning the dedication of the statue in 1912.
Upon arriving in Fargo, I visited the Sons of Norway Kringen
Lodge #25, where Leola Olson, Lois Monson, and Eilif Hovi were determined
to live up to the stereotype of Norwegian hospitality. In the lodge library, they
showed me several binders of documents concerning the statue, and allowed me to
photocopy a number of newspaper articles and to photograph the presentation book
from the City of Rouen. Their friendliness and pleasant company turned what I
had anticipated would be a long day of driving to spend a few minutes photographing
the statue into a most enjoyable trip.
Skodje has created a 5" pewter replica of the Rollo statue, which he is selling
for $95. For further information, contact William.