Imagine my surprise when, while surfing the web, I stumbled across a site 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 of Fargo.

The statue; presentation book; the dedication; information plaque.

(For larger images, click on each picture.)

The Norman statue

The Fargo statue


Acknowledgements: 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.

Rollo statue miniature

William Skodje has created a 5" pewter replica of the Rollo statue, which he is selling for $95. For further information, contact William.