Annual Meeting, Worship and Tours of Newly Renovated Heritage Park Set for Sunday

The Annual Meeting of the Nordland Heritage Foundation, the organization that brought iconic examples of Great Plains settlement to campus, including the Beaver Creek Lutheran Church, the Berdahl/Rolvaag House, the Eggers School House and the Rolvaag Writing Cabin, where author Ole Rolvaag penned his book "Giants in the Earth," will be held on Sunday, June 10.

The meeting marks the 35th anniversary since ground was broken for the Berdahl/Rolvaag House to re-locate to campus and celebrates the completion of various restoration and landscaping projects at Heritage Park. The Park and its facilities will be open for visitation and tours each Sunday from 2-4 p.m. from June 10 through Aug. 26. For tour information, call 605.274.4007.

Heritage Park Tours

2-4 p.m. Sundays through Aug. 26

For tour information, call 605.274.4007.

The meeting will include:

  • A worship service beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Beaver Creek Church, located on the corner of 33rd St. and Prairie Ave. A series of history panels that tell and illustrate the history of the Church, designed by Leroy Iseminger and prepared by Rev. Ray Engh, are available for viewing in the Church's basement.
  • Following worship, a brunch and the annual meeting of the foundation will begin at Noon in the 3-in-1 room inside Augustana's Morrison Commons. Paul Rolvaag, grandson of Ole Rolvaag, will be a guest speaker.

Reservations for the Annual Meeting and Brunch are required. Cost for the brunch is $10. Contact James Wehde at 605.359.0123.

About Heritage Park

  • The Beaver Creek Lutheran Church is one of the oldest churches established in Lincoln County. It was completed in 1892 in LaValley Township east of Sioux Falls. The architectural style is Vernacular Gothic Revival, which attempts to combine European attributes with the prairie experience. The church is made almost entirely of wood, the main building material available on the prairie at the time. As the rural population declined, the church's congregation voted to close its doors in 1978. It was then offered to Augustana and was moved to its present location in Heritage Park in 1985.
  • The Berdahl-Rolvaag House was named for the Berdahl family who built it and for author Ole Rolvaag, whose novels "Giants in the Earth," "Peder Victorious," and "Their Fathers' God" tell the stories of Norwegian immigrants who came to the area in the 1870s. Rolvaag, a 1901 graduate of the Augustana Academy in Canton, married Jennie Berdahl while she was living in this house with her parents. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
  • The Eggers School House is an example of early South Dakota educational facilities. The school was built in 1909 on an acre of land near Renner Corner. After serving as the daily social gathering place for an average of 15 students for nearly 50 years, only four children were enrolled in 1957. The school eventually closed and was purchased and preserved by James Wehde, a former student at the school.
  • The Rolvaag Writing Cabin, in which the best-selling "Giants," called a "moving narrative of pioneer hardship and heroism," by Atlantic Monthly, was written between September and October 1923, was a gift from the Rolvaag family. It was moved from its original home in northern Minnesota with help and planning from the U.S. Forest Service.

Heritage Park