We came from Numedal in Norway to Alberta in 1927, my father and mother, Anders and Anne Ãdegaarden; my nephew Trygve, thirteen years old; my wife, Befit and I with our two boys Kaare, four and a half years, and Harald, two and a half years old. My brother, Einar, and I came to Edmonton in April and were sent out from the old immigration hall to cut brush for a farmer between Tofield and Kingman. We had to have twenty-five dollars for that month, after that we could do as we pleased. We worked for $1.50 a day. We received $2.00 per day in the haying season and $3.00 for harvest.
In September, father, mother and Trygve came on the train from Halifax to Kitsctoy and went from there to Norway Valley. My wife and two boys went on to Edmonton. I met them at the railway station and we went down to where I was working. Late in the fall we went to Norway Valley. The ferry at Lea Park did not operate, too much ice in the river, but we got across in a row boat. It was eight or nine miles to Norway Valley so I left Befit and the boys at the ferry shack with Mrs. Maas, and went up the hill to find someone that could take us there. I was lucky enough to meet Mr. Horness and his brother-in-law, Oscar Oie, in an old Model T Ford car. Oscar knew where the place was, so they took us up there.
That winter all the Odegaardens stayed at the old homestead of A. Lunden. Later on Dad bought the place. It was S.W. 22-55-3-W4th. We bought a team of horses and a new sleigh and took our poplar logs for a house and barn. Einar and I bought a C.P.R. quarter, the N.E. 21-55-3-W4th. The price was $12.00 an acre. If there had been a market for stones, we would have paid for the land in just a few years.
There were many Norwegians in Norway Valley in those early years, but it gradually thinned out. It was a very fine neighborhood there in Norway Valley. Dad and mother went back to Norway in June 1936, Einar and Trygve went to Vancouver the same summer. They worked around there for about a year and then went back to Norway for good. In the summer of 1946 we gave the land back to the C.P.R. and moved back to Dad's old place. Then Befit and I took a trip back to Norway. It had been a hard time there during the German occupation. Einar had been active in the underground work. He said the Germans had confiscated all the guns so they had to use traps and snares to catch crows; the young ones were good eating, but the old ones were very tough. We waited and waited for a chance to get back to Canada. Finally we got a place on the Swedish boat, Drothningholm. We arrived back in Norway Valley only two days short of one year. Kaare, the oldest boy, had taken care of the farm while we were away, so everything was in fine shape.
"Bon Voyage" to the Odegaardens, off to Norway in 1947.
Back: Tom Belsheim, Clarence Vinge, Barney Johre, Sam Barstad, Benny Benson, Ole Anderson, Dick Midgley, Art Parenteau, Bernt Glambeck, Ted Thorson, Knut Odegaarden, Even Lier, Beret Odegaarden, Ole Enkenhus, Knut Rinde, John Glambeck, Ivor Busterud, George Yarmuch holding Gordon
Row 2: Jules, Annie and Betty Jean Parenteau, Helen Brocke, Nellie Parenteau, Helene Midgley, Neva Vinge, Doris Barstad, Agnes Sanders, Edna Kinshella, Mildred Anderson, Avis Vinge, Mary Yarmuch, Gudrun Barstad, Inga Benson, Eldri Enkenhus, Doris Pynten, Mrs. Lars Belsheim Sr., Mary Sanders, Oscar Gunderson, Gus Johanson
Row 3: Delores Parenteau, Shirley Gunderson, Marion Kinshella, Della Vinge, Thorhild Lofthaug, Joyce and Bernard Vinge, Leif Pynten, Gus Brocke, Sondre Bars tad, Norman Gunderson, Kristopher Lofthaug
Front: Ole Pynten, Albert Yarmuch, Lawrence and Kenny Vinge, Ingvald Pynten, Gunderson twin, Iver Gunderson, Erling Pynten, Alex Lofthaug, Kurt Enkenhus, Larry Brocke, Vernon Gunderson.
In 1952, we bought the N.W. 22-55-3-W4th from Iver Gunderson, and moved up there in the fall of '55, where we stayed until we sold the farm in '72 to George Sanders. We then moved to Elk Point in the fall of '73. Our son, Kaare, who lives in St. Paul, Alberta, is married to Irene Wilson; they have one daughter, Karen Anne. Harald lives in Vancouver, is married to Mary Albers, but has no children.