Old Trondhjem

Lonsdale, MN

In 1988, the Trondhjem Community Preservation Society was formed by dedicated parish and community members to restore the Historic Trondhjem Church building. The architectural form and ornament of the wood frame church reflect the Norwegian heritage of its founding congregation who settled in Trondhjem, Minnesota in the late nineteenth century. With a $15,000 grant from the Nordic Heritage Churches Project, matching funds were raised for several preservation projects of the historic church and folk art including: renovation of the entry platform, preserving the original painting Christ in Gethsemane by Marchs Holm (c. 1911), and restoring the “Eye of God” window to its 1899 appearance.

The Trondhjem Community Preservation Society views their mission as not only to maintain the historic church property, but to promote cultural education and events which tell the larger story of Nordic heritage. One way they have done so is through participating in Phase 2 of the program by commissioning two pieces of rosemaling, or decorative folk painting. Louise Bath, a Gold Medalist Rosemaler, was commissioned to paint a large wooden bowl and reproduction cupboard doors in the Trondelag style which originated in Trondheim, Norway (the ancestral home of Trondhjem’s congregation). The bowl was purchased from the Vesterheim Folk Art School and “turned” by Paul Loftness, a noted wood worker.

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