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Icelanders search for their roots in Minneota

Photo: Byron Higgin

Author: Byron Higgin
Reprinted with permission from The Minneota Mascot

The big blue bus pulled directly in front of the Minneota Mascot – looking to all the world like a group of movie stars had arrived to shoot a film on the plains of Minnesota. Or, was it a rock n’ roll band looking for a stage for their next concert?
Suddenly the familiar face of Cathy Josephson, a Minneota native, appeared in front of the Mascot window, smiling and pointing to those who began unloading – all craning their necks in various directions, much like sight-seers hoping to take it all in. Oh yes ... these folks were Icelanders returning to their roots in one of the small Icelandic hamlets that cropped up at the end of the 1800’s.
“I’m Almar Grímsson, tour leader,” a gentleman proclaimed. “We’re on a pilgrimage to discover our roots in Minnesota,” he said. No movie stars. No rock band, but certainly more impressive because Minneota was their main concern at the moment.
“They want to heard about the 1870 Icelandic settlement here,” said Josephson, who organized the visit.  . . .

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