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Viking Ship Preservation

Following is a letter you may find of interest regarding the 1893 Columbian Exposition Viking Ship:


TO:         All Polar Star Lodge Members

FROM:     Roald Berg

DATE:       September 5, 2007


As you know, the Viking ship which sailed from Norway to Chicago for the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition is in desperate need of preservation. The Norwegian National League, in conjunction with several other interested organizations, is trying to find a permanent home for this irreplaceable Norwegian artifact.

Since I am a delegate from Polar Star Lodge to the Norwegian National League, I have pledged my support to help raise funds to preserve this treasure. As part of this support, I gave a presentation at the August meeting of Polar Star outlining the history of the Viking ship and current efforts to make sure this ship is preserved. "Lt the September 2nd Polar Star meeting, President Don Danielson announced that an anonymous donor has pledged $5OO...if Polar Star members will match this amount. A lot of our regular members were not at that meeting, so I felt that I should get in touch with all the members and urge you to take this matter to heart and give as generously as you can to help us make sure this ship is preserved for future generations to see.

Earlier this year, the Viking ship was declared one of the ten most endangered historic sites within the state of Illinois by Landmarks Illinois ( As a result of this endangered designation, there has been a renewed interest within the Norwegian American community, as well as other preservation groups.

One of these groups, Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley (, has already obtained a grant from the Kane County Community Development Block Grant to assist in a conservator's evaluation. Preservation Partners has also made a financial commitment toward this evaluation. The Kane County Commissioners have even indicated they would consider donating land for this project. I'm not sure if there are any Norwegians in any of these groups, but if they are that interested in preserving something that is not part of their heritage, we should be even more interested! Polar Star Lodge is the only Sons of Norway Lodge in Kane County.

If you would like to contribute toward this worthwhile project and help Polar Star collect the $500 matching gift, you can send your check (payable to Norwegian National League) to:

Don Danielson
3130 Cambria Court
Aurora, IL 60503

Be sure to indicate on the memo line on the check "Viking Ship Preservation.” Since the Norwegian National League is a 501(C)-3 (not for profit) organization, your donation is tax deductible.

Another great idea for raising money to help preserve the Viking Ship just came to my attention. I am enclosing a memo received from Lorraine Straw, President of the Norwegian National League, whereby the Viking Ship could possibly receive a fabulous grant from American Express. Please visit and vote every day for this worthwhile project. Also, send the address to everyone on your email list and encourage them to help us save the Viking Ship. Thanks for your help.