Near Sacred Heart in Renville County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)
A New Life with Family and Friends
This is the Lars Rudi home. Lars was the son of a farmer in Uvdal, Numedal, Norway, and was one of seven Rudi children who grew to adulthood. All but one of the Rudi siblings immigrated to America hoping to make a better life for themselves. Family and friends frequently settled in clusters because of familiar customs and language.
Lars and his new wife Vighild (Sunde) immigrated to the United States in 1866, where they lived and worked on the Lien Farm in Clayton County, Iowa that first summer. After harvest season, they set out for Rushford, Minnesota and lived with relatives for the winter. The next spring they came to Renville County where they settled near their neighbors and family from Norway. Across the river, Lars' only sister, Turi, settled with her husband, Tov and their four children. The Rudis lived with Thor Helgeson until the summer of 1869 when their tiny log home was built.
Lars became a lay religious leader for the cluster of Norwegian families. Religious services and parochial school were held in the Rudi home. Pioneer pastors stayed here while conducting services in the area.
Vighild's sister, Ingeborg, stayed with them to help with daily chores. Though Lars and Vighild had no children of their own, they helped raise many children and were loved by
Lars, Vighild and Ingeborg. Over the years, the building gained a lean-to on the north side. This was stripped away by Ole Enestvedt when he began restoring the place in the 1920s to become an area museum. In 1986, it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Building of the House
• Trees for the Rudi house were felled in winter.
• In spring they floated the trees down the river about three miles to the Rudi Homestead.
• Lars had a lime kiln similar to this to make his own plaster.
• The house was constructed with dovetail notching.
• In 1869, Lars hired Thor Helgeson to build their new log home here in the beautiful Minnesota River Valley. Thor Helgeson was to build a 15 foot by 18 foot home, constructed of oak logs that had been felled the winter before, stripped of bark, dovetail notched in the Scandinavian way and then lifted to make the walls. The spaces between the logs were chinked with lime plaster and the logs themselves regularly whitewashed with lime. Lime was commonly made from stones containing lime, picked in the field and burned to a powder in a kiln.
The Minnesota River Valley has a story to tell about indigenous people struggling to make a home amid a changing environment. The Minnesota River Valley also has a story to tell about the struggles of the pioneering immigrant families who eventually created one of the most productive agricultural areas in the world.
logos of: Renville County; America's Byways Federal Highway Administration; Scenic Byway Minnesota River Valley
Location. 44° 40.3′ N, 95° 17.616′ W. Marker is near Sacred Heart, Minnesota, in Renville County. Marker is on County Highway 12 1.1 miles south of 145th Street (County Road 15), on the left when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 75135 County Highway 12, Sacred Heart MN 56285, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A Family's Proud Heritage (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Enestvedt Marker (approx. one mile away); The Kittelsland Water Wheel (approx. one mile away); The Joseph R. Brown House (approx. 2.2 miles away); Farther and Gay Castle Boiling Spring (approx. 2.6 miles away); Vicksburg Cemetery (approx. 3.2 miles away); Schwandt State Monument (approx. 5.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacred Heart.
More about this marker. photo caption: Thor Helgeson
Also see . . . Minnesota River Valley Scenic Byway. Site 41: Rudi Memorial. (Submitted on January 12, 2014.)
1. Rudi Memorial
The cabin is a small museum and has more displays and pictures than shown here.
— Submitted January 12, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
Additional keywords. Rudi Cabin
Categories. • Man-Made Features • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 12, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 381 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on January 12, 2014, by Keith L of Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.