This September, the 44th annual Norsk Høstfest will be taking place in Minot. However, it’s important to note that the event is also a time to honor the Scandinavian heroes who made an impact on both North Dakota and the rest of the world. One of these individuals — Sondre Norheim — is honored every year at the Hostfest with a wreath-laying ceremony.
Norheim is often referred to as the “Father of Modern Skiing,” and invented both Telemark and Christiana turns to the sport. Most notably, he is credited with inventing the first ski bindings out of twisted shoots from birch roots. While originally born in Norway on June 10, 1825, he immigrated to the US in 1884 with his family in search of a better life. Eventually, he would come to settle on a homestead in what is now known as McHenry County, where he spent the remainder of his days.