Marker 390: Site of the First Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Roche-a-Cri

© Photographed September 4, 2015
First visited November 2, 2012
Erected 1998 by Wisconsin Historical Society
Arkdale, Adams County, Wisconsin
44° 0.609′ N, 89° 55.132′ W

In 1850, a group of Norwegian settlers from Koshkonong, the foremost Norwegian settlement colony in the United States at the time, left their southern Wisconsin home and migrated north, settling here in "Roch-a-Cree" or Roche-a-Cri. Imbued with pioneer spirit and a firm faith in Lutheranism, these settlers homesteaded and became successful farmers, growing potatoes as the their staple crop. In 1853, the Rev. H. A. Preus, a university-trained minister of the Norwegian state church, visited Roche-a-Cri and organized "The Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church of Roche-a-Cri" with a membership of about thirty individuals who held services in their homes. By 1859, the community and congregation had outgrown these meeting places and built a log church at this site. This structure was destroyed by fire and in 1868 a frame church was erected one mile north of this location. The old church cemetery remains here, however, and is known as the South Arkdale Cemetery.
The marker is located at the South Arkdale Cemetery on eastbound Cypress Avenue, just west of its intersection with 18th Avenue, Arkdale, Wisconsin 54613.

The Norwegian Evangelical Church of the Roche-A-Cri, now better known as the Trinity Lutheran Churcn of Arkdale, has a memorable and exciting heritage . . .

Some of the many veterans buried at the cemetery:

 This sign is very misleading. It's still another two miles
south from this sign to the marker's location.

Signage leading to the marker's location.

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