"This is an excellent book if you want to learn more about the Norwegian settlement in America."—Bill Markley, Roundup Magazine
"Extensive annotations, and index, and brief supplementary essays round out this welcome addition to South Dakota state history shelves."—The Midwest Book Review
"Dear Unforgettable Brother: The Stavig Letters from Norway and America is an extraordinary story documenting the lives of Lars Stavig and Knut Stavig, but it is also a testament to the persistence of their heirs in preserving the letters and sharing their story. This book is so much more than correspondence; it's the story of every immigrant family, the heritage of settlement on the Great Plains, and the importance of family and community. South Dakota Public Broadcasting was pleased to have had the opportunity to add a small part to the amazing work accomplished by the Rasmussen family, Dr. Wayne Knutson, and now the South Dakota State Historical Society Press."—Larry Rohrer
Pursuing a brighter future in the United States, Lars Stavig leaves his family in Norway and journeys to the prairies of Dakota Territory. Though their paths never cross again, he and his brother continue to write, sharing their experiences across the sea.
Over 130 years have passed since Lars Stavig first wrote home to Knut Stavig. Like the lives their authors lived, their letters reflect the challenges faced by families in both Norway and America.
Covering the Span of five decades, these letters gained popularity through an award-winning South Dakota Public Broadcasting Corporation film. The communication among the Stavig relatives gives readers personal insight into the lives of those who emigrated and those who stayed behind. This annotated book is the first time the letters have appeared in print.
Jane Torness Rasmussen, the great-granddaughter of Lars Stavig, introduces readers to the Stavig family letters. John S. Rasmussen, president of the Heritage Museums of Roberts County, provides annotations that set the brothers' words into greater context. Edvard Hoem, a Norwegian novelist and poet, explores life and culture in Norway at the time Lars Stavig emigrated. Betty A. Bergland, a professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls, examines the history of Norwegian immigrants in the United States.