Welcome to the Scandinavian East Coast Museum!
Santa Lucia Fest 2013!
Friday, December 13th 4:00 pm at
The First Free Evangelical Church located at 6501 Sixth Avenue.
Click here for details!
The Scandinavian East Coast Museum is proud to present a new addition to our website, the Monthly Highlight, which will feature a piece from our collection.
Our first highlight is a book entitled Tordenskjold, by Paul Anker, printed in 1890. On first glance this books grabs the eye with its beautiful illustrations. Its content is even more wonderful, as it introduces modern audiences to a a very prominent Norwegian naval man Peter Jansen Wessel Tordenskjold, nicknamed Thunder Shield. He was born in Trondheim in 1690 and moved to Copenhagen at age 14 where he began to work in the navy. (There was no independent Norwegian navy at this time, as Norway was under Danish rule, rather it was known as the Royal Dano- Norwegian Navy.) He quickly rose to the rank of Vice-Admiral, was ennobled for his naval exploits by King Frederick the IV of Denmark in 1716, and died at age 30 in a duel.
Tordenskjold's reputation has led to several boats being named in his honor. One is a fishing schooners built in 1911; over 100 years later it is still afloat continuing as a fishing vessel in Alaska. A PBS documentary about her has been made, Tordenskjold: Boat of the Century.
Another, a steamer built in Trondheim around 1906 served as a coastal passenger vessel, Hurtigruten route and in the service of the Norwegian Merchant Marines. During WWII it served a in a variety of uses, including as a troop carrier and convoy and even sustained air attack.
This books and several others were donated by Lee Umphrey grandson of Evelyn Soley Umphrey. Evelyn was 100% Norwegian and traveled back there several times during her lifetime before she died in 1999. Evelyn was the daughter of Ivar Kristian Sollie(1878-1973) who was born in Kjelsaas and grew up in Oslo, and Elizabeth Austad Sollie(1882-1968) who was born in Larvik. Ivar came to America and settled in Providence, RI in 1904 and started work immediately as a tool maker at Brown & Sharp. Elizabeth soon followed and they married in 1906, the year Evelyn was born. Evelyn was fiercely loyal to her heritage and once famously(within our family) took umbrage to critical remarks made by the Chef Julia Child about Norwegian food during a New England Herbal Society Luncheon in Boston. With Julia towering high above her, she dressed her down. * Note--the late spelling of the name was Soley but it appears that Sollie was the spelling when they first came over.