Pilgrims and American Natives…the subject for November’s blogs. I want to talk about what happened to Norwegian immigrants to the U.S. when they settled on Mitkof Island, Alaska, where Tlingit natives ruled.
Young men from Norway, mostly crofters, as close to servants as we can imagine, yearned for land of their own or, at the very least, a way to make money so they could buy fishing boats. While some of their brothers trudged on to the gold fields of Alaska, a good many settled in Petersburg, Alaska, on the northern end of Mitkof Island at the tip of Wrangell Narrows. Their advantage? The LeConte Glacier offered free ice for their fish, enough ice to preserve their catch for boat trips south. In fact, this group of fishermen, homesick for Norway, established a Little Norway in Petersburg. Some of the men married Tlingit women; today, their progeny are called ‘Tlingwegians.’
I cherish my Scandinavian heritage and revel in the fact I have a town full of Skjellums (my maiden name) in Vaaga, Norway. So when I cruised to Petersburg, Alaska, to find a town full of Norwegians, I experienced a mini-homecoming…and decided to set a novel in this sweet fishing town.
Get ready for LIE CATCHERS, published by Wild Rose Press in early 2014. It’s a double murder mystery with a dose of paranormal in the plot. You won’t believe the trouble a ‘Tlingwegian’ can get into!
While you’re waiting, check out my other books on http://www.rolynnanderson.com