Bella Coola Valley, British Columbia Canada
Hagensborg, BC Canada
Wednesday April 23rd, 2014
Hagensborg BC Canada
In 1894 a group of Norwegian settlers moved to the Bella Coola Valley

Hagensborg

From Hagensborg it is a mere 16 km (9.94 mi) or 10 minutes driving time to the Village of Bella Coola and BC Ferries marshalling grounds. Groceries, gifts, accommodations, camping, fuel, auto repairs and post office are all located along this 2 km (1.2 mi) strip.

In 1894 a group of Norwegian settlers moved to the Bella Coola Valley from Minnesota and other U.S. states that were suffering from a recession. Most were farmers and tradesmen and they settled around Hagen Christensen´s store. The community later became known as Hagensborg.

Prior to that, between 1875 and 1879, the British Columbia government granted free land to immigrants. However, Scandinavians, known to be industrious and reliable, were given land by the government in 1894 and 1898. Each settler received 65 hectares (160 acres) free after five years on the property. With this incentive, plus the beautiful setting along the deep fjord that perhaps reminded them of their homeland, the Norwegians came to the Valley.

Augsburg United Church
Today, some 1,000 descendants of the settlers still live and work in the Valley. Reminders of the early days are the square-timbered, hand-adzed log houses and barns as well as the place names. Visit the Norwegian Heritage House, which is typical of a Scandinavian home from this era. Augsburg United Church, built in 1904 as a Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, still welcomes parishioners, and the cemetery relates the poignant history of the Norwegians who travelled to this unknown valley from the United States.