Thursday, August 11, 2011

Settling in Spanish Fork, Utah

Westman Islands, Iceland where Vilborg is from...

Iceland is a small island country located in the North Atlantic near the North Pole. It was settled about 870 AD. After the first thousand years of the settlement of Iceland there are three things that Icelanders can be proud of:

1. ...expanding the boundaries of the known world, by the discovery and settlement of new lands in the west including Greenland and America. They did so by performing feats of transoceanic navigation, not equaled by others until almost five hundred years later.

2. That in a time when other countries of Europe were being subjected to hostilities and dictatorships, the Icelandic settlers created a society of free men, based on the rule of law, upheld by the oldest known parliament in the world “The Althing” founded in the year 930 AD. This unique society of free men is the oldest functioning parliament in the world.

3. That this society of free men created a body of literature that has withstood the test of time, the Sagas of the Icelanders. This literature is the inspiration of what we call the Nordic literary and cultural tradition. It is written in a language that was originally the common language of the Vikings. This language, which is known today as Icelandic, was for centuries spoken over a large part of Europe. (Source: David Ashby)

A new country, a new land awaited the converts from Iceland. Compared to Iceland, Spanish Fork (photo from the Utah State Historical Society) was a new settlement in the territory of Utah not yet a state. No records exist to tell us where Vilborg lived when they first arrived in Spanish Fork an area the prophet Brigham Young had selected for the Icelanders to settle. Many built dugouts for temporary shelters until they could build something better or they stayed with new friends or family members. I’m sure it was a time of BIG ADJUSTMENTS. No longer close to the sea living in Utah, I’m sure they missed fish and fishing. Great opportunities were theirs mixed with greater challenges. The climate was much different. There was a new language to learn, a different culture to adjust to but they were safely in America beginning a new life.

4 comments:

kavita said...

That is very interesting history .And i love the picture you have posted here.

Kay said...

I agree with Kavita. This is very interesting history. I'm glad you're enjoying your discovery of Iceland.

SandyCarlson said...

Fascinating! What a journey, and what a change in climate!

Rambling Woods said...

I didn't know anything about Iceland..