Norway in America - Michigan

Post office names in USA and Canada with Norwegian origin.
Research by Hallvard Slettebø and Dag Henriksbø.

This page was updated 25 February 2024

Amble, MI
Amble, a small village in Winfield Twp., Montcalm Co., MI. The town was platted 1886, with a post office established the following year with Samuel N. Crandall, postmaster. Named after Reverend Ole Amble of the Danish Lutheran Church, he was born in Sogndal, Midtre Sogn, Norway, 1847. Amble had a railroad stop along the Detroit, Grand Rapids and Western Railroad (later called the Pere Marquette Railroad). At Amble's peak, it had a blacksmith, church, cider mill, creamery, depot, feed mill, two general stores, two hotels, a few lumber outlets, post office, produce store, real estate company, sawmill and tavern. All are gone except for the church. By 1907, Amble had a population of 100. The post office closed 1953 with mail to Howard City. Amble Rural Station, Howard City, MI operated 1954-1967.

Arendal, MI
Arendal, post office in Manistee Co., MI. Must have been named for Arendal, Norway, but the reason is not found. The post office opened 1886 with Caroline Oleson postmaster, and it closed 1909, superseded by R.D. from Manistee. Caroline Oleson was Swedish, married to George Oleson from Norway. Perhaps he had a connection to Arendal, Norway?

Bergland, MI
Bergland is a community in Ontonagon Co., Upper Peninsula, MI. The village was founded and named by Gunlek A. Bergland who built a sawmill here in 1900. Gunnleik Aslaksson was born 1847 on the Byggland farm in Morgedal, Norway. He came to America in 1869 and changed his name to Bergland. The Bergland, MI post office opened 1903 with storekeeper Peter A. Johnson first postmaster and it is still in operation. The 2000 population was 550.

Bradyville, MI
Bradyville, post office in Benona Twp., Oceana Co., MI. Named for the four Norwegian-born brothers Halver, Andrew, Tollif and Otto Brady (Breda, from Skoger near Drammen, Norway). The post office opened 1899 with Chas S. Heeg postmaster. It closed 1901 with mail to Shelby, superseded by R.D. See also Otto, MI.

Leer, MI
Leer is a community in Alpena Co., MI. Norwegian settlement here began in 1878, the area, known initially as Sunken Lake, was eventually renamed Leer, an homage to the area from which many of the community’s founders emigrated, Lier, Buskerud, Norway. The Leer, MI post office opened 1891 with John Alfsen first postmaster and it closed 1935 with mail to Posen.

Nellsville, MI
Nellsville, post office in Roscommon Co., MI., established 1906 with Edward Nelson as postmaster, born 1842 Norway. Must have been named for him. Closed 1923 with mail to Houghton Lake.

Norway, MI
Norway is a city in Dickinson Co., Upper Peninsula, MI (prior to 1891 belonging to Menominee Co.). The city was named from a forest of Norway pines near the original town site. Red pine, Pinus resinosa, is also known as “Norway pine”. It is indigenous to North America, not Norway, but may have gotten this common name due to confusion with Norway spruce by original English colonists. Anton Odell platted this village in 1879, and same year the village received a post office called Ingolsdorborn Charles E. Knowlton was its first postmaster. Just under three months later, on December 8, 1879, the post office name was changed to Norway, and it is still in operation. The population was 2,845 at the 2010 census. Svein Andreassen writes about Norway, MI.

Norway Hall, MI
Norway Hall, rural post office in Lake Co., MI. The name was possibly Norway Hull. Obviously named for Norway, but the reason for this is not found. The post office opened 1875 with Seymor Fowler postmaster and closed 1878.

Otto, MI
Otto, post office in Oceana Co., MI. Named for Otto Brady, he was born 1839 in Norway, and the family name was Breda from Skoger near Drammen. He settled here with his three brothers in 1850. The post office opened 1864 with Elnathan J. Reed postmaster, the office was renamed Reed for him 1868, but was transferred to and renamed Ferry 1871 and closed 1959. See also Bradyville, MI.

Walhalla, MI
Walhalla is a small community city in Mason Co., MI. The name Walhalla comes from Valhalla, the hall of slain warriors in Norse mythology. The Manistee Junction, MI post office opened 1891 and changed name to Walhalla in 1905 with Lucius O. Bates postmaster and it is still in operation. The population was 3,801 at the 2000 census.

Not confirmed: Anna River, MI
Anna River, Au Train Twp., Alger Co., MI on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. The post office was established October 1888 with Neil Steinberg as postmaster. It was named for the Anna river, an 11km river that runs from Anna Marsh (small lake) to Munising where it flows into Lake Superior. Name-change December 1888 to Hallston with Julius W. Gogarn as postmaster, discontinued 1897.

Not confirmed: Dale, MI
Dale, Tobacco Twp., Gladwin Co., MI. Changed name from Tobacco, 1898-1904. First postmaster June B. Miller, located in the general store run by David and June B. Miller.

Not confirmed: Foss, MI
Foss, Missaukee Co., MI. 1905-1906. First postmaster W.A. Pickerd.

Not confirmed: Hansen, MI
Hansen, Oceana Co., MI. 1869-1878. First postmaster James Harvey Rathbone.

Not confirmed: Jenson, MI
Jenson, Newaygo Co., MI. 1882-1883. First postmaster James F. Barnes.

Not confirmed: Ola, MI
Ola, Gratiot Co., MI. 1887-1904. First postmaster Alvin Shaver.

Not confirmed: Thorp, MI
Thorp, Wexford Co., MI. 1883-1916. First postmaster Neil D. Ford.

Not confirmed: Ula, MI
Ula, Kent Co., MI. 1886/1902. First postmaster Dubois Conklin.

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