2023 Annual Meeting

The 98th annual meeting of the Slooper Society of America

12:00pm Sunday, October 8th, 2023

Schedule of events:
12:00 pm: Doors open for sign-in
12:30 pm: Slooper business meeting
1:00 pm: A Taste of Norway will be served
2:00 pm: “The Sloopers of 1825” by Dale Goodman
The Norsk Museum will be open immediately following the presentation

This year we are breaking with tradition a bit by having a “Taste of Norway” luncheon in partnership with the Norsk Museum, Cleng Peerson Lodge, Polar Star Lodge and the Norway Store. Of course this meeting is not limited to just Slooper descendants… anyone with an interest in Norwegian-American history and culture is welcome to attend!

The suggested donation for the meal is $15 per person and $8 for children under 9. Seating is limited and it is imperative that you RSVP to ensure a spot. Please RSVP via email to Angie Pokarney at Angie@SlooperSociety.org or via telephone/text at 815-795-7193. As we will be ordering food in advance, it is imperative that we know how many plan to attend. Your donation can be accepted at the door on October 8th but please RSVP no later than September 30th. Thanks!

Some of Norwegian treats we have in store for you are cod, ham, kumla, pickled and creamed herring, meatballs, cabbage, Jarlsburg cheese, specialty breads, breads with lingonberry sauce, kringla, lefse, Norwegian desserts and guma.

Our feature presentation this year will be, “The Sloopers of 1825” by Dale Goodman. Dale is a descendant of Tormond Madland and Siri Iversdatter Seldal who sailed aboard Restauration in 1825. Dale and his wife Susan live in beautiful Decorah, Iowa. With the 200-year anniversary of the voyage of the sloop Restauration fast approaching, Dale will revisit the story of the voyage and help us to remember the historical significance of those first Norwegian Immigrants.

At the conclusion of the presentation, everyone is invited to cross the Cleng Peerson Memorial Highway to visit the Norway Store and Norsk Museum (the only Norwegian museum in Illinois, serving the area for 49 years).

The Slooper descendants have grown substantially since the original 53 who sailed to America in 1825 — today we number over 20,000!! Sloopers are found in all 50 states plus various countries. Many of you may have never attended the annual meeting. I would encourage you to take pride in your unique Slooper heritage and be a part of its preservation. If the line stops with you, your children and grandchildren may never know the rich history that is also theirs.

In 2025 we will be celebrating the bicentennial! Norway, Illinois (formerly called the Fox River Settlement) is the oldest permanent Norwegian settlement in America. Here is where the seed was originally planted that resulted in over 800,000 Norwegians deciding to emigrate between 1825-1925. All this history can be viewed at the Norsk Museum through artifacts and exhibits and on our websites. (Norsk Museum.org and SlooperSociety.org)

 First time visitors will be interested to know that if you stay the weekend, LaSalle/Kendall/Grundy Counties have much to offer. Area attractions include:
 o 6 state parks, including the second most popular park in the country, Starved Rock State Park. Just ask the 2 million who visit annually!
o Local historic cities and towns in the area: Bishop Hill, Ottawa, Morris, Utica, plus another little town just 75 miles to the northeast—Chicago!
Lodging aplenty:
  o Fox River Resort in Norway, IL
o Morris, IL – 20 miles
o Yorkville, IL – 18 miles
 My hope is that this letter has piqued your interest to the point that you will contact me to reserve your place at our table no later than September 30th, for a day filled with Norwegian culture. For information about the Norsk Museum check out Facebook/Norsk Museum or our webpage at norskmuseum.org and for the Slooper Society of America please visit us on Facebook or our webpage at SlooperSociety.org. For those who cannot make the trip, follow us on Facebook for live streaming updates of the event.

We look forward to seeing you at noon on October 8th, 2023 at the Norway Community Building in beautiful Norway, IL. (3667 E. 2603rd Road, Sheridan IL)