Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990 Page: 32
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From Clifton, drive on to Our Savior's
Lutheran Church, built in 1869, which remains
the heart of the Norse community
and is well maintained. It is open daily for
visitors to enter and pray or meditate. The
adjacent cemetery is noteworthy with its
old grave markers and heart-rending
epitaphs chiseled in the stone, very often
telling a grim story. Partially marking the
boundary is a field stone fence built when
the cemetery was established. The view
from this vantage point creates a beautiful
picture of the Texas landscape and is often
photographed or painted by local and
The congregation of Our Savior's
serves a Norwegian smorgasbord each November.
This is scheduled for two evenings
during the second week of the month. The
meal is served with taste and flair and is
widely acclaimed throughout the state.
Norwegian folk costumes are worn and table
decor, different each year, relates to
The St. Olaf's Lutheran Church is located
six miles beyond the Norse Church,
also on FM 182, and is worth the drive to
see it. This church, built in 1896, retains
much of its historical integrity with the
uncluttered, simple artistry of design. It too
is open for prayer and meditation.
On FM 219, seven miles west of Clifton,
FM 182 intersects at the Crossroads Store.
By turning south and driving about five
miles on a paved road, one can see the Norway
Mill and Greek Revival House, which
are the only remnants of the once-thriving
village of Norway Mills. The mill was
erected about 1870, powered by steam, and
operated until 1890. The first mill to serve
the Norwegian community, Norway Mill
was a part of a small village which thrived
until the arrival of the railroad. Nothing
remains of this town now.
The John and Mary Colwick farmhouse
(Bee Hill Farm) is one of the oldest frame
houses within the Norwegian settlement.
Its present owners-direct descendants of
the Colwicks-say it was built in 1889 by
Norwegian carpenter Johan Nordahl. The
design was brought from Norway.
A trip to the Norse Historic District
could take two to four hours of your time,
depending on your interests and schedule.
The Norwegian Settlement of Bosque
County is located west of Clifton and can
be reached by taking FM 219 west from the
intersection of SH 6 and FM 219 at the
32 HERITAGE * FALL 1990
Dan and Mary Orbeck, owners of the
Colwick farmhouse, offer tours of the area,
including lunch and a Norwegian coffee
time at the farmhouse as well as a lively
museum tour. They can be contacted for
group as well as individual tours at 403 S.
Avenue J, Clifton, Texas 76634, (817)
If you have more time to spend, Bosque
County offers plenty of other attractions
for the visitor. The Clifton Antique Mall is
located in a beautiful recently restored
1984 limestone rock building. With the
help of quality-conscious dealers, the
Carlsons are striving to make the Mall an
enjoyable place to shop for antiques and
Whether or not the tourist is of Scandinavian
descent, Bosque County is a fascinating
tourist destination. Through the
work of local preservationists, we are allowed
a glimpse into yet another of the
many rich cultures of Texas.
Mary Orbeck and her husband Dan own the
Colwick farmhouse and offer tours of the area.
artiats nd tT s
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Please call or write:
c/o Heritage Capital Corporation
Highland Park Village
Dallas, Texas 75205-2788
In Texas: (214) 528-3500
Toll Free WATS: (800) 527-9250
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 8, Number 4, Fall 1990, periodical, Autumn 1990; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45429/m1/32/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.