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                  About The Bridal Gown
                    by Carl D. Kolset
                                   
                                   
When Nordfjordlaget i America at its stevne in Fargo in 1933 received 
such a grand gift in the form of a complete bridal dress from the Firda 
Youth Society, it can in all truth be said that this came to us as a 
total surprise, that it took time for us to actually believe that this 
was reality and not just a dream. I had actually some idea that this 
could be a possibility, but the reality of such a gift seemed 
incomprehensible. It was difficult to think that the thought should 
actually become reality. I really wanted to tell everyone about it, 
but was under a promise of secrecy and naturally had to keep quiet.

To get a clear idea of the circumstances which led up to the receipt of this beautiful bridal 
dress, it's necessary to go back a couple years in time. Often from time to time at the 
stevnes it was discussed how fine it would be if we could procure a Nordfjord bridal 
dress, but this remained basically blissful thinking on our part. However in 1931, at the 
stevne in Glenwood, Minnesota, the thought was officially put in the form of a motion by 
Anders Hole of Beaver Bay, Minnesota, and after a short but lively discussion, the 
motion was approved in favor of the idea. A committee was chosen to work further with 
the idea and report at the next stevne. The committee's members were Anders Holde and 
Ole I. Steen. These men carried out the direction of the members and reported back at the 
next stevne in Bricelyn in 1932, what they had done and the results of the same. Mr. Ola 
Sande, Sandane, Nordfjord, had been a faithful help to them with the information they 
needed. They were informed that the price of a complete bridal dress was 750 kroner for 
one design and 1,100 for another. Unfortunately, the circumstances dictated that the 
purchase of the dress would have to wait for another time; but the committee stood and 
worked further with the idea. The Lag sent it's thanks to Ola Sande for the great interest 
he had shown in helping the committee with its work.

Most of us thought that it would take a long time before we could move ahead to drum up 
enough interest to raise the money required to buy the bridal crown and make it a reality.

That the committee and Ole I. Steen in particular, had done a fine job in corresponding 
with the Firda Youth Society chairman, Ola Sande, was apparent on the 6th of June, 1933 
when the bridal dress arrived at the stevne meeting place in Fargo. I know that both men 
possess and abundance of diplomatic capabilities and their tact and discretion achieved 
this goal without misleading, but to repeat what my friend Steen wrote in his 
correspondence with Ola Sande would be futile at this point. One thing I do know 
though, and that is that the gift was received not only with happiness, but with an 
enthusiasm which is seldom seen in the calm and restrained Norwegian character.

To speculate what occurred in the homes of the youth in Nordfjord during the summer of 
1932 and the winter of 1933 would be interesting. What I do know with certainty is that a 
true spirit of love was shown to us Nordfjording emigrants. The generosity which was 
shown was so much larger and worthy of admiration when one considers that there were 
hard times then in Norway, too. It would be interesting to know each and every giver and 
be able to shake his hand and personally thank them for the gift, but that would be 
impossible. One thing I do know for sure, however, namely that Ola Sande could not 
make himself a more honorable memorial after 26 years' service as chairman in the 
Fridal Youth Society than just this gift to us emigrants.

To describe the bridal crown or the individual parts of the bridal dress would better be the 
job of an artist. I will state, however, that goldsmith M. J. Hestenes, Bergen, is the man 
who created the crown and the other ornaments including a belt, all of silver and gold 
gilded. The crown weighs two pounds. The rest of the costume was made by women in 
Nordfjord and exemplified the high degree of art one finds among people of so high a 
skill as one finds among the farm homes in Norway.

It was altogether natural that the bridal costume should be exhibited in Nordfjord before 
being sent to us. Ola Sande in his beautiful Nynorsk wrote that it was exhibited at the 
17th of May festivities both in Sandane and Vereide in Gloppen. Photographer Lyslo 
photographed the bride, and a more beautiful bride has never been seen in Nordfjord. The 
photographs were sent as a gift to the Lag from Mr. Lyslo and the Lag sends him hearty 
thanks for these beautiful pictures.

The enthusiastic celebration which was exhibited in Fargo is described in other parts of 
the book; but that the gift reached us in so short a time was the responsibility of others. 
Not one of the least of these is Minnesota Congressman John Paul Kvale and Pastor       
L. M. Gimmestad.

Following is a copy of the invoice which was sent to the Firda Youth Society and the 
official document of receipt which accompanied the gift.

In conclusion, I must say that as long as any of us live, we will always remember with 
gladness and thanks to our young friends in Nordfjord for their kindness and generosity 
which was shown us in this prized gift.


                  Copy of original invoice of bridal costume 
                              sent from Bergen

                     Original Merchandise not purchased
                     
      	Invoice 754 issued in triplicate, certified May 24, 1933.
      	American Consular Service at Bergen : Dated May 25, 1933.
      	Consignor : Firda Ungdomslag, Sandane, Nordfjord.
      	Consignee Nordfjordlaget in America, Fargo, N. Dakota.
      	Carrier: S/S Bergensfjord. Destination of goods: Fargo, N. Dak.
      	Port of arrival: New York.
      	Port of entry: Fargo, N. Dak. Amount of invoice kr. 60.00.
      	Kind of goods: A Norwegian Bridal Costume made of 850/000 silver and dress 
      	hand made.

	Form 139 (Amended May, 1924). Declaration of shipper or his agent when the 
merchandise was shipped otherwise than in pursuance of a purchase or an agreement to 
purchase.  I, M. J. Hestenes, Bergen, acting in the capacity described below, truly declare 
that Firda Ungdomslag (Sandane) of Sandane, Nordfjord, is the shipper of the 
merchandise in the within described invoice; that the merchandise is shipped otherwise 
than in pursuance of a purchase, or an agreement to purchase; that there is no other 
invoice differing from the within or attached invoice and that all statements contained 
herein and in such invoice are true and correct. I further declare that ……. and that it is 
intended to make entry of said merchandise at the port of Fargo, N. Dak., in the United 
States of America. Dated at Bergen this 25th day of May, 1933. (Shipper) Firda 
Ungdomslag. (Agent) M. J. Hestenes. (Seal : American Consulate, Bergen, Norway.) 
Consular Certificate. Form 140. Date May 24, 1933.
Fee $2.50 U. S. Gold.            B. A. Perkins, Vice Consul, U. S. A.

                        Invoice of merchandise (not purchased)

	Bergen 25 of May 1933. Invoice of a Norwegian Bridal Costume shipped by 
Firda Ungdomslag, of Sandane, Nordfjord, to Nordfjordlaget in America of Fargo, N. 
Dak., U. S. A. --  or account of Firda Ungdomslag of Sandane, Nordfjord, to be shipped 
per S/S Bergensfjord.
	......Full description of goods . . . . Value per unit Norwegian paper Currency. 
A Norwegian Brides Costume, made of 850/000 silver and dress handmade. Value kr. 
6oo. Fargo, N. Dak., kr. 673.
	In the above value are included the following expenses: Freight to Fargo kr. 40. 
Insurance kr. 5 Packing kr. 15. Consular fee kr. 13. (Total) kr. 673. Weight: (net) Kilos: 
clothes 2.300 lbs.; cloths 5 lbs. 13., Silver 0.915, silver 0.915. 2 lbs. Kilos 16.8. Lbs. 
36......
	Signature of Shipper for Firda Ungdomslag, Sandane.
					By (authorized agent)  M. J. Hestenes
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