What’s in a name?
The information on this page is summarized from the publication “Forever Bergen” (2008) by The Bergen History Book Committee.
The Bergen area was first settled by Norwegians, and thus was named after the city of Bergen in Norway. Bergen, Norway has a long history being founded in 1070 by King Oslo Kagne. It is surrounded by seven mountains and the ocean. Bergen, Alberta had it’s first homesteaders around 1905. At that time, Elkton was the closest town with a post office, general store and creamery.
Many artifacts from indigenous peoples have been found on the farms around Bergen.
History of the meeting space
The Bergen Community Hall
The Bergen Community Association was started in 1951. The hall was often a busy place hosting a variety of social events and fundraising. Pictured left is the original hall.
The new hall was built in 1974 (which is the existing building today). The new hall was constructed on the site of the original Bergen School.
The Bergen school was completed in 1908 and had 37 students in it’s first year.
The photo of the students was taken ~1915.
The Bergen school was closed in 1960. At that time, grades 1 through 6 were taught in the one room school and the remaining grades were taught at the school in Sundre.
In 1976, the Bergen School was donated to the Sundre Historical society and today can be viewed at the museum (Sundre and District Pioneer Museum).
People and events
In the Forever Bergen book, there are many photos of families who homesteaded in the Bergen area. This is a small sampling.
Here’s a photo from ~1908 of the Halvorson family: Arne (husband), Gustava (wife), Gudrum, Helen and Trygve Halvorsen. Arne immigrated to Alberta from Norway in 1910. His wife, Gustava, followed with their children the following summer. The family built a home on their homestead from logs cut by hand. They had 3 more children in Canada: Edwin, Minnie and Norman. Marilyn Halvorson, their granddaughter, still ranches on the original homestead.
In 1936, Irene and Trygve Halvorson were married. This is a photo in front of their home.
Nell Tedford in her beautiful garden, ~1955.
Eber and Nell moved from Saskatchewan after experiencing financial difficulties during the Depression. The couple were described as welcoming, warm, and hospitable.