Norway, Illinois

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Unincorporated community
Country United States
State Illinois
County LaSalle
Township Mission
Elevation 640 ft (195 m)
Coordinates 41°27′56″N 88°39′52″W / 41.46556°N 88.66444°W / 41.46556; -88.66444Coordinates: 41°27′56″N 88°39′52″W / 41.46556°N 88.66444°W / 41.46556; -88.66444
Timezone CST (UTC-6)
 - summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 60551 (Sheridan, Illinois)
Area codes 815 & 779
Location of Norway within Illinois

Norway is an unincorporated community in Mission Township, LaSalle County, Illinois, United States. The community was the site of an early Norwegian-American settlement, and is today the site of Illinois' Norwegian Settlers Memorial.


Norway received its name for the nearby settlement of immigrants from Norway in the area starting in 1834. The village was the site of an early Norwegian immigrant settlement in the southern part of Mission township. The settlers had in large part relocated from the Kendall settlement in New York State which had been founded seven years before by pioneers who arrived from Norway during 1825 aboard the Restauration. Norwegian-American pioneer leader Cleng Peerson founded this second settlement in the Fox River Valley of Illinois.[2][3]


Just south of Norway, there is a memorial dedicated to Norwegian immigrants who settled in the area, with a small park, a cemetery, and a plaque from King Olav V. This memorial commemorates the Fox River Settlement, the site of the first permanent Norwegian-American immigrant settlement in the Midwest.[4]

Norsk Museum, once an old Norwegian Lutheran Church, is located 9 miles northeast of Ottawa, Illinois on highway 71. Norsk Museum is dedicated to the Scandinavian settlers who founded the area around Norway, Illinois in the 1800s.[5]

Norway and the neighboring community of Newark represent the predominating Scandinavian heritage of the far northeast corner of LaSalle County, part of Kendall County, and far southeast corner of DeKalb County. Norway was also an early site of missionary work by Mormons, which laid the groundwork for later Mormon missions in Scandinavia.[6]

Norway is deeply connected to its past, as most evidently shown at the Norway Store. The store has sat on the same spot for over a century, and the Borchsenius Family, which started the store, still continues to own the store, as well as a nursery and a few other pieces of land in the immediate area. The area of Norway sits within an awkward bend in the Fox River, much as Sheridan to the north, but Sheridan is widely protected by its situation atop a sandstone bluff. The community of Norway is assisted in many ways by neighboring Sheridan, Serena, and Newark.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Norway, Illinois
  2. ^ History of LaSalle County, Illinois (Michael Cyprian O'Byron. Chicago: Lewis Pullishing Company. 1924)
  3. ^ The First Chapter of Norwegian Immigration (1821-1840) ; Its Causes and Results (Rasmus B. Anderson, Madison, Wisconsin: 1895)
  4. ^ Norwegian Settlers Memorial (Illinois Historic Preservation Agency)
  5. ^ 1834 settlement at Norway, Illinois (Illinois History)
  6. ^ Homeward to Zion: The Mormon Migration from Scandinavia (William Mulder. Univ of Minnesota Press; 2000)

External links[edit]