The University of Wisconsin Press





Wisconsin My Home
Second Edition
Thurine Oleson
As told to her daughter Erna Oleson Xan
Introduction by Odd Lovoll


Wisconsin Land and Life
Arnold Alanen, Series Editor


“A remarkable personal account and a treasurehouse of early Wisconsin lore.”
Scandinavian Review

Wisconsin My Home is the story of Thurine Oleson, born in Wisconsin in 1866 to parents who had emigrated from Telemarken, Norway. This much-loved book was first published in 1950 when Thurine was a spry octogenarian. In it she not only vividly recalls the pioneer life of her childhood in a Norwegian American settlement, but also tells her parents’ stories of their life in Norway and their reasons for emigration. This new edition restores the twenty-nine photographs that appeared in the original 1950 hardcover edition and includes an introduction by emigration historian Odd Lovell.

“A treasure of a book! Reading it is like going through an old photograph album with a born storyteller at your side to bring each faded picture to life. . . . [It] is a veritable encyclopedia of pioneer Norwegian customs, but the human drama is always given first place. I was particularly charmed by the marriage of merry, dance-loving Thurine to her sober, handsome John.”—Maud Hart Lovelace, Minnesota History

“The wealth of detail is startling. The scarves are three-cornered scarves. The hinges are brass hinges. The ashes for the lye water used in making lutefisk are ashes from peeled maple wood. . . . It is the careful weaving together of the small authentic threads of everyday living that makes reading Wisconsin My Home such a rich and unique experience.”—Ben Logan, Wisconsin Magazine of History

Erna Oleson Xan (1898–1990), who grew up in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, is author of Home for Good.  Thurine Oleson lived in Winchester, Oshkosh, Waupaca, and Rice Lake, Wisconsin.

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October 2012
LC: 2012013285 CT
272 pp.   6 x 9   29 b/w photos
5 genealogical tables

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ISBN 978-0-299-28874-7
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New introduction and 29 photos added.

“The picture of pioneer life here is vividly real. The stories of the farmer, the woodsman, the preacher, the home-makers, are in a way stories of the ancestors of every one of us, immigrants all. . . . A classic American chronicle.”

New York Times Book Review

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