Norwegian culture area
Beginning in the 1830’s, large numbers of Norwegians migrated to America. Economic problems at home were compounded by political unrest and discontent over the State church. Many small landowners sold their farms and sailed for America – a country with uncounted acres of fertile and inexpensive land, a democratic country where a caste system was unknown and where there was no religious persecution.
Shortly after Texas was admitted to the U.S., Johan Reiersen and his father, Ole, bought a land certificate for 1,476 acres of unclaimed Texas land. They began the first Norwegian settlement in Texas in Henderson County; the colony was called Normandy, but the name was later changed to Brownsboro. In 1846 Reiersen’s brothers, Christian and George, joined them together with 50 more settlers.