Scandinavian Place Names,
Part 2: Dalum and Nuorison Creek
Among the place names in central and southern Alberta that owe their origin to Scandinavian settlers is Dalum.
Dalum is situated 15 kilometres south of Drumheller, and it got its start thanks to a Danish group called the Dansk Folksanfund.
The Dansk Folksanfund had been organized under the leadership of F.L. Grundtvif. It was a group of men and women from various Danish communities. They wanted to strengthen the cultural heritage of Danish-American immigrants here on the North American continent.
In 1916, representatives of the Dansk Folksanfund made contact with the Canadian Pacific railroad company, and soon negotiations were under way for a tract of land for a colony in Alberta.
J. Grigerson and Jens Frass, both of Chicago, were sent on a trip to Alberta, and in 1917, reserved land for a settlement of Danish people. The area was settled in 1917, 1918 or so, and named Dalum, after Mr. Frass' hometown in Denmark. And its claim to fame over there [is] that it was an area of a well-known agricultural school. So they were well prepared to take up homesteading.
Among the Scandinavians who immigrated to Alberta were homesteaders from Finland.
About 35 kilometres west of Red Deer, there's a creek that flows into the Medicine River.
Locally known as Nuorison Creek, its name comes from the Finnish Term for "young people."
The creek is fed by a spring, next to which a youth hall was erected in 1906, and it was called Nuorison Sally, "sally" being the Finnish word for hall.
The young peoples' hall was owned by the fraternal organization the Loyal Finns of Canada. And of course, this would have been one of the groups that would have been there promoting the maintenance of aspects of their culture in the new land.
Until 1914, most Finnish settlers went to the United States, although a small minority came directly to Canada, particularly when the economy of Canada was attractive.
Many worked on the Canadian Pacific Railway, and later in the lumber and manufacturing industries. In 1908, a community hall was built, and the name New Horizon was applied there as well.
At the request of a Finnish couple who own land through which the creek runs, it officially named Nuorison Creek in 1986.
On the Heritage Trail,
I'm Cheryl Croucher.