This title chronicles the settlement of a people who became quintessentially Midwestern. In "Norwegians in Michigan", Clifford Davidson shows how Norwegians took advantage of opportunities when they began settling in Michigan in the nineteenth century. Norwegians sailed Lake Michigan, joined the lumber trade, farmed the northwest part of the state, and mined copper and iron in the Upper Peninsula. At the same time, they brought a unique culture that came to be associated with Michigan and the Midwest. The first generations of Norwegians in Michigan maintained close cultural ties with their homeland. Some Norwegian immigrants adjusted to life in a new land more quickly than others. Among these, according to Davidson, were engineers trained in Norway who developed Michigan's bridges, tunnels, and eventually even the cars that used them. Illustrated with photographs, maps, and documents, "Norwegians in Michigan" vividly chronicles a now-familiar pattern of immigrants' cultural understandings prodding and shaping the culture of an emerging region and nation.
Clifford Davidson is Professor Emeritus of English and Medieval Studies at Western Michigan University. He is a Norwegian-American, and was cared for in his early years by his grandmother, a Norwegian citizen.