Looking for Country: A Norwegian Immigrant's Alberta Memoir

Looking for Country: A Norwegian Immigrant's Alberta Memoir

Looking for Country: A Norwegian Immigrant's Alberta Memoir

Looking for Country: A Norwegian Immigrant's Alberta Memoir


"Looking for Country" refers to the thought process of animals bent on escape. A stampeding herd, or a spooked horse running away with its rider, may be described as "looking for country." It could also be applied to this memoir in another sense -- immigrants were looking for land, a piece of new country, and, perhaps, an escape from their old country. Looking for Country: A Norwegian Immigrant's Alberta Memoir documents the experiences of a young woman growing up as a pioneer in Alberta. Although, for many people, immigration brought great sadness, Ellenor loved Alberta and took tremendous pride in the years spent there. She did not deny the struggles, as shown in her writing, but was amply rewarded by "the satisfaction of knowing that I have had a part in the making of a great country."


This volume is part of the Legacies Shared series. the aim of the series is to publish material that either has never been published or is out of print.

The mandate of Legacies Shared is broad, as we plan to make available parts of our “legacy” of historical memories that have been overlooked or have disappeared. Each volume contains an introduction appropriate to the subject, which might be a work of history, a memoir, collections of letters, photographs, art work, maps or recipes, works of fiction or poetry, or sets of archival documents. Oral history will also have a place in the series.

The geographical area covered by this series is the Canadian west and north, but also across the Canada/U.S. border.

Janice Dickin, Series Editor, Professor, Faculty of General Studies, University of Calgary, Alberta


Janice Dickin

Many people helped with this book. I want to thank in particular Jean Merriken Andrew, who made available not only her time but family lore, photos and documents. Also of great help was Dorothy Kelts, the daughter of Martin Olsen, Jr. Sadly, Dorothy died before the manuscript found its home with the University of Calgary Press. I also want to thank Gerry Hallowell, who made useful editorial suggestions, and the various anonymous readers, all of whom helped to evaluate and improve my introduction. the staff at University of Calgary Press, especially Walter Hildebrandt, have been generous with advice and assistance. I would also like to thank Joan Eadie for compiling the index. Finally, thanks to Elspeth Cameron, who participated in a research trip to Veteran and Consort and who helped me in countless other ways.

For my father, Gordon Clark Dickin, the son and grandson of pioneers

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