The Beautiful Plains of Sundal, Minnesota

The Beautiful Plains of Sundal, Minnesota

Sundal, Minnesota is in Norman County and notable for two striking structures of entirely different character.  Sundal is a loose knit collection of farmsteads with a reported population around twenty.  On the east end, the abdandoned creamery — the building with the smokestack you see below.  On the west end, the beautiful Sundal Lutheran Church.  Sundal’s parent township, sometimes spelled Sundahl, is named for a village and river in Norway.

Sundal, Minnesota

The former Sundal Creamery.

Sundal, Minnesota

Sundal, Minnesota

Sundal, Minnesota

Sundal, Minnesota

Sundal, Minnesota

Sundal, Minnesota

Across the road, this home stands abandoned.

Sundal, Minnesota

This part of the state, like southern Minnesota, is decidedly more prairie than the forested lands to the northeast.

Sundal, Minnesota

Sundal Lutheran Church was featured in our book, Churches of the High Plains. The plaque at the bottom of the sign shown below reads: In memory of persons buried 1881 — 1891, Original Cemetery, NW Corner, Sec. 15, Sundal Township

Sundal, Minnesota

Photos by Troy Larson and Terry Hinnenkamp, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC


14 thoughts on “The Beautiful Plains of Sundal, Minnesota

  1. We lived about 2 miles from Sundal, MN. Mom used to go to the creamery to get hot water to wash clothes. It looks a lot smaller today than it did to me as a kid. Across the road was the Sundal Store. You could buy anything there you needed, from clothes to groceries. We did most of our shopping there. Good memories, Thank you.

  2. I and my mother, Ruby Personius and my sister Karen spent several summers in Sundal. My grandparents Eddy and Karen Herberg were the storekeepers of the cooperative general store. The Carlson family worked in the creamery. We drank a lot of sweet buttermilk from the butter churn.

    1. I don’t remember the name of the people that ran the store. Could have been your relative. I do know that my mom did most of her shopping there. Everything from food, to shoes, to coverals, to fabric for sewing and make-up! Not sure when the store came down. In my adult years for sure. I moved away in 961 but the family farm is still there with family living there. After the store was gone mom shopped at the Bear Park Store which was East about 4 miles. Thats gone too of course. I do have an old picture of the store someplace with lots of people standing in front of it. Old.

  3. Sundal Lutheran Church, ELCA, still has a worship service every Sunday morning. As stated on the sign, it is served by Prs. John & Kelly Ahola, and is a member of the (now) 4-point Gary-Rindal Lutheran Parish.

  4. I visited the area with my mother in 1984 and we hiked out to the hill in the middle of a cornfield that contained the old cemetery. My family homesteaded in Sundal in the 1880’s and helped to found the Lutheran Church there. Many of my family members are buried at the church and at the old cemetery. I would like to find out more about my family and the area they homesteaded. Lars and Caroline Paulson emigrated to Sundal from Norway and had 9 children together and Caroline remarried after Lars’ death to a man with the last name Pederson and had several more children. If you are related to me, I would like to hear from you.

  5. Thanks for the photo and the comments. Names of places I used to hear about fairly often when growing up. My dad was born near Bear Park and then the family moved to a farm 3 miles north east of Gary.

    Curt Tilleraas

  6. Great memories of Sundal Church!⛪ My 6 brothers and sisters and I went to Sunday School and VBS there. I also taught VBS and was President of the Luther League my Senior year😁

  7. Nice picture of the church. My great-grandparents, the Halvor Degernesses and lots of other relatives are buried here. The one time I visited to see church records, (1978) the Pastor was E. Ydstie, who had earlier pastored the church my grandparents (Halvor’s daughter Inga) attended in Western North Dakota! Small world!

    1. My Mom, Hilda Noto Bakken, grew up there. Her father, Elias Noto, also helped found the church. She was a friend of Anna (I think that was her name) Degerness. There was another friend she talked a lot about, Dorothy Fadnes.

  8. My uncle ran the creamery sometime in late 50s or early 60s, Kenneth Helgaas. My grandparents lived next to the creamery, Harry and Manda Carlson. I remember the store well. Ran by the Gerstners. Probably the last ones.

  9. Lived on the sight where this creamery picture was taken as a child. House no longer there as someone burned it down years ago. Loved living here sad to see it all overgrown and unkempt…

    1. My grandparents, Harry and Manda Carlson, lived in the other house. Have many good memories. I believe that we may be related. I don’t know how but I do remember Sig Hassel and Judy Hassel. Let me know if you remember my family.

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