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Sunday fundraiser set for Grue Church Project near Buxton

Organizers hope to preserve the church building as a heritage, cultural and sacred space in Traill County that will also be a home to special events for people connected to the site from around the globe, including friends and families in Norway.

old photo of Grue church.jpg
A photo of the Grue Church building circa 1901 in rural Buxton, North Dakota.
Special to The Forum
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BUXTON, N.D. — A fundraising event is set for Sunday, June 26, for the Grue Church Project, an effort to preserve the 130-year-old Grue Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church building in rural Buxton.

The church closed in 2021, when the Grue congregation decided there was no choice but to disband and close the building.

The nonprofit Grue Church Project was formed with the aim of preserving the church building as a heritage, cultural and sacred space in Traill County that will also be a home to special events for people connected to the site from around the globe, including friends and families in Norway.

The anticipated grand opening of the reconditioned church building is set to coincide with Norway's 2025 National Jubilee of the Bicentennial of Norwegian Emigration.

Sunday's event includes a free-will donation lunch from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church in rural Buxton, with a lecture and music from 1 to 3 p.m.

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Lunch will be Swedish meatballs, fresh lefse and lemonade.

The church is at 168th Avenue and 14th Street Northeast in rural Buxton, about 60 miles north of Fargo.

The church and its history have connections to the community of Grue, Norway, where on May 26, 1822, a church caught fire and more than 100 people died.

The minister of the church at the time of the 1822 fire was Iver Hesselberg, great-grandfather of Roald Dahl, author of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."

In Grue, Norway, the year of 2022 has been set aside as a year to commemorate the Grue church fire.

As a result of the fire, a law was passed in Norway requiring that all egress doors of public buildings open out. Other European countries followed Norway's lead and passed similar rules.

During the 1870s, families from the Grue Church parish in Norway left for the United States and at least two new congregations formed, including one near Ashby, Minnesota, and the other being Grue Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church near Buxton.

If you go:

What: Fundraiser for the Grue Church Project

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Where: Grue Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Church, 168th Avenue and 14th Street Northeast in rural Buxton, North Dakota

When: Sunday, June 26 —11 a.m. to 1 p.m. lunch, followed by a lecture and music from 1 to 3 p.m.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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