St. Olaf was started by homesteaders who came into the area in 1910. In 1911 a traveling pastor, Rev. Lunde, rode the train from Great Falls to Fowler, checked off his bicycle, and rode it to the farm homes for services. In 1913 the congregation was organized. Because of distances, the congregation divided itself into East and West St. Olaf, served by the same pastor. In the same community a Hauge Synod congregation was also meeting in homes when they built a church on the “Bootlegger Trail.” This trail was used for smuggling alcoholic beverages into the United States from Canada. It has been said that during Prohibition, the booty was hid in St. Olaf’s belfry.
The church door closed many times due to various factors. St. Olaf reorganized in 1928, closed in the mid 1940s, and in 1953 reopened when served by Clarence Jacobson, then of Joplin.
A new church was built across the road from the old one in 1958. Regular services have continued since then, served by a pastor who comes from Chester, 33 miles away.
This folder includes a congregational historical record, a written church history, letter from Iva Kolstad, and letter to and from Milton Nesvig.
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From the St. Olaf Lutheran Church, Ledger, Montana, Records, OPVELCA7a3_110, Archives and Special Collections, ELCA Region I Archives, Pacific Lutheran University, 12180 Park Avenue South, Tacoma, WA 98447