Point Roberts Historical Society

The Point Roberts Historical Society’s small group of volunteers has had a busy year. In addition to holding regular monthly meetings, we had volunteer docents in the history room at the back of the community center on market days through the summer season.

Helping to maintain the front garden at the community center has been and will continue to be an ongoing project to show our appreciation to the Point Roberts Park and Recreation District for providing display and monthly meeting space. We hope the community is enjoying our seasonal displays in the hallway and history room where Judy Ross’ “Abandoned Houses” quilts are on display.

The Icelandic community received visitors from Iceland this year. Egil Helgason and a small TV crew visited in April to film the Point Roberts story of the Icelandic emigration, which took place from 1870 to 1914, when thousands of immigrants fled Iceland to escape poverty and hunger.

A group of linguists visited to see if any of the present generation could still speak the old Icelandic language. While some learned Icelandic as children and remember a little, we found that the language actually died out with our parents’ generation.

We then had a visit with Valgeir Thorvaldson, curator and founder of the Hofsos Emigration Museum in Iceland. The popular museum is looking to change up their display, adding input from western Canada and the Pacific Northwest. Next June, two residents on old original homesteads will host up to four students, who will be visiting the west coast as part of the Snorri student exchange program.

Meetings are held on the third Wednesday of the month at the community center. We welcome new members but you don’t have to be a member to attend.

Pauli DeHaan

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