A century ago, Scandinavian residents swarmed to Seattle to begin a new life, while living off the trades of their homelands such as fishing, logging, construction, and shipbuilding. They began to form groups to support each other in their new country.
By 1931, these Scandinavian immigrants began developing a vision of a safe-haven for the elders of their community and appointed a group of men in the fields of business, construction, architecture, and finance to found the building that would eventually be called Norse Home. These founders led by Norse Home’s first president Abraham Kvalheim created by-laws, combined assets, and eventually purchases purchasing the ideal site for Norse Home in 1938.
With the arrival of World War II, Norse Home’s fundraising came to a halt. As a result, the founders, under the new leadership of Dr. Trygve Buschmann, requested the aid of their wives to form guilds and plan social fundraisers such as dinners, tea parties, and bake sales to revive Norse Home’s development. The founders and the guilds remained steadfast in their goals for over a decade before the groundbreaking for Norse Home in 1955.
Finally, the big day arrived—May 26, 1957. That’s when a gold key was used to unlock the doors of the dream we call Norse Home. Paul Berg, Norse Home’s third board president, presided over the celebration and Norse Home’s early years as the first residents moved in and received the comfort that the founders and guilds had worked so long to provide. Since the opening, many descendants of the first immigrants have moved to Norse Home where the Scandinavian tradition of hospitality and care continues to this day.