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U.S.-Dakota War anniversary observances planned

SUNBURG -- The words as written by the survivors of the attack on settlers in the Norway Lake and Monson Lake areas during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 will be heard during a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the fateful date.

Five descendants of the original Norwegian and Swedish settlers will read the first-hand recollections of their ancestors in a Readers Theatre format during commemoration events on Sunday. The commemorative theater has been organized by the Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association, and will take place at the Log Church site seven miles southeast of Sunburg just off Kandiyohi County 40.

Events begin at 7:15 p.m. with a final Vespers service of the summer on Saturday.

On Sunday, the Rev. Paul Lundborg, a descendant of the Monson Lake settlers, will officiate at a 10:30 a.m. church service.

A lunch at the First Lutheran Church of Norway Lake will follow; there will be a free-will donation.

The Readers Theatre will take place from 2 to 3:30 p.m. Sunday and feature five descendants reading portions of statements made 150 years ago by their ancestors.

The settlers tell of their peaceful and sharing relationship with the native Dakota population prior to the outbreak of war, and the subsequent flight to the Isle of Refuge on Norway Lake and how some survived the attacks on their farms.

The Norway Lake Lutheran Historical Association invites everyone with an interest in the history of the area to participate in all or part of the day's activities.

Attendees are asked to bring lawn chairs. A tent will be provided.

Directions and more information can be viewed at The event is being hosted in conjunction with the Explore Minnesota Legacy Weekend.

Additionally, an additional event commemorating the U.S.-Dakota War event is scheduled for Sunday at Ness Church in Litchfield.

The Ness Church Preservation Foundation and Ness Church Cemetery Association is presenting a 150th Anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862 beginning at noon at the church, located at 24040 580th Ave., rural Litchfield. There is no cost for the music and programs.

The Green Lake Blue Grass Band will perform from noon to 1 p.m. with the program beginning at 1:30 p.m.

There will be a Ceremony of Healing led by Dakota representatives. Guest speakers are Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and State Rep. Dean Urdahl.

An optional catered roast buffalo dinner will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets are available in advance at Rennie's China Closet and Arts in Litchfield and the Darwin Municipal Liquor Store. A total of 150 tickets will be sold with any remaining tickets available at the door.

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