On this day in Duluth in 2011, King Harald V and Queen Sonja of Norway rededicated Duluth’s Enger Memorial Tower. The tower, built to memorialize West End furniture dealer Bert Enger, who contributed greatly to Duluth’s park system, was first dedicated in 1939 by Harald’s parents, Crown Prince Olav and Princess Martha. In anticipation of the visit, the City of Duluth gave Enger Park and the tower a $400,000 renovation, including a $100,000 grant from Duluth’s Rotary Club 25 paid for new lighting. While 5,000 people attended the 1939 event, just 500 turned out in 2011. Minnesota Public Radio reported that Harald told the crowd that it was “very moving” for him to follow in his father’s footsteps. The king added, “Standing here, I can easily see why so many Norwegian immigrants decided to settle here in this area, by the splendid shores of Lake Superior. They must have missed Norway and those they left behind, but I’m sure they found comfort in this peaceful and beautiful landscape. Thanks to recent extensive restoration work, Enger Tower will continue to be a symbol of the hard work and dedication of the Norwegian immigrants, and their stories will continue to be told to future generations of Americans.” read more about the history of Enger Park, including the 1939 royal visit, here, and read more about the remarkably generous Bert Enger here.
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