• Originally settled by people of English descent in 1849, Decorah has become popular as a center for Norwegian-American culture originating from a high number of Norwegian settlements beginning in the 1850s. Since 1862 it has been the home of Luther College (Iowa)Luther College, a liberal arts institution affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Each July Decorah is also the host of Nordic Fest, a celebration of Norwegian culture with ethnic dancing, food, and music. Decorah is also the home of the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum, the largest museum in the country devoted to one single immigrant group. Until 1972, one of the largest Norwegian language newspapers in the nation was published in Decorah, the Decorah Posten. Decorah is named for Chief Waukon Decorah, a Ho Chunk who cooperated with whites during the Black Hawk War and whose people were subsequently forced out of Wisconsin into Northeast Iowa. Source:

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