Thomas Mannes and Eldbjørg Djønne-Stuve (from Tysvær, Norway) came to the Norse Community near Clifton, Texas in April 2014 and were able to meet with many people from the area and to make some plans for the Cleng Peerson cabin and the property where it stands.
A copy of the Petition to the State of Texas written by Cleng Peerson in 1855 was obtained, and is posted here for you to read. And interesting point in the Petition states that Cleng Peerson lived at the property from about 1854 and cultivated it after the former owner, Andris Broten, died. It has been suggested that the former owner could be the same as “Andreas Bretta,” the first Norwegian who died in Norse; and several people in the area have supported this theory.
At present, designs are underway for information plaques to be placed at the property to provide a short historical overview of Cleng Peerson’s role, the original cabin on the land, and the remains of the Colwick home where Cleng spent his final days.
The old log cabin has been cleaned and temporary coverings placed on the floor. Because the cabin itself is unstable, and potentially unsafe, as well as home to snakes, visitors are not allowed entrance in the cabin at this time.
Some interior modifications are planned for the “new” red barn to facilitate future activities, such as the preparation and serving of traditional Norwegian food.
The Bosque County Chapter of the Norwegian Society of Texas invited Thomas Mannes to the St.Olav’s Kirke (Old Rock Church) Gathering Place to give a short presentation about these plans. The enthusiastic and positive response by so many in this “Norwegian Capital of Texas” is quite encouraging.