Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center, Moorhead

#25 of 173 in Museums in Minnesota
The Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center, commonly known as the Hjemkomst Center, is a museum in Moorhead, Minnesota. Hjemkomst Center first opened in 1985 and serves as a home to Hjemkomst Viking Ship, Hopperstad Stave Church replica, quarterly museum exhibits, and county archives. In 2009, the Clay County Historical Society (which was founded in 1932) and the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center merged to form the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County.''Hjemkomst''Hjemkomst, which means "Homecoming" in Norwegian, is a replica Viking ship that is permanently housed in the center of the museum. The ship is a full-scale replica of the Gokstad Viking ship that was discovered in Norway in 1880. The idea for building Hjemkomst was that of Robert Asp (1923-1980), a guidance counselor at Moorhead Junior High School. Construction on Hjemkomst began in 1974 at the Leslie Welter Potato Warehouse in Hawley, Minnesota. The warehouse site was then transformed into the Hawley Shipyard during the construction. That same year, Asp became diagnosed with leukemia; however he still continued to build the ship; he had help from other volunteers.In July 1980 the Hawley Shipyard was torn down for the removal and christening of the completed ship. Hjemkomst was shipped overnight to Duluth, Minnesota, on August 5, 1980. Asp held the rank as captain during the ship's maiden voyage throughout Lake Superior until his death four months later on December 27, 1980. In May 1982, Asp's three sons and daughter along with eight members of Hjemkomst crew decided to sail Hjemkomst to Norway, which was Asp's original dream. The ship departed New York City on June 8, 1982 and arrived in Bergen, Norway 19 July and on August 9, 1982 the ship arrived in Oslo. The ship stayed in Oslo for a year until it was transported back to Minnesota on MV Brunto.
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Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
188 reviews
  • There are frequent events (like German Heritage, Midwest Viking Festival, etc.) that are a lot of fun. Some of the displays get updated to mesh with the event, but all of the displays are very interes...  more »
  • I traveled with a group from work to visit the Hjemkomst Center and I was very impressed with the tour that we recieved. This was my first time visiting and I will definitely be letting my friends and...  more »
  • So there's a big tent and inside is a hand made replica of a Viking ship that some other guys sailed to Europe to prove it could be done I suspect. The replica is really something to behold. If you are in the area it is worth a visit. They also have a very comprehensive presentation and museum about the ship. My take away; on their voyage the guys went to the bathroom in five gallon plastic buckets on deck. I imagine just like true Vikings.
  • 4-stars only because it is not an original, authentic Viking ship and stave church, but this museum offers a very authentically constructed Viking ship and Norweigian stave church. Excellent replicas. The tour of the church was very interesting and the ship is very impressive. The grounds surrounding the museum are nice. I am very glad I stopped here. There is a nice Nordic-themed gift shop as well. The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable. Very worthwhile stop.

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