In 1867, Lars and Orlaug England set sail from Norway with their six children. Upon arriving in Quebec, they traveled by wagon to Belleville, Wisconsin, and settled a hilltop farm in the Driftless region, named for rolling vistas and fertile hills untouched by pre-historic, drifting glaciers.
Without shelter or income, Orlaug made their home in an underground root cellar built by hand. A small chimney, clay floor and limestone walls, the structure protected the family throughout the winter and is still intact today.
Lars and brother Hans built the barn in the Norwegian tradition, with vaulted ceilings, thick oak beams, a gambrel roof and wide-plank floors. Soon after came the farm house, hog barn, milk house and a winter sauna -- all carefully embroidered among fruit trees and a forest of towering Burr Oaks.
Orlaug farmed until she was 87 and is buried in the town cemetery beside Lars and their children. A Scandinavian name that dates back to the eighth century, Orlaug describes one who pursues a full life; who is skilled, efficient and eager to achieve all that can be imagined and resolved.