Found in the ghost town of Norse, Texas (near the small community of Cranfills Gap) Saint Olaf's Kirke was built in 1886 by Norwegian settlers. Nicknamed the Old Rock Church in homage to the Texas limestone used in the church's construction, the building rests atop a gentle hill with a view of the Meridian Creek Valley. While this church's home congregation moved into the nearby town of Cranfills Gap with a modern facility, they still use the historic church without electricity, central air, or indoor plumbing, for special Christmas and Easter services, as well as for special events like weddings and funerals.
The very first immigrant from Norway to the US, Cleng Peerson is buried in the attached cemetery. King Olav V of Norway visited the church on October 10, 1982 to commemorate the Norwegian ties to the area, and the United States at large.
Taylor Sheridan, creator of the hit television series Yellowstone used to live in the area. In an interview with Texas Highways he said that when he was around 12 or 13: “Me and a couple friends liked to sneak upstairs to the organ and wait for visitors. When someone came in, I’d wait a minute and then play a really dramatic chord,” he says, laughing at the memory of tourists running out of the “haunted” church. When told there’s now a locked gate protecting the organ, Sheridan says, “That’s probably because of us.”"
June 16th, 2022
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