When Brooklyn Was Norway

Victoria Hofmo, founder of the Scandinavian East Coast Museum, which contains thousands of items, also directs the annual Viking Fest, a celebration of  Scandinavian culture with music and a replica of a Viking ship.

"The waterfront is what attracted the Scandinavians to New York, especially the Norwegians, the poorest of the group, who were under Danish and Swedish rule for 500 years. A concentration of Norwegians developed around Red Hook and the Gowanus in the 1840s. They moved up the waterfront, as the area became more crowded, to Park Slope, Sunset Park and Bay Ridge. The height is around the 1930s and then again during WWII when many merchant marines were homeless and settled in Brooklyn after the war’s end. The chief impetus for immigrating was work. "

Victoria Hofman

Victoria Hofman is the founder of the Scandinavian East Coast Museum and organizer of the Viking Festival.  Quote from: On This Day in History:A Hint of Norway in Brooklyn.  Brooklyn Eagle, published online 05-14-2009


Jul. 27, 2008


  • Michael Nagle for The New York Times 
    as told to Jennifer Bleyer
    July 27, 2008

Share this Item