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North Dakota: Legendary. Follow the trail of legends
North Dakota Parks and Recreation Department

Stained Glass Window at Icelandic


Established in 1964, Icelandic State Park is a 912-acre park that offers camping, picnicking, hiking, water recreation and geocaching. Although there is much to do, one of the main reasons Icelandic State Park is so unique is that it is home to the Pioneer Heritage Center and Historic Building Complex which exhibits the settlement period of North Dakota from 1870 – 1920. G.B. Gunlogson and his sister, Loa, donated 200 acres of their family’s homestead to help preserve the heritage of North Dakota. The story they wanted to preserve was similar to their own. The Gunlogson family left Iceland in 1876 and traveled to Gimli, Canada where they lived until 1880. They came to homestead in the Dakota Territory by means of ship, boat, wagon and foot.

The Northeastern North Dakota Heritage Association is Icelandic State Park’s partnership group that formed in 1986 to tell settlement stories of 22 different ethnic groups in the northeastern region and preserve the heritage of North Dakota. They did this by creating an early settlement town, restoring and moving several historic buildings to the park. They also built an interpretive center.

You will find the stained glass window at the Hallson Church within the Historic Building Complex. Originally built in 1897, Hallson Church was moved to the Heritage Center Complex in 1994 and completely restored in 1997. The colors in the stained glass circular windows were refinished to match the original windows as closely as possible; most are the exact same tint. This building was restored to its original state because it was a piece of pioneer settlement history that members of the Northeastern North Dakota Heritage Association and Icelandic State Park wanted to preserve for future generations.

We hope you explore the Hallson Church and admire the architectural design of the building, beautiful designs of the windows and unique panels of tin on the walls. Feel free to walk through all the historic buildings to remember how the pioneer settlers lived their lives and persevered over the hardships endured during that period in North Dakota.

Icelandic State Park is located 5 miles west of Cavalier, ND, on Highway 5, near the U.S./Canadian border.