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Húsavík near Gimli, Manitoba
This page is dedicated to Sigurdur and Caroline TAYLOR Christopherson's second homestead, Húsavík, Caroline's 1st with Sigurdur. Prior she lived with Her father until the passing of her mother Isabella, then her uncle John for a short time, then back with her father William. The story of Sigurdur's life in Iceland is on his individual page. His voyage to America is on both Sigurdur, Caroline's individual pages. Sigurdur lived in America for three years prior to New Iceland, having arrived in New York.
The stay in New Iceland was temporary due to flooding, and Sigurdur's pioneering spirit. While Grund and Ytranes was more important for Sigurdur Christopherson, Husavik was an important time in their lives."

Thanks to Ryan Eyford for supplying Roy with his transcribed letters by Caroline "Carrie" of this time period of 1880. This has brought Húsavík back to Roy's attention regarding this important location., [5]

Read more about the New Iceland Colony below and here. There are MANY books on the subject. While Sigtryggur Jónasson (now on Facebook) became President of New Iceland, [12]  Sigurdur was an important person in the great wave of emigration from Iceland to Canada and the United States.
He never ceases to amaze his great grandson Roy, having such grit and determination, which includes breaking fields and plowing up tree trunks late in life..


"Initially Brazil was favoured as a likely destination, with over 40 Icelanders immigrating to that country, and many more prepared to go when transportation difficulties blocked the movement. Attention then turned to North America. Inspired by enthusiastic letters from a Danish store clerk in Milwaukee, four adventurous young men left Iceland in May 1870. They followed to North America by six people in 1871 and 22 in 1872. Among them was Sigtryggur Jonasson, a young government official who became the first Icelander to arrive in Canada.", [14]

In 1875 a large group of Icelandic immigrants migrated from Ontario to Manitoba, leaving Kinmount, Ontario, on September 25, 1875, for the shores of Lake Winnipeg.', [13]

"There were ten people in this group, who initially lived in an old Hudson's Bay Company log cabin. The cabin was later given the name Pox because the smallpox epidemic, which later swept though the colony, supposedly started there. Olafsson was the first to build a house..."
"The only permanant resident in the area was a man called Ramsay.", [10]

"...Uncle John bought flat boats and lived in one until they were ready to continue on their journey – while there Carrie met Dr. Schultz of Manitoba and here she first met Sigurdur Christopherson a fine looking young man well built. He had curly brown hair, dark dancing eyes, rosy cheeks and very alert and full of energy. He was very helpful on the journey down on flat boats which were towed down the river by HBC Steamer Colville to Gimli. They landed at Toillow bar. The lake had frozen over and no houses were ready." Source: Carol Jarvie Collection_Letters to Home2, October 1845 – William S. Taylor – Book binder and cabinet maker7, [27]

"J. Taylors lived in 1874 on the property on the lake in Dysart Twp. [Township] near Kinmount (Wiki) and Minden., [3]

The Taylors lived on the old Sawyer clearing, Part Lots 1 & 2, Concession V [5], [3]

The lots are grouped together, side-by-side, into a long strip called a "concession". Source
Since the Museum at Minden, Dysart, Ontario, Canada did not have time to give Roy the location of where John and Eliza's property was, let's resolve this ourselves!
Here is a portion of a larger map which clearly shows DYSART over Haliburton. So they could be used interchangably.
Portion of area near Haliburton, Source

This country property is on the edge of a small lake, where the two girls [Jane and Annie] probably learned to row, a skill they would find useful in the near future. From Jane Taylor's papers, John TAYLOR was supervisor of the Shanty Men's Mission of the British Canadian Bible Society. Around 1874 John took up the cause of a settlement, of Icelanders in Ontario. Jane's sister, Caroline TAYLOR'S diary tells how he became involved with the Icelandic settlers in nearby Kinmount. Caroline (Carrie) was traveling from Lansing, Michigan, where her father was farming [Willim S. Taylor], to visit her uncle John, Aunt Elizabeth and her sisters, Susan and Jane with a stop-over at Kinmount. At breakfast the next morning she saw an attractive looking young woman at the well. The waitress told her about these poor people who would be facing a harsh time when winter set in. Upon reaching Uncle John's home, she told him about the Icelanders and he went immediately to see if he could be of help to them...", [3]

In Peterborough: Bruton, Cardiff, Clyde, Dudley, Dysart, Eyre, Glamorgan, Grutford, Harburn, McClintock, Harcourt, Havelock, Lawrence, Livingstone, Monmouth, Nightingale, Snowdon, Stanhope, Minden and Sherborne, [4]

In Victoria: Anson, Hindon and Lutterworth, [4]

Kinmount Memorial Dedication Ceremony
An international gathering of 500 dignitaries, descendants and well wishers attended the ceremony unveiling the Gudrun Girgis statue, "In the Presence of a Soul", honoring the history and people of the Icelandic settlement at Kinmount. Read more here.

Ontario's Historical Plaques
The Icelandic Settlement Disaster
. Read the plaque off of photos here. Also see our Kinmount page].
One glarring omission is the name Christopherson on a video showing a plaque of 1874 Icelandic families. They do list Einarsson (Einarson), Arason, Sigvaldason, Thorsteinsson (Stonesons?) and other family names. Why SOME ignore Sigurdur is a mystery to Roy.
Name missing is Kristófersson

The Canadian Iceland Centennial Conference of 1975 by Dr. Paul H.T. Thorlakson
"... One of John Taylor's fellow students at Oxford, Mr. Laird, was then Minister of the Interior in the Government at Ottawa.

In addition, these Icelandic people — stranded in a rocky area ill-suited for a iarge permanent settlement — had a good friend in Ottawa, an Irish nobleman, Lord Dufferin, the Governor General of Canada. Prior to taking up his official post in Ottawa, he had spent several summers cruising in his private sailing vessel to Iceland...."

Kinmount Heritage Centre

Susie TAYLOR Briem and her sister Jane TAYLOR Hearn personally knew Lord Dufferin, Governor General of Canada.
Lord Dufferin
A Young Governor General Lord Dufferin
Lord Dufferin was a friend to the Icelanders
and instrumental in the New Iceland Colony.
Stipple engraving of Frederick Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood,
1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava as a young man.

SS Colville
Post S.S. Colville Source:
  "The delegates proceeded to Lake Winnipeg in a York boat, supplied by the Hudson's Bay Company, and had for a guide the late Mr. Joseph Monkman from St. Peters. After examining portions of the west shore of Lake Winnipeg, as far as time would allow, and finding the soil was good quality, they selected there a site for an Icelandic colony..."

After returning to Winnipeg, the delegates drew up a report...that same fall, although it was a risky thing on account of the lateness of the season." 250 Icelanders left Kinmount September 21, some came from Ontario and Wisconsin. They went to Sarnia, a steamer to Deluth, then by rail to the Red River (seen below) and down the Red River on steamer and barges.

The Icelandic party used flat-boats secured by John Taylor. They left Winnipeg on October 17, 1877 for Lake Winnipeg. Four days using the current to carry them. The Hudson Bay Company Steamer, the Colville towed the flat-boats at the mouth of the Red River on October 21 north to Willow Harbor, 15 miles. They landed at the sand bar... pp 174

which protects the north side of the harbor, south of what is now the village of Gimli, landing October 21st at 4:30 PM.
pp 175
'A Thousand Miles of Prairie: The Manitoba Historical Society and the History', edited by Jim Blasnchard Source.
On page 184 Michael Sherbinin (1856-1940) talks about Vladimir the Great and Yaroslav the Wise, who ironically are related through the Wise daughter's husband; Harald III "Hardrada" "The Severe" SIGURDSSON, who is our 23rd GGF.

The weather turned bad, the captain cut them loose, as the area by the north river, now known as Icelandic River was the original destination. They used their flat-boats as shelters and built a log cabin to store the meat.

Red River
Panoramic View of one of many bends in the Red River from Selkirk to Lake Winnipeg.
Sigurdur and the New Iceland Colonists traveled up this very same river heading left to right from Selkirk into Lake Winnipeg
Courtesy of the Roy Christopherson Collection

Willow Point Manitoba
Landing at Willow Point

"The [New Iceland] colonists made their own nets and buoyed them with bark floats. All the small boats in use in the colony in the early years were locally made, complete with oars, the lumber being sawn by hand and shaped by long immersion in hot water. The first boat in the colony, a box-like affair, was built by Benedikt Arason and Sigurdur Kristofersson [Christopherson] in the fall of 1875 from flat lumber... Source: The Icelandic people in Manitoba by Wilhelm Kristjanson, pp 120
Source: The Icelandic people in Manitoba by Wilhelm Kristjanson, pp 133

" 1880. He wrote captivating accounts of the district to his New Iceland friends. In August 1880, Sigurdur Kristopherson and Kristjan Jonsson (from now on Sigurdur Christopherson and Christian Johnson, the form adopted in their new community) set out for Pilot Mound to visit Parsanage, and explore in the neighborhood with a view to settlement They traveled by row-boat to Winnipeg by steamer... "
Source: The Icelandic people in Manitoba by Wilhelm Kristjanson, pp 133

Log Houses at New Iceland

"Friðrik Sveinsson, who was a ten or eleven year old boy in the first immigration group arriving to the Lake Winnipeg area in 1875, recounts in his memoirs “Endurminningar frá Landnámstíð”, published in Brot af Landámssögu Nýja Íslands , or “A fraction of the History of the Settlement of New Iceland” (my translation), edited by Thorleifur Jóakimsson (Jackson), that on the location where they were forced to camp on the west side of Lake Winnipeg during that first winter of 1875, they did not see much of the natives as they lived further north along the Lake where the fishing was good . He also says in his memoirs that the Dominion Government had appointed a certain part of the west coast of the lake to the Icelanders, and that he thought that the government had most likely notified the natives of that decision . The following summer of 1876, three of the settlers moved further north with their families to White Mud River, later called Icelandic River . Sveinsson and his foster father, Ólafur Ólafsson from Espihóll, were members of one the families...." pp 46
NOTE: This gives the actual name of Jackson. 2. Ck against Lauren's Olafur Olafsson.

"...A number of people came from New Iceland during the summer of 1876 seeking employment. They were forced to leave the settlement due to the lack of money. As an example, Sigurdur Kristofersson had taken land and spent the winter with the settlers, but came to Winnipeg seeking work. The only work available was in connection with street repairs and construction. He became an interpreter for all Icelanders seeking this type of work, including keeping time records. After two months, . he became an assistant foreman and later head foremah. He earned $2.50 per day. Sigurdur was an energetic and courageous man. - During the s-ummer of..."
page 2 Source
Part 2

South of Gimli
Sigurdur Kristofersson & Caroline Taylor, Grjotnes 1877

Image 5164
Possibly Sigurdur (1874) and for sure Caroline 'Taylor' Christopherson (1875)
3 and 2 years before marriage
Sigurdurs image has been flipped horozantally to face Caroline
Uncle Hank does not believe this is Sigurdur.

Courtesy of The Carol. Bev. Miriam. (CBM) Collection

Click to enlarge photo
Keith & Hank Christopherson visiting Willow Point (Víðirnes [8]) at Gimli

The Icelanders landed at this 'White Rock' located on the beach .
Willow Island Park has been developed by the Amason brothers and the White Rock on which the settlers symbolically landed has been polished and raised on a foundation., [12]
Good luck finding this monument. It it was not for Roy's 180 deg. vision, we would have driven right past it.
Photo from the Hank Christopherson Collection
Click to enlarge photo
Keith & Hank Christopherson visiting the
Eric the Red - discoverer of Vinland (North-America) Statue at Gimli

Located at South end of 2 Avenue, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada.
Designed by Professor Gessur Eliasson of the University of Manitoba.
Unveiled in 1967 by the President of Iceland, Asgeir Asgeirson
, [12]
As stated elsewhere on this website, vikings did NOT wear horned helms!
Photo from the Hank Christopherson Collection
IMG_SCAN_3761_NO 14
Plaque in front of the Rock

Willow Point at the End
From memory, we should have found White Rock halfway down the point, not at the end.
In summertime, there is only a narrow opening.
It is on the outer beach
Mike Christopherson and Roy at Willow Point.
where our Great Grandfather,
Sigurður Kristófersson (Sigurdur Christopherson),
and the New Icelanders landed and thrived on October 21, 1875,
over 137 years ago

Mike Christopherson at Willow Point
Click to Enlarge
Panoramic View of landing point of our great grandfather, Sigurdur Christopherson and the Icelanders in their flat-boats
Courtesy of the Roy Christopherson Collection

Roy at Southern White Rock
Roy Christopherson at White Rock - Aug 2012
Courtesy of the Roy Christopherson Collection
Mike at Southern White Rock
Mike Christopherson at the Southern White Rock half way down Willow Point on the beach
Courtesy of the Mike Christopherson Collection

Start of Willow Point
Click to Enlarge
Panoramic View of Lake Winnipeg at the south end of Gimli and the start of Willow Point.
To the right the road goes out to Willow Point
Courtesy of the Roy Christopherson Collection

While New Iceland expanded for miles, Gimli, Manitoba, Canada was at the center of the colony.

Boats used As Shelter (Add)

Reason Why They Did Not Make It To Their Original Destination (Add)

What EVERY Historian, History Book or writer does NOT write is how on July 10th, 1875 John Taylor asked his brother, William Stewart Taylor to help set up some cottages for the New Icelanders. Proof of this is in the form of a family heirloom of a postcard sent.

The group of Icelanders who arrived in the colony in late summer 1876 had recently passed through several of the Atlantic ports where the disease was prevalent. According to the journal of immigrant Porgrímur Jónsson, smallpox was carried to the colony in some clothing purchased in Quebec City by a man named Jón
Jónsson.45, [2]

Small Pox Epidemic
Started: Fall 1876.
John Ramsay lost his wife and four of his five children to smallpox, and his home.
Thought to be Chicken-Pox.
Location Icelandic River (Now Riverton).
Spread by end of October.
Sigtryggur Jonasson writes John Taylor.
NOV 22: Two Doctors arrive.
Woman carries the disease to Gimli.
NOV 27 1876: Colony Placed under Quarantine.
Many immigrants were immunized in Iceland before they travelled to Canada.
At Sandy River 200 dead bodies were found.
April 1877: Smallpox epidemic abated.
June 19 1977: Quarantine lifted.
June 19 1977: The New Icelanders demonstrated to Netley Creek, the southern border of New Island to lift the Quarabtine, which was done day before.
Sandy Bar saulteaux/Cree of the Algonquian almost entirely decimated during the smallpox epidemic.
1200 Icelandic settlers. Icelanders Deaths: 102

Another article on the epidemic,
"Love will find a way Before the epidemic broke out, Sigurdur Kristofersson and Carrie Taylor became engaged. In spite of the epidemic, they decided in February, 1877 to get married. As there was no minister in the colony at that time they asked for permission to leave the quarantined district and get married in Winnipeg. Their request was turned down but that did not stop them. They wrote to Winnipeg and asked Continued on page 5"...

New Iceland Map
Map showing New Iceland - Enhanced by Roy
Husavik, home of Sigurdur & Caroline Christopherson
is just south of Gimli and north of Sandy Hook

Continued from page 4 a minister to meet them at the post at Nettle Creek. So he did. On a bright but bitterly cold February morning, Sigurdur and Carrie approached the post from the north while the minister came from the south. With an improvised altar between them and hence in front of both minister and couple, the marriage ceremony took place. In a shelter not far from the post, coffee was served but the minister could not be invited. The rule of law and the rule of love both prevailed. How did it get to New Iceland? There are several accounts of the origin of the small pox epidemic. One has it that an Indian brought the disease to Gimli from the east. It is true that smallpox epidemic was among the Indians north-west of New Iceland in 1867-1868 and another one north of Manitoba in 1870-1871. But there was no sickness of any unusual character among the Indians in New Iceland when the first settlers arrived. It appears that the Icelandic immigrants of 1876 were unaware of any contact with smallpox en route from Iceland to Quebec. At Quebec an Icelandic boy was taken to hospital and seems to have contracted the disease there. When he a r r i v e d in New Iceland in September, 1876, he had smallpox Continued on page 6
'FOSTUDAGUR 27. NOVEMBER 1981-3' (New window)

It is believed that blankets were purchased in Winnipeg which brought the Small-Pox disease.

This PDF is incorrect! Co-published by the New Iceland Heritage Museum.
John Taylor was not Scottish. For a fact, his father was English. I could go on with corrections but that is up the authors to do.

The Pioneers landed at Willow Point. Sigurdur was instrumental in scouting out the site a year earlier and traveled to Iceland and Swan River as an Emigration Agent. He was almost thrown out of Iceland during a visit to bring another party and shouted down during a meeting by students no less (11). Leaving the motherland at that time was frowned upon. They intended to land north near Great Black Islan, then known as Mikley Island, now Hecla island in the north of Lake Winnipeg. It had one saw mill on it.. The weather changed as they travelled up from the Red River near where Gimli Manitoba is now, and the captain let them off at Willow Point, where they set up a quick camp and built one log cabin for the food. This would be near current day Gimli, Manitoba, Canada in the harbor. More at Sigurdur's page.

New Iceland Pioneer Cemetery- Gimli MB
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collection
New Iceland Smallpox Epidemic - Gimli MB
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collectio
New Iceland Smallpox Epidemic - Gimli MB
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collectio
Gravemarker - Gimli MB
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collectio
Gravemarker - Gimli MB
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collectio
Helps to go at night. Now name is visible
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collectio
Gravemarker - Gimli MB
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collectio
Thought I was being watched?
Courtesy - Roy Christopherson Collectio
New Iceland Smallpox Epidemic Memorial (Other website)

To Do: Add New Iceland Quarantine map

According to Ryan Eyford, the minister's own diary said they were married on a road, not across Netley Creek in the legendary story. Now the Reverend does not give names, however, there is reference to an Icelander and his Gimli bride.
"...were married on 20 January 1877...", [5]
"...young Icelander brought a bride up from Gimli....", [5]

On December 30,1879, in a ceremony performed by Rev. Jon Bjamason at the Gimli home of John and Elizabeth Taylor, Jane TAYLOR married William Taylor HEARN., [3]

"...The new community was named Frelsis, meaning absolute independence..."
also description of first picnic at Jones' Lake in 1884,,,
also nationalist; Peter Strang wrote...
also One Sunday at Grund, 125 bicycles were counted...
End Source: The Baldur High school Centennial Committee, 1967?, [11]

It looks like the following should read as follows:
"...The new community was named Frelsið, meaning absolute independence...", [3]

Husavik Cemetery (RM of Gimli). Source: MHS

Gimli Icelandic Pioneer Cemetery. Source: MHS

Also read about Sigurdur's father-In-Law, John Taylor's neice or nephews account about New Iceland, in their own handwritting, go to Life & Times of John Taylor. There are other references throughout this website, Sigurdur's page, John and Williams, etc. Used the search engine link in the Navigation Menu and type New Iceland.

Here is a story of John Ramsay sent to Roy by cousin Lija Kernested. The author talks about life in New Iceland.

Some information on the epidemic here regarding the Council of Keewatin. See Einarson page for more on Keewatin.

2 page article in the Logberg about the New Iceland Epidemic here.

See Marriage of Sigurdur and Caroline
New Iceland

According to Ryan Eyford, the story of the marriage taking place with Sigurdur on one side of the river and the minister on the other is not accurate, [5]
Courtesy of the Hank Christopherson Collection

Netley Creek
Panoramic View of Netley Creek

Courtesy of the Roy Christopherson Collection

Gimli Wharf
Panoramic View from the Gimli Wharf looking North at Gimli and Lake Winnipeg
Courtesy of the Roy Christopherson Collection

Image 4008
John, Sigurdur, William & Caroline TAYLOR Christopherson
Aft. Mar 1879, Circa 1881

Kindly sent "Reprint from Evie" [Evelyn Christopherson Ruccius in the past ]
C/O Sig & Hank Christopherson
Children may be visa-versa
TO DO: Locate beggining of text

died of scurvy. exposure and starv- ation. To compensate {or the high death rate, in the summer of ISTG, approx- imately one thousand more Icelantlers settled in the colony. Later in the fall of the same year and t.he winter of ISTF, an epidemic of small pox broke out, The entiue colony was placed in quarantine from November [875 to july IST?. A storehouse was converted to a hospital with three doctors tend- ing lu the suffering. Over one hundred lives were claimed in the epitlernic and many hearts were scarred by the loss oi loved ones. In Ll1E same year, Lord Duffenin. the settlers’ benefactor. came to visit the colony. His visit. gave the settlers the much needed sympathy, encourage- ment, and inspiration essential to an expanding colony. From IBT? the colony got under way. Fields were increasing and fish- ing boats were being constructed. The building of roads was a necessity. There was talk about schools, churches and government. Classes in English and other subjects were organized. The colonists sensed that their chil- dren needed to be erlncated in the lan- guage of their new oottmry. Caroline Taylor. ]ohn "f’aylor’s niece, was the iirst teacher and the first bride in the colony. Later, in the lSS|]’s, two schools were begun by Gudni Thor- steinsson with him as teacher. School districts were also set up in the late l88l]'s. The Rev. jon Bjarnason and The Rev. Pall Thorlnksson early form- ed the first Lutheran Church Organ- izations, Although they differed in their religious views, =boLh were Luth-· eran. The early church life played an important role in the future of the colony. “Fram.fa.ri”, or “The Progressive", the first newspaper in the colony, re- Iated the establishment of self-govern- ment. In IST?. a council was formed for local selfgovernment. The colony became the Republic of New Iceland in 1878 and a oonstitution was set up. Their constitution. or code of laws, was complete to the last minute detail concerning the manage- ment of government affairs, and the citizens' responsibilities and duties to eadt other and their oomrntmity. The elected members of thc government held assemblies where. in their native tongue, they debated and solved prob- lems that arose. This constitution last- ed until ISS? when municipal govern- ment was instituted with the newly formed municipalities of Gimli and Bifrost. Because of wet seasons and a relig- ious controversy, many of the lceland- ers migrated to other parts of Canada between l8’?8 and 11335. There were many reasons why the people left. Because of the controversy between the followers oi the two ministers. people began to leave with hard feel- ings. Lack of profitable employment proved to be an influencing factor in the migration of the colonists. The marketing of produce: cordwood and fish also forced the people to move to better surroundings. Only some 250 persons of over l500 remained after this exodus. A change in the tide came in the 18803 and 1890's, when large numbers arrived [rom Iceland. By 1900 the population had increased again to 2000. The railway that was once pro- posed Ior the colony ·was finally com- pleted in 1901 This gave the settlers a new incentive. A number of bus- inesses were established. People from Winnipeg bought summer cottages along the lake shore. The colony be- came a village in 1908. johannes Sig- urdson was its first mayor.

The Gimli Saga (Book) 1975

Map of Gimli, Manitoba showing land sections.
According to Ryan Eyford Sigurdur homsteaded at N 1/2 16-18-4E., [5]
Broken down: N=North?, 1/2 = ?, SEC.=16, T.P. or TWP = 18, RANGE = 4E

Map from the Sig & Hank Christopheron Collection
Map of Town of Gimli, Manitoba showing streets.
According to Ryan, Sigurdur homsteaded at
Hank marked out the location of the Viking Statue
Map from the Sig & Hank Christopheron Collection

Húsavík Homestead

The map below pinpoints Sigurdur's 1st homestead
in the new world.
Click to enlarge the map
The view across Lake Winnipeg is reminiscent of the ocean the Icelanders left behind in Iceland.

Gimli is shown along with the 15FT statue. A few miles south in the  Yellow area, was the property of Sigurdur and Caroline TAYLOR Christopherson homestead in the 1880s upon arriving at New Iceland.

map 0067

Courtesy of Google SAT Maps, created by Roy E Christopherson
Special thanks to Nonni Jonsson for help on the map layout.
Gimli Map 2006
Map of Town of Gimli, Manitoba showing sections. , [6]
In the above map next to #3 is #16
(Click to view detail of the area deleted this URL, see lower res. image below left)
Sigurdurs Section

Detail of Husavik Homestead
Click to enlarge the map
According to Ryan Eyford,
Sigurdur homsteaded at N 1/2 16-18-4E., [5]
shown here in yellow
Broken down: N=North?, 1/2 = ?, SEC.=16,
T.P. or TWP = 18, RANGE = 4E
Courtesy of Google SAT Maps, created by Roy E Christopherson

Image: N.HALF.16-18-4E_Husavik
This is where the homestead of Sigurdur and Caroline TAYLOR Christopherson was suppose to be for about 3 years. All of the Yellow area.
It seems to match the location as it is N as in North, Not NW or NE meaning he had West and East, and it was 1/2, not 1/4 which is still a mystery.
Map of Town of Gimli, Manitoba showing sections., [6]

Townships are 36 square miles: sub-divided into 36 1-by-1-mile square parcels called sections. Sections are numbered from 1 to 36 for identification.
Each township has a township and range designation to define its 36-square-mile area. Township is numbered north and south from the base line, and range is numbered west or east from the principal meridian. , [9]

New Iceland Poem by Don Martin.

Winnipeg: Established 1738 as Fort Rouge; renamed 1822 Fort Garry; incorporated in 1873 as the City of Winnipeg. Source

The first school began operation with the colony itself that first winter in Gimli. Children and grown persons, both men and women attended, with Miss Susie Taylor [Briem], niece of John Taylor" Source


Doing some searching on Stafholt for Kirsten Olafson, stumbled upon the New Iceland homestead of William Stewart Taylor. Our cousins in BC have a postcard sent to him. Written "William and Eliza Taylor of Foresthome" written by Nelson Gerrard, William and Eliza lived here for four years.
William first claimed...Kjalvik, in all likelihood the homestead known as Steinkirkja (Stone Church), of the first church built in the district.

In July of 1877, however, William obtained the NWof 28-18-4E (see map-Left). They left after the great flood of 1880.
Ref.: THFS, pg 103-104, [32]

Sigurdur and Caroline and the two boys lived 3 miles south of William.

Another source has this "In 1901 he bought a farm, from Stefan o. Eiriksson, by Boundary Creek, which had originally been held by John Taylor. " Pp 437 last paragraph. So both brothers farmed in New Iceland

William Stewart Taylor

Courtesy of The C.B.M. Collection
Required Reference credit required:
" This photo was saved as part of family memorabilia found at Ytranes, the Surrey, British Columbia home of Sigurdur and Caroline Taylor Christopherson."

IMG_1472_PHOTO_WM_Taylor by Roy Christopherson
Wm Taylor
Drawn by Mr. Sigurdson for the Gimli chapter of the I.N.L.
Image Courtesy of The
New Iceland Heritage Museum
Courtesy of The Carol Jarive family Collection

This transcription from a post card would prove that William Stewart Taylor was asked by his brother, John, to build the log cabins at New Iceland (Block of Land). William was a Carpenter. Roy's other GGF, Arni Sigvaldson was also a carpenter who worked on the MN State Capitol.

Arason House

Left: The Arason house at Kjalvik, Husavik, Gimli.

Visit the Arason family pages here. According to a new discovery based on a question cousin Lilja Kernested asked Roy about when John Taylor died, and was buried, this led Roy to find article on New Iceland and a great photo of John's wife, this in turn, led to speed reading the Gimli Saga, which mentioned her GGF Benedikt had bought a homestead south of Gimli that matches this house at Kjalvik. Kjalvik is a property, not a village, town or city. Just research Icelandic Placenames to understand. Roy's new property is called Skógur (Forest-because it has 150 pine trees). Skapti, ome of the main pioneers of both Gimli and Argyle District, is Benedict's brother and lived 2 landivisions NE of Kjalvik and William's neighbor.

Here is a postcard, possibly from Caroline Taylor Christopherson of the 'MIKADO' freighter from Lake Winnipeg, owned by the Sigurdson Family. 110 years of family commercial fishing there. Read more.
Mikado Article Source
Click to enlarge all with Brown Borders
Left: Front of postcard sent by Caroline TAYLOR Christopherson in Baldur. MB to Ranka in B.C.
Analysis of the post mark shows it was sent in 1910 .

Baldur Sept 30th [1910] Dear R. [Ranka Johnson] You will get nothing but post cards from me because we are so busy visiting friends[?] that there is no time for writing. I expect Susie will be going back with us _ she is at Bell?s now [probably Isabelle Badger]

Here is a translation of the two lines at the end of the postcard by Kormakur Hognason

. Jeg er hræd[d]ur um að þið Pjetur ætlið að taka við buið [búinu]. Skilurðu það?
"I'm afraid that you and Pjetur will be taking over the farm. Do you understand?"
2375 Proof of 1910
The card is signed by Carrie (Caroline Taylor?) The letter and the word inside the brackets are Kommi's, just to add clarity to Carrie's Icelandic.
[Know of no Peter in Crescent?]
HISTORY: Sigurdur Christopherson purchased two parcels of land early in 1900 in British Columbia, Canada, sick 1903, moved there in 1904, which would become Ytranes. What if Peter in the mystery man in the infamous calendar photo of Ytranes?
1910 William S. Taylor wife dies
See Tale of Two Photos - OCTOBER 3rd! 1 day later.

Here is a great photo of the original New Iceland Settlers and a cabin (Replica?) many years later

School at HNSUSA
Circa 1939-1941
Courtesy of the Pauline Einarson Collection
School at HNSUSA
Circa 1939-1941
Courtesy of the Pauline Einarson Collection

Religion played a major part in the lives of the Icelanders. There were two pastors at Gimli. Rev. Jon Bjarnason of the of the Lutheran State Church of Iceland, and Rev. Pall Thorlaksson. There are plenty of books online which discuss these two fine gentlemen, and the riffs amoung the Colony. Since this site is devoted to the family history, and no ties to the church or ther Sera Sigurdur, which nobody knows much about him, I'll let the authors tell the tale of these spiritual souls who walked in blizzards to tend to their congregations. Source
Page 17
"He [Sigurdur] named the country Grund (Plains) and Bru (Bridge)"..., [29]

"...On account of floods at Gimli in 1878-79 and 1880 farmers had to drive their stock to other districts to be fed during the winter. In July 1880 Christian Johnson and Sigurdur Christopherson set out to look for greener fields. Their friend Everett Parsonage who had lived in New Iceland, wrote them of a promising land in Southern Manitoba. These two men traveled by row boat to Winnipeg and by steam boat to Nelsonville where the closest land office was. From there they walked to Pilot Mound and after three days' journey, they got to the home of their friend Everett Parsonage.

Venturing north, these three men followed Oak Creek to what is now Bru. There a tent was pitched by messieurs Parry and Esplin, indicated a little life. From there they traveled west to 12-6-14, and camped. Mr. Parsonage rode his pony south to the hill (west from where the Lutheran Church is now), turned around and galloped his horse back and told his comrades he had found paradise. Four or five sections were claimed immediately. They returned to Nelsonville to file the claim. Mr. Christopherson filed on S.W. 12-6-14. On Sept 25, 1880, Skafti Arason, wife and two small children, Skuli Arnason and family, G. Nordman and Sigurdur Christopherson left Gimli for their new homesteads.

Cabins built on their oxe-drawn sleighs brought these sturdy Vikings over the frozen prairie sea of snow and after two weeks of traveling in very cold and stormy weather, they reached their promised land. They camped close to Christopherson's haystack until the weather turned milder and then their building began.
later that spring the settlement grew to eight families with the arrival of Mrs. Christopherson and children, Mr. and Mrs. Hearn, Mr. Halldor Arnason, Mr. Thorstein Johnson and Mr. B. Josephson. By 1881 these families had land ready for a crop, homes and stables built and plenty of hay. In 1883, many Icelanders came directly from Iceland with practically nothing but courage and a vision of a better life in Canada....", [29]

"...New Years Day, 1884, at the home of Bjorn Sigvaldason..."

The Baldur High school Centennial Committee, 1967, [29]

Read more about the Argyle District

1. Gimli Ad (top image) Copyright Roy Eunar Christopherson 2013.