Oh Pioneer, speak of your story, lest we forget.
On a pleasant winter day, January 6, 1903, Knut Throndson, an 1892
homesteader from Hellingdal, Norway, decided to visit his closest
neighbors, Tobias and Bertha Herigstad, who lived less than a
quarter-mile east of this spot. Knut’s wife, Caroline, remained at
home with three small children, while the older daughters Theoline,
age 13, and Menne, age 15, accompanied their father on the sleigh.
Returning home late in the day, they were caught in a sudden
blizzard. The sled runner hit a rock and broke. Knut unhitched
the team from the sleigh and told each daughter to hold the
horse’s tail as he held the reigns of the team. They struggled
through the blinding storm.
Arriving home, the father discovered both his daughters missing.
He ran back to his neighbor’s homestead, shouting their names all the
way. Knut and Tobias searched frantically all night in the storm.
When daylight came they found the frozen bodies of Theoline and
Menne four hundred yards from Tobias Herigstad’s home.
Over the past 100 years of Herigstad Pass history, other travelers
have recited many fortunate stories of being rescued from winter
storms on the Coteau des Prairies by the hospitality of the
Herigstad family. The tragic legacy of the Two Sisters lives on,
reminding travelers to be prepared for winter storms.
Sponsored by The Heritage Museum of Roberts County