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Eastern Norway Vestfold og Telemark TINN

Snowshoe Thompson

  • Torget 2, Tinn
  • +47 35080550
  •  /  km From You
Overview

Snowshoe Thompson emigrated to California in 1851, where he accepted a 300 km long postal route over the mountains.

North of Tinn Austbygd is the Lure Historical Monument Area. In the midst of wonderful scenery with a magnificent waterfall is the area where the first industry in Tinn had its beginnings. Here was a mill, vertical saw, logging runs, water wheels and much more.

The mill has had a wandering existence but is now back in Lure. The place is possibly best known as the childhood home of one of Norway's most famous emigrants - Jon Torsteinson Rue, usually known as Snowshoe Thompson.

Snowshoe Thompson emigrated from Tinn in 1837 with his mother. In 1851 he moved to California, where gold had been discovered. Here he accepted a 300 km long postal route over the mountains. In all types of weather he was Californias link to the outside world. His postbag often weighed up to 50 kg and contained everything from drugs to tools, clothes, books, kitchen utensils, etc.

Many a fortune hunter was rescued from death in the snow by Snowshoe Thompson. Standing behind Thompson on his skis, his arms round his rescuers waist, the stranded wanderer would be brought back to civilisation. At this time, skis were an unknown mode of transport in the States and many golddiggers were instructed in their use.

The newspaper Eminent Pioneers had this to say about Snowshoe Thompson when it became known that the most famous postman in the whole American continent had died:

If the trees of Sierra Nevada could speak out their longings, they would certainly have told newcomers that they had waited many years for the post to arrive in winter and on skis at that. The single ski trail imprinted in the snow by Snowshoe Thompson in the winter of 1856 has spread its furrows to snowclad districts of the North American continent. Snowshoe Thompson was the forerunner of the mailcoach, goods train and airplane!

Many memorials, standing stones and statues of Snowshoe Thompson have been raised in both the USA and Norway, and in both places there are memorial ski races.


  • Last Updated:
  • Source: Visitrjukan AS
Statens Kartverk, Geovekst og kommuner - Geodata AS
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