Norwegian Lutheran Church / Leer
Norwegian Lutheran Church
Five Norwegian immigrant families established the village of Leer in 1879. They founded the Norwegian Lutheran Church Society in 1882. The small congregation met in a school until it built this church in 1899. Members donated lumber and crafted the baptismal font, altar, pulpit and pews. Services were conducted solely in Norwegian until 1922. The church, parish house and cemetery are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
In the summer of 1875 five Norwegian families settled what became the village of Leer. They and those who followed to Michigan seeking to own their own land. Many of the men worked in area lumber camps and Alpena's mills until they earned enough money to establish farms. In 1882, the Leer Guernsey Breeders Association showcased its cattle at the National Dairy Exposition in St. Paul, Minnesota. Named for Leir, Norway, the village reached its peak population during the 1920s.