Thursday, 7 June 2012


DECEMBER 17, 1948

Port Arthur-Fort William

From: The Fenwick Papers - the Nipigon Museum Archives

Reports Holes Drilled by Farmer


Fourteenth century Vikings may have visited America before Columbus, but the famous Kensington runestone doesn't prove it, a college professor said today.

Dr. J. A. Holvik, professor of Norse at Concordia college here, cites two reasons for doubting authenticity of the runestone, a 202-pound slab found in 1898 near Kensington, Minn. One reason relates to certain characters in the Runic message chiseled on the stone.

The other reason involves peculiar holes in another large rock still lying on the shore of Lake Comorant, near here. Dr. Holvik said that contrary to the belief of many students, these holes were not drilled by Vikings for use in mooring their ships, but by a 20th century farmer bent on building a house.

Dr. Holvik says he has a signed statement from Willie J. Anderson, 73 -year-old Swedish farmer, which clears up the mystery of the holes. It was in the winter, about 1908, that Willie spied rocks along the lake. He planned to use them for the foundation of a new home. He drilled hole preparatory to blasting. But a thaw came before he could get to town for dynamite and with the snow gone he found plenty of small stones for the construction job.

As for the Runestone, Dr. Holvik thinks three capital letters, in the message "AVM" do not date back to the 1300's "I have found no record tha "AVM" was ever used in the Scandinavian countries in the 14th century as an abbreviation of any name or expression," he said in an interview.

Dr. Holvik did not offer a theory as to who inscribed the Runestone. One translation of it reads:

"Eight Goths and 22 Norwegians upon a journey of discovery from Finland (that's what the paper wrote) eastward . We had a camp by two skerries (rocky islands) one day's journey north from this stone. We were out fishing one day. When we returned home, we found 10 men red with blood and dead. AVM save us from evil."
"Have 10 men by the sea to look after our vessels 14 days journey from this island. Year 1362."

The Runestone is now at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. (1948)

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