Haakon Bjornaas Photograph Collection (S4852)

  • 1907-1925

    Biographical Sketch

    Haakon Bjornaas was born in Otter Tail County, Minnesota in 1884. His parents, Ole and Ingeborg Bjornaas, had established their farm near the future site of Underwood in 1872. Haakon was one of twelve children born to Ole and Ingeborg.

    It is uncertain where Haakon received his training in photography. Photographs in the collection indicate that he may have taken a correspondence class. He began taking photographs around Underwood and the Phelps Mill, Minnesota area about 1906. He briefly had a studio in Clitherall, Minnesota but this venture was apparently unsuccessful. From 1908 to1920 he traveled and photographed sites in several Minnesota counties, as well as in parts of eastern North Dakota. Most of his travel was devoted, in his words, to “lots of post card work.” During part of 1910 he worked for the Fergus Falls, Minnesota photographer, W.T. Oxley, doing both studio portraits and travel work.

    Much of Bjornaas’s later work was in the Rapid River area, near Baudette, Minnesota. He filed a homestead claim there in 1910, and for the next several years photographed many of the settlements and events in the northern counties. In 1911 and 1912, Bjornaas joined with some other photographers to form Riverside Studio. Bjornaas operated “a branch studio” in a tent in Rainy River, Ontario. After 1911, Bjornaas continued to make post cards and other photographs in the Lake of the Woods, Minnesota area. Since he seldom dated his work, however, it is uncertain how much longer he tried to make a living with his camera.

    Very few photographs in Bjornaas’s collection were taken after 1915, indicating that he either saved no later work or that he gave up photography altogether. In December1936, Bjornaas sold his land on the Rapid River for $1090 to the United States government as part of the area’s Resettlement program. He then lived with two of his brothers in Pinewood, Minnesota in Beltrami County. Eventually he returned to the family farm in Underwood, where he died in 1949. 

    Collection Description

    This is a major collection of 1100 photographic prints and 450 glass negatives. The collection includes numerous prints of communities and sites in Northwest Minnesota, including Baudette, Cook, Fergus Falls, Roosevelt, Tower, and White Earth. A number of prints of North Dakota communities were also in the collection. Also included is a DVD of the Bjornaas photograph collection.

    Inventory

    Box 1*

    • COMMUNITIES
      • #950 - Hickson, ND and unidentified portrait
      • 951 - Kent, MN
      • 952 - Christine, ND
      • 953 through 955 - Abercrombie, ND
       
    • PORTRAITS
      • #956 through 962 - Unidentified 
       

    Box 2*

    • COMMUNITIES
      • #964 through 977 - Norcross, MN
      • 978 - Davenport, ND (449)
      • 979 - Donnelly, MN
      • 980, 981 - Colfax, ND
      • 982 - Kindred, ND
      • 983 - Georgetown, MN (490)
      • 984 - Georgetown, MN (488)
      • 985 through 988 - Georgetown, MN
      • 989 through 992 - Harwood, ND
      • 993 - Harwood, ND (497)
      • 994 - Vining, MN (597)
      • 995 - Vining, MN (601)
      • 996, 997 - Vining, MN 
       

    Box 3 (5 x 7)*

    • COMMUNITIES, continued
      • #998, 999 - Clitherall, MN
      • 1000 - Clitherall, MN (408)
      • 1001 - Clitherall, MN (679)
      • 1002 - Clitherall, MN (680)
      • 1003 - Clitherall, MN (413)
      • 1004 - Clitherall, MN (419, John Harwory Family)
      • 1005 - Clitherall, MN (421, John Harwory Family)
      • 1006 through1017B - Clitherall, MN
      • 1018 through1026 - Hendrum, MN
      • 1027 through 1031 - Dilworth, MN 
       

    Box 4 (5 x 7)*

    • COMMUNITIES, continued
      • #1032 - Dilworth, MN (451)
      • 1033 - Dilworth, MN (450)
      • 1034 - Dilworth, MN (455)
      • 1035 - Dilworth, MN (454)
      • 1036 - Dilworth, MN (452)
      • 1037 through 1039 - Dilworth, MN
      • 1040 - Wolverton, MN (629)
      • 1041 through 1046 - Wolverton, MN
      • 1047 - Horace, ND (511)
      • 1048, 1049 - Horace, ND1050 - Hickson, ND (508)
      • 1051 - Hickson, ND (503)
      • 1052 - Hickson, ND (510)
      • 1053 through 1056 - Hickson, ND
      • 1057 - Fargo, ND (462)
      • 1058 - Fargo, ND (460)
      • 1059 - Christine, ND (402)
      • 1060 - Wendell, MN (611)
      • 1061 through 1063 - Wendell, MN
      • 1064, 1065 - Battle Lake, MN
      • 1066 - Battle Lake, MN (374)
       

    Box 5 (5 x 7)*

    • COMMUNITIES, continued
      • #1067 - Nashua, MN (522)
      • 1068 - Nashua, MN
      • 1069 - Underwood, MN (577)
      • 1070 - Underwood, MN (587)
      • 1071 - Underwood, MN (574)
      • 1072 through 1078 - Underwood, MN
      • 1079 through 1097 - Unidentified
      • 1092 - (886)
       
    • BJORNAAS FAMILY
      • #1098, 1099 - Thomas Bjornaas
      • 1100 - Thomas Bjornaas and Pete Ness
      • 1101 - Thomas Bjornaas (337)
      • 1102 - Martin Nes Farm, Cook, MN (345, From right: Mr. Nes, Thomas Bjornaas, Conrad Nes. The rest are unidentified. 1914)
      • 1103 - Bjornaas Caricature 
       

    Box 6 (5 x 7)*

    • AGRICULTURE
      • #1104, 1105 - (358)
      • 1106 through 1112 - Unidentified
       
    • HOMESTEADS/HOUSES
      • #1113 - (636, Site from St. Louis County, MN)
      • 1114 - (648)
      • 1115 though 1126 - Unidentified
       
    • RURAL
      • #1127 through 1130 - Unidentified
       
    • PORTRAITS
      • #1131 - (882)
      • 1132 - (883)
      • 1133 - (814, Hanson’s)
      • 1134A - (814, Hanson’s, similar)
      • 1134 through 1136 - Unidentified 
       

    Box 7 (5 x 7)*

    • PORTRAITS
      • #1137 through 1160 - Unidentified
      • 1161 - Anna Neryaard, Josephine Berg, Berthart Haukebo, Anna Hakold, Gina Ranning, Martha Ranning, Edgar Wold, Rev. John Mattson, Edwin Wold, Selmer Hovde (142)
      • 1162 - Erik Moen (655)
      • 1163 - Ole Sivertson’s
      • 1164 - (885)
      • 1165 - (822)
      • 1166 - (251)
      • 1167 through 1171 - Unidentified
       

     Box 8 (5 x 7)*

    • PORTRAITS
      • #1172 - Unidentified
      • 1173, 1175 - Norwegian Ladies Aid Society (141)
      • 1176 through 1183 - Unidentified
      • 1184 - Louis Albertsons
      • 1185 - (842)
      • 1186, 1187 - (211)
      • 1188 - Unidentified
       

     Box 9 (3 x 5)*

    • COMMUNITIES
      • #1189 - Rapid River Area (223)
      • 1189A - Rapid River Area
      • 1190 - Vining, MN (600)
      • 1191 - Hickson, ND (502)
      • 1192, 1193 - Dilworth, MN
      • 1194 - Underwood, MN
      • 1195 through 1208 - Unidentified
       
    • CHURCHES
      • #1209 through 1214 - Unidentified
       
    • BJORNAAS FAMILY
      • #1215 - Ole O. Bjornaas
      • 1215A - Ole O. Bjornaas (21)
      • 1216 - J. O. Bjornaas (36)
      • 1216A - Elmer Bjornaas (335)
      • 1217 - P.O. Bjornaas and Pete Hanson (40)
      • 1217A - Henry, Ida, John, Sophia Bjornstad, Tom Bjornaas, and Ed Olson (341)
      • 1217B - Tom, John and Pete Bjornaas (41)
       
    • AGRICULTURE
      • #1218 - Wold-Olson-Berg Treashing Rig, ca. 1900 (56)
      • 1219 - (356)
      • 1220 - Unidentified
      • 1221 through 1229 - Unidentified
       

     Box 10 (3 x 5)*

    • AGRICULTURE
      • #1221 through 1229 - Unidentified
       
    • LOGGING
      • #1230 - W.B.O. Sawmill (94)
      • 1231, 1233 - Unidentified
       
    • RURAL
      • #1234 - Svendry Farm on Horseshoe Lake (84)
      • 1235 - Unidentified
      • 1236 - (234)
      • 1237 - Tower view from north side of Horseshoe Lake (238)
      • 1238 - Unidentified
      • 1239 - Otter Tail Lake Outlet (240)
      • 1240 through 1255 - Unidentified
       

     Box 11 (3 x 5)*

    • HOMESTEADS/HOUSES
      • #1256 - P. Bjornstat Barn (75)
      • 1257 - (661)
      • 1258 through 1286 - Unidentified 
       

    Box 12 (3 x 5)*

    • PORTRAITS
      • #1287 - James Luior (125)
      • 1288 - (144)
      • 1289 - (700)
      • 1290 - (746)
      • 1291 through 1321 - Unidentified 
       

    Box 13 (3 x 5)*

    • PORTRAITS, communities
      • #1322 through 1326 - Unidentified
      • 1327 - Selvin Brydal, Clara, Edwin, Margretta Wold (790)
      • 1328 - (801, similiar)
      • 1329 - (802)
      • 1330 - (Mrs. Bjornstad (803)
      • 1331 through 1353 - Unidentified
      • 1354 - O.L. Nygaard, Gjertrude Hanson, Rof Wik (sp), Mary Nygaard and Severt Hanson (133)
      • 1355 - (233) 
       

    Box 14 (3 x 5)*

    • PORTRAITS, continued
      • #1356 - (758)
      • 1357 - (758, similar)
      • 1358 - (762)
      • 1359 - (764)
      • 1360 through 1386 - Unidentified
      • 1387 - Haukebo girls
      • 1388 - (248)
      • 1389 - (250)
      • 1390 through 1400 - Unidentified
      • 1401 - Fido (51)
      • 1402 through 1413 - Unidentified
      • 1414 - (212)
      • 1415 - (853) 
       

    Box 15

    • DVD - Images of all pictures in collection, produced by MSUM Instructional Media, 2006 (Housed in Grey Cabinet).
    • Photographs by Other Photographers (252-316)
    • Postcards (Box 1)
      • Bjornaas and Family
      • Agriculture
      • Canada
      • Communities
        • Abercrombie, ND
        • Angora, MN
        • Battle Lake, MN
        • Baudette, MN
        • Carp, MN
        • Christine, ND
        • Clitherall, MN
        • Cook, MN
        • Davenport, ND
        • Dilworth, MN
        • Donnelly, MN
        • Duluth, MN
        • Fargo, ND
        • Fergus Falls, MN
        • Georgetown, MN
        • Harwood, ND
        • Hickson, ND
        • Horace, ND
        • Lithia, ND
        • Lowry, MN
        • Maine, MN
        • Nashua, MN
        • Norcross, MN
        • Phelps, MN
        • Proctor, MN
        • Rapid River Area, MN
        • Roosevelt, MN
        • Rothsay, MN
        • Rustad, MN
        • Sabin, MN
        • Spooner, MN
        • Tordenskvold Township, MN
        • Tower, MN
        • Underwood, MN
        • Vining, MN
        • Virginia, MN
        • Walcott, ND
        • Wall Lake, MN
        • Wendall, MN
        • White Earth, MN
        • Wolverton, MN
         
       
    • Postcards Continued (Box 2)
      • Homesteaders
      • Houses
      • Humorous
      • Portraits
      • Rural Life
      • Schools
      • Other Photographers
       
    • Slides

     

     Box 16

    • Photographs
      • Agriculture
      • Bjornaas and Family
      • Communities
      • Houses
      • Logging
      • Portraits
      • Rapid River Area
      • Rural
      • School
      • Photo Album 
          
       

    Box 16A

    • Exhibit Reprints on Pressed Board
        

    Box 16B

    • Exhibit Reprints on Pressed Board

     

     Box 17

    • Bjornaas, Haakon
    • Brochures/Publicity
    • Correspondence
    • Evaluation Forms, Returned
    • Forms
    • Grant Information
    • Lengselens Bilder by Sigrid Lien, 2009 (A book written in Norwegian which contains information about Bjornaas and his work).
    • Newspaper Clippings
    • Photographs of Exhibit
    • Schedule of Exhibit
    • Slide Presentation

     

    *Glass Negatives (Held in Tan Cabinet) with numbers in parenthesis which indicate the corresponding print number of the negative.