Normandy Norwegian Settlement LbNA # 34837
|Placed Date||Sep 2 2007|
|Last Update||Aug 12 2010|
Normandy was near the site of present Brownsboro twelve miles northeast of Athens in northeastern Henderson County. It was established in 1845 by Johan Reinert Reiersen,of the district of Christiansand, Norway, as the first of his three Norwegian settlements in Texas. He brought his parents and his own family to Normandy, and other colonists followed. In the summer of 1847 a number of settlers in the adjoining Neches bottom lands died, and many of the Norwegians moved to Four Mile Prairie in Van Zandt County and Prairieville in Kaufman County, also established by Reiersen. A Lutheran church and cemetery were established in Normandy in 1853, but after that the community seems to have merged into the Brownsboro settlement, which had been established nearby. A Texas historical marker in Brownsboro commemorates the old townsite.
To the letterbox:
Find your way to Brownsboro, Texas, located on Hwy 31 East between Athens and Tyler. On your way out of Brownsboro going towards Tyler on Hwy 31 you will come to County Road 3204 which will veer off of Hwy 31 to the right. Take CR 3204 .05 miles until you see a large green sign on your left that reads Brownsboro Cemetery and Norwegian Lutheran Cemetery with arrows pointing right. Turn right onto that first street which is CR 3420. Travel approximately .05 miles. The main road will curve to the left, you will curve to the right and follow the sign that reads Brownsboro Cemetery. This road is NOT well maintained, so drive slowly. The road dead ends at the Brownsboro cemetery which is .03 miles. Walk into the main pedestrian gate. Walk straight from that gate towards the back of the cemetery 50 steps. You will see a very large tree close to the center back of the cemetery. If you get to the Johnson's graves, you've gone too far. The letterbox is hidden behind some stumps that surround the tree.
If you are into cemetery history, in the back right corner of this cemetery across the fence, in a separate section, are several graves. Also, when you leave the Brownsboro cemetery the way you came in, as you drive down that short road, notice to your left a set of aluminum steps. If you stop and climb up the steps, that is supposedly the Norwegian Lutheran Cemetery. You will see several rock only grave markers that are suppose to be those of Early Native Americans. This area is not maintained very well for such a historical place.