Hofsós was one of my favorite little towns we visited along the Ring Road in June. This little Icelandic town is located in the north, in the Skagafjörður area. Established in the 16th century, it is one of the oldest trading ports in the country. If you’ve ever heard of it, it was probably because an image from this town was featured on the cover of the extremely popular Iceland Small World by Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson. I snapped two pictures of the house on the cover (the last two pictures in this post).
The harbor area of the town was absolutely charming. There was a delightful restaurant cafe and three historic wood buildings (the black buildings in the photos) that housed The Icelandic Emigration Center. The Center is a fascinating museum detailing the large waves of Icelanders who emigrated to North America (mostly the midwest of the US and central Canada) in the 19th century and early 20th century.
It is estimated that 16,000 to 20,000 Icelanders, almost a quarter of the population, emigrated to North America during that period. The exhibits ranged from well arranged information to read in English to more hands on depictions, descriptions, and accounts of the lives of these pioneering northerners. In addition to recording what happened and who left, the center has actively researches genealogies, helping descendants of Icelandic emigrants to trace their ancestors. They also had a lovely little bookshop. I picked up “The Music of Failure,” a series of wonderful essays on literature, heritage, and the Scandinavian immigrant communities in North America by Bill Holm, the grandson of Icelandic immigrant farmers in Minnesota. If you are interested in history, I highly recommend a visit to the center.
[35mm taken with my Canon EOS Rebel 2000. Click here for more pictures from my June Ring Road trip around Iceland]