▶️ Destination Oregon: Fogelbo is a living museum of Nordic history

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He’s been knighted by a king. He lives in a log house built by the builder of Timberline Lodge and he is dedicated to sharing his Nordic heritage with anyone who stops by. 

And so, Ross Fogelquist has turned his home of more than seven decades into a living museum that people can tour. It’s called Foglebo and is located in Portland’s West Hills.

It was built in 1938 by the lead builder of the Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. A few years later, young Ross Fogelquist moved in with his parents.

“I’ve lived here 71 years,” said Ross.

He is of Swedish heritage. His parents are long gone, but Ross is here today and he is simply buzzing with energy. 

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In 1991, Ross deeded the home and two acres around it to Nordic Northwest, an organization committed to sharing all things Nordic in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Nordic countries include Finland, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Sweden. 

Ross’s last name, Fogelquist, means bird on a branch. His home, Fogelbo, means bird nest. 

Today, Fogelbo sits in the middle of the four-acre Nordic Northwest campus in the west hills of Portland, not far from Washington Square. And the home is dripping with all things Nordic.

And remember, this is Ross’s home. So why gift the house and acreage to Nordic Northwest?

“I felt that the house was of great historical significance and it’s full of probably one of the largest private collections of Scandinavian antiques in the region or country,” Ross said. 

“And many of these items are one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items, carved and painted and fashioned a couple hundred years ago in some cases. So it’s kind of a living museum,” Ross said.

His full title is Sir Ross Fogelquist. The king of Sweden knighted him. 

“Hopefully, future generations will be able to come here and understand and appreciate their Nordic heritage by looking at the different things here,” Ross said.

Nordic Northwest conducts scheduled tours of his log home throughout the year. The Christmas holiday tour is very popular. But outside of those tours, Ross can’t contain himself when he sees campus visitors wandering near his front door.

“Sometimes when I see curious people wandering around, I invite them in for just a little mini-tour,” Ross said. “People are kind of enthralled when they walk in here, and so I can just give them a brief overview of Nordic culture.”

Visit the Nordic Northwest website for more information

“I feel very blessed and gifted that I have inherited and collected so much of this. And so it’s my goal to share and that’s part of my philosophy of life,” Ross said.

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