Helga Estby and her daughter Clara left Spokane, Washington, in May 1896 to walk to New York City on a $10,000 wager. The money was needed to prevent foreclosure of their mortgage, hopefully saving the family homestead.
Helga was a Norwegian immigrant who married young, bore nine children, and endured fruitless years on the harsh Minnesota prairie before moving West. She and her husband Ole settled near the little Washington farm town of Rockford, only to be wiped out by the nationwide depression of 1893.
Lured by an offer from a mysterious sponsor, Helga was promised funds if she and her daughter walked unaided and unfinanced all the way to New York City. The women "tramped" the railroad lines through Boise, Salt Lake City, Denver, and Omaha before reaching roads and "civilization" in the Midwest. They walked on through Chicago, Pennsylvania, and finally reached New York. On the arduous journey they faced extreme cold and heat, hunger and exposure, and even shot a man in the leg in self-defense. They met with mayors, governors, and other notables, such as, President-elect McKinley on his porch in Ohio.
On Christmas Eve, 1896, the New York World reported their arrival in New York City. What followed was an American tragedy.
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This long forgotten story is an inspiring true tale of courage and determination set in a period where women didn't do such things. Helga's adventure and its sad conclusion is well captured in this beautifully designed book. An excellant selection for a book club.About the Author:
Linda Lawrence Hunt, an Associate Professor of English from Whitworth College, now directs The Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship with her husband in Spokane, Washington. An engaging speaker and freelance writer, with articles in regional and national publications, she traveled throughout America and in Norway to reconstruct this silenced story of Helga Estby's epic journey.
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Book Description Caxton Press, 2004. Book Condition: New. Brand New, Unread Copy in Perfect Condition. A+ Customer Service!. Bookseller Inventory # ABE_book_new_0893012629
Book Description Caxton Press. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110893012629