LEIF Shilshole Statue Project: Frequently Asked Questions

How many names are there?

Two thousand, three hundred fifty-one. About 850 names were placed on the rune stones initially in 2007; more than 900 were added on July 18, 2010; another 509 were unveiled Oct. 12, 2014.

Does each name get its own plaque or nameplate?

No, there are 14 plaques with 100 or more names on each plaque.

What are the designs on the stones?

You'll find a description of each design here.

Is it just for immigrants who have passed on?

No! Itís a tribute to Scandinavian immigration and for all immigrants from Scandinavia, whether theyíve passed on or are still living. About one-fourth of the submissions are for immigrants who are still living and working in the area.

Is this just for Norwegians?

No, itís for immigrants from all the Scandinavian countries. The donations represent: Norwegians 71%; Swedes 18%; Icelanders 3%; Danes 5%; and Finns 3%. (Interestingly, the 1990 Washington state census reported that of those with Scandinavian heritage, the percentages were Norwegian 50%, Swedish 33%, Danish 10%, Finnish 6%, and Icelandic 1%.)

Why did the Port move the statue and how far did they move it?

As part of a general renovation of Shilshole Marina, the statue was moved a very short distance within the same general area.

Who is Leif Erikson International Foundation (LEIF)?

Weíre a tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization. We raised funds for the statue of Leif Erikson that was given to Trondheim, Norway, in 1997, and partial funding for a statue of Leif Erikson for Erik the Redís home place in Greenland in 2000. We planned the Leif Erikson Plaza at Shilshole Bay Marina as the setting for the refurbished 1962 statue of Leif Erikson and 13 runic-like stones with names of Scandinavian immigrants engraved on plaques. Our Board members are Mary Englund, Barbara Grande Dougherty, Jay Haavik, Kristine Leander, Rolf Lystad, Dustin Matsen, Irene Patten, and Sharon Storbo.

What is the mission of LEIF?

Our mission is to promote Leif Eriksonís place in history, support Scandinavian activities and culture in the Northwest, and build bridges between Scandinavia and America.

Does LEIF have plans for any more statues?

No. LEIF has installed replica statues in three locations: Trondheim, Norway; Brattahlid, Greenland; and L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland, Canada. No further replicas are planned. The molds were created in 1996 for the Trondheim statue. Molds do not hold up forever, and LEIF has been lucky to get three statues from this set.

How do I get more information?

For information about the project, or call LEIF president Kristine Leander at 206-778-1081.

When did this project start and how long did it take?

LEIF formally launched its statue project in 2005. The statue was removed from its 1962 base in February 2007 and installed in the new plaza in September 2007. We unveiled the first 850 names in October 2007; about 900 in July 2010; and more than 500 in October 2014.

Where can I read more?

Read about LEIF's immigration tribute project in the Ballard News-Tribune.

Leif Erikson International Foundation
206-778-1081 ē
2245 NW 57th, Seattle, WA 98107