Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County – Hjemkomst Center

Located across the river in Fargo’s sister city, Moorhead, this local culture and heritage center is a must-see Minnesota museum.

Inside the white, tent-like structure you’ll find the Hjemkomst Viking Ship, a full-scale ship modeled after the Gokstad burial ship, built in nearby Hawley, MN, and actually sailed to Norway from the shores of Minnesota.

Outside sits the Hopperstad Stave Church, an exact replica of the one that sits outside of Vik, Norway.

Besides these cultural artifacts, you’ll find Clay County artifacts and archives as well as local, regional, and national traveling exhibits.

The Hjemkomst Center in Moorhead also hosts cultural events and festivals throughout the year, including the Scandinavian Hjemkomst Festival every June.

The Hjemkomst Viking Ship
A local Moorhead guidance counselor named Robert (Bob) Asp dreamed of building a replica Viking ship and sailing it to Norway. During your visit, you can watch an award-winning documentary, see photographs, and listen to recordings of Bob and his family’s journey to sail the hand-built Hjemkomst ship 6,000 miles across the Atlantic.

Hjemkomst means “homecoming” in Norwegian, aptly named for the ship’s journey to the homeland of Asp’s ancestors.

Read a full history of the ship and its construction

Hopperstad Stave Church
"Stavkirke" is Norwegian for "Stave Church," a church built using long log columns as central supports. The Stave Church in Viking Ship Park is a quintessential labor of love.

It was the dream of Guy Paulson of Fargo, who, with his wife, Beva, and sister, DeMaris Mathison of Spearfish, South Dakota, paid for the bulk of the church construction.

The church is a replica of the Stavkirke in Vik, Norway, which dates from the late 1100s. The church replica is used for weddings, cultural and educational events, as well as guided tours offered by the Historical & Cultural Society of Clay County.

Read a full history of the church and its construction.


The Hjemkomst Center will be open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 12 - 5 p.m. Sunday, & Tuesday nights from 5-8 p.m.


Adults (Ages 18-54): $12
Seniors (Ages 55+): $11
College Students: $9
Youth (Ages 5-17): $8
Children (Ages 4 and under), HCSCC Members, and ASCTC & Time Travelers: FREE

Free admission on Tuesday from 5 - 8 p.m.


Guided Tour of the Hopperstad Stave Church
• On the hour every hour (when the museum is open)
• April 1 - December 31 (the church is closed from January to March)

Get an informative guided tour of the Stave Church replica, including details of its architecture and construction and the history of the original Norwegian church its designed after.


Both the Hjemkomst Center and the Hopperstad Stave Church are fully wheelchair accessible. Audio description and touch tours can be arranged for the ship and the church with advanced notice of two weeks for both individuals and groups.

Parking & Public Transit
Visitors can park in the large lot outside the building (accessible parking available), or can ride the free Metro Link bus or pay for public transportation with the Metro Area Transit (MATbus).


• The Hjemkomst Viking Ship actually sailed from the shores of Duluth, Minnesota, to Oslo, Norway!
• If you visited Vik, Norway, you’d see a stave church that looks exactly like the one in Moorhead, Minnesota (it’s the original!).
• The Hjemkomst Center is actually a great stop for history and local and regional art.



The Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center (aka the Hjemkomst Center) first opened in 1985 to accept the Hjemkomst Viking Ship after it made its return from Norway. In 2009, the Clay County Historical Society (which was founded in 1932) and the Heritage Hjemkomst Interpretive Center merged to form the Historical and Cultural Society of Clay County.


  • Meeting Facilities Available
  • Admission Prices -
    Adults: $10
    Seniors: $9
    College Students: $9
    Youth (Ages 5-17): $8
    Children (Age 4 & under): Free
  • Days of Operation -
    The Hopperstad Stave Church is closed January 1-March 31
  • Meeting Facilities Available

The Hjemkomst Center is available to rent for a wide variety of events. The Hjemkomst Center has a variety of rooms available for business meetings and corporate gatherings. We offer:
•A wide range of audio visual equipment
•Flexible catering options
•Bar Service

Available Meeting Spaces

Auditorium & Oak

  • Size: 3,750 sq. ft.
  • Reception Capacity: 160
  • Banquet Capacity: 150

The Auditorium

  • Size: 2,500 sq. ft.
  • Reception Capacity: 120
  • Classroom Capacity: 80
  • Banquet Capacity: 112


  • Size: 1,250 sq. ft.
  • Reception Capacity: 55
  • Classroom Capacity: 32
  • Banquet Capacity: 48


  • Size: 1,250 sq. ft.
  • Reception Capacity: 55
  • Classroom Capacity: 32
  • Banquet Capacity: 48

Elm Boardroom

  • Banquet Capacity: 16

Stave Church

Planning a Conference?

Contact our sales department for assistance in planning your conference in the Fargo area.

Mallari Ackerman

Mallari Ackerman

Director of Sales, Fargo-Moorhead Convention & Visitors Bureau
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