How many names are there?
One thousand, seven hundred sixty-seven. About
850 names were placed on the
rune stones initially in 2007, and the remainder were unveiled on July
Does each name get its own plaque or nameplate?
No, there are 13 plaques with 100 or more names on each
Is it just for immigrants who have passed on?
No! It’s a tribute to Scandinavian immigration and for
all immigrants from Scandinavia, whether they’ve 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, it’s 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
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)?
We’re 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
Red’s 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 Erikson’s 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?
Yes! LEIF is working with the community of L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland,
Canada, the site of a known Viking settlement, to install a replica statue
in the summer of 2013. You can be part of the plans by donating toward the
effort and/or visiting it during the unveiling.
This will be the final replica of Seattle's statue. 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 and
the remainder in July 2010.
Where can I read more?
Read about LEIF's immigration tribute project in the