"At the age of three, Peder strapped on his first pair of skis at Snaasen, Norway, his birthplace. In 1909 before his fifteenth birthday, he won the "hepperenn" at Graakollen outclassing 136 opponents and giving him recognition as one of the outstanding ski jumpers in the world.
In 1914, he came to the United States to enlist in the Army after his naturalization. He learned English and a trade serving as a corporal on an ammunition train in France. His work with engines gave him the experience he needed later at the Harry E. McHugh Company in Devils Lake, then shop foreman and salesman for the Powell Motor Company, and finally as manager and owner of the State Machine Company located at the corner of Fourth Street and Third Avenue.
Peder returned to Hannaford, North Dakota, where he met and married Hazel Peterson in 1923. She taught twelve grades, cooked hot lunch, and built fires in a country school. In 1928, with their two year old daughter, they moved to Devils Lake and a son, Peder John, was born.
Peder had won the National Title for the United States in 1928 which placed him on the US Olympic Ski Team that completed in Chamonix, France, that year and again at Lake Placid, New York, in 1932. My father's tremendous energy and enthusiasm for ski-jumping built three ski slides, in Hannaford on the river, at Devils Heart and on the shores of Devils Lake. He was instrumental in founding the Lake Region Winter Sports Club in 1932. The jump built on the south shore of Devils Lake hosted five tournaments, including the Central U.S. competition, that same year. Peder felt it was the largest, fastest, and most spectacular hill in the United States, and he had skied them all.
A bad fall causing back injuries ended his competition, however he continued attending ski meets as an accredited judge. But the days of tournaments which brought thousands of fans to Devils Lake came to an end before World War II.
My mother and father were both active in their church and many civic organizations. As children, my brother and I remember the fun excursions to Sully's Hill, Woodlake, and Lakewood. What an effort for parents to prepare for those all day picnics. Two meals had to be packed and I remember someone always sat on the handy "running board" to eat...Both Hazel and Peder are gone now, but would thrill to know they have shared their Ramsey County legacy with their grandchildren. Submitted by Helene Falstad Nees"
Source: Ramsey County, North Dakota. Volume 1, page 187. Centennial Heritage Cook Committee, 1983.