Wednesday, August 27, 2008

The Gold Man of Norway

You may remember my May 25th post entitled, "Grimstad," in which I talked about the time we spent exploring my family's heritage in Norway.  When you consider how much we discovered about Dave's heritage, we didn't find much at all about the Neilson family tree.  That is, until now.  Since returning from Norway, my Dad has been working with a research assistant from Stavanger who filled in a bunch of missing pieces for us.  It turns out the story of my great, great, great, great grandfather, Captain Christian Paulsen is true!  He did strike gold in the California gold rush and when he returned to Norway he was known as "The Gold Man of Norway" or "Guldmannen" in Norwegian.  In addition to building the ship yard (for pictures, see the May 25th post) he built a beautiful waterfront home (pictured above), which recently sold for the equivalent of $5,000,000 USD. The current owner is professional Norwegian bicycle racer, Thor Hushovd, who recently won stage 2 of the 2008 Tour de France (check him out at  We were so surprised when Thor responded to our e-mail inquiry.  He told us he was familiar with the story of Christian Paulsen and the house.  Plus, he was kind enough to send  us photos!