Welcome to Red Lake River History.
While most people know about Sasquatch or Bigfoot, the story of Bjorne the Brave has been lost. Bjorne Saltwich was born of Norwegian descent. In his youth, his family emigrated from Norway. They homesteaded on the Red Lake River near modern day Gentilly, Minnesota. As the population of the area expanded, crime did so as well. Bjorne became a hero in his town, a defender of the good people of the Red Lake River community. His heroism is what first attracted Élisabeth Lavigne, one of the local young women, to Bjorne. Shortly after their betrothal, farmers in the surrounding areas started to warn people of sightings of "the beast." The beast was said to be 11 feet tall and covered with hair, with footsteps that would shake the teeth from your head. Bjorne set out to kill the beast with nothing but a wooden mallet, handcrafted by his father, Knute Saltwich. Bjorne hunted the beast for months, through all of autumn and winter. Unbeknownst to him, his betrothed lay ill, and would die before he returned. As the snow had begun to melt, he walked back into the town, ragged and bloody. He recounted the tale to his family of how he had barely escaped the clutches of the beast alive. Though his mallet struck the beast with many mighty blows, the creature would not die. After his story had been told, he sought to see Élisabeth. His father stopped him at the door and delivered the bad news. Bjorne died of his wounds and a broken heart shortly after. To commemorate his bravery and tragic death, his mother passed on his mallet to her daughter, Freja. This mallet was passed down through the women of the family for centuries after. Although Sasquatch is famous worldwide, we hope to honor Bjorne and his legacy of bravery as the original Sasquatch hunter.
Brought to you by Red Lake River History. copyright 1992.