National Register of Historic Places in Coos County

National Register #93000435: Nerdrum House in Coos Bay, Oregon 21 September 2010
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National Register #93000435
Nerdrum House
955 South Fifth Street
Coos Bay
Built 1912

This Craftsman Bungalow with Colonial Revival elements was built for Finnish immigrant Hjalte Nerdrum who worked for the Coos Bay Pulp & Paper Company. Hjalte's brother Rolfe built a house at 979 South Fifth Street, two lots away. Hjalte and his family lived in the house only a few years before returning to Finland.

When we photographed the Nedrum House in 2010, it housed the Coos Bay Manor Bed and Breakfast.

In December 2019, I received an email from Rolfe Nerdrum's grandson who lives in Finland. The email read in part: "My grandfather who built the house was called Rolf Nerdrum, not 'Rolfe'. It's not a big deal, but the spelling 'Rolfe' distorts the pronunciation."

I checked the National Register nomination forms for the Nerdrum House (1993) and the Nerdrum-Conrad House (2004). Mr. Nerdrum's first name is spelled Rolfe several times in both nominations which seems to indicate that the spelling was not a typographical error but was recorded in local documents relating to Mr. Nerdrum.

I do not know how to reconcile this discrepancy. I do know that many Europeans changed the spelling of their names when they immigrated to the United States. Some did this by choice, others because their names were incorrectly spelled in a legal document, and they decided to accept the new spelling.

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