National Register of Historic Places in Coos County

National Register #04000616: Nerdrum-Conrad House in Coos Bay, Oregon 21 September 2010
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National Register #04000616
Nerdrum-Conrad House
979 South Fifth Street
Coos Bay

This house was built for Finnish immigrant Rolfe Nerdrum who worked for the Coos Bay Pulp & Paper Company. The house at 955 South Fifth Street was built for his brother Hjalte.

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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