The Anderson family first arrived in Ephraim in the late 1850s. Brothers Aslag and Halvor had immigrated to America in the late 1840s to find work in the lumber industry in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. They learned about the new settlement of Ephraim from Thomas Goodletson, a fellow Norwegian the brothers had known in the old country. The brothers also learned that Rev. Iverson, the founder of the Ephraim, was looking for someone to build a deep-water dock in the village. The brothers decided to take their carpentry skills to Ephraim.
The brothers reached an agreement with Rev. Iverson; the brothers would buy land from the congregation for the original purchase price of a $1.25 per acre. In return, the brothers would build a deep-water dock that the entire community could use. This dock would become the main point of entrance to the community of Ephraim until the late 1920s. Today the Anderson Dock is owned by the Village of Ephraim and is the home to the Hardy Gallery of Art.
Having completed the dock, the brothers now needed to determine how they could earn their livings. Halvor Anderson started a farm on the land purchased from Moravian congregation. He married Nettie Hanson and the couple raised a large family. Alsag built a General Store and a home (now the Anderson House Gift Shop & Gallery) for his growing family. He married Greta Hanson, Nettie’s sister. The Aslag Anderson family operated the Anderson Store for 100 years; his daughter, Lizzie, was central to the success of the Anderson Store. Descendants of both Alsag and Halvor are active in the Ephraim Historical Foundation today.
The EHF began operating the Anderson Store as a museum in the 1960s, and in the early 2000s, the EHF was able to purchase the Anderson Store through a generous donation by an anonymous donor.