Imsdalen is a side valley of the Eastern Valleys (Østerdalen) of Norway, southeast of Rondane National Park (see maps below). The Eastern Valleys are located in Hedmark County and follow the Glomma River, with the border of Sweden to the east and the Gudbrandsdal valley to the west. Imsdalen is a side valley that extends some 22 miles to the northwest into the eastern part of Oppland County.

Imsdalen is part of an area called Ringebufjellet that runs from Ringebu in Gudbrandsdalen to Stor-Elvdal in Østerdalen. There are two lakes in the northern part of Imsdalen. The river flowing out of the south lake is called Imsa, a tributary of the Glomma River (Glåma). The Norwegian word for valley is dalen. Thus, the name Imsdalen means the Imsa river valley.

The first settlements in the area date back to around 1100 CE. Hunting, fishing, and farming in Imsdalen would have been thriving up until The Black Plague in 1349 which decimated the population in Norway as well as the rest of Europe.

The first recorded settlers are people from Stor-Elvdal who came to Imsdalen around the year 1683. In 1830, there were 5 households living in Imsdalen. In the late 1800s, families from Imsdalen immigrated to America. It was the custom for many Norwegian immigrants to change their name to the area in Norway in which they came from. Immigrants from Imsdalen changed their name to Imsdahl after arriving in America. Since Imsdahl identifies a location and not a family name, not everyone with the name Imsdahl comes from the same family.

However, as was the case throughout Norway for centuries, sons and daughters tended to stay in the same communities as their parents due to being isolated in remote Norwegian valleys. It was difficult to travel, and it was not unusual to marry a distant cousin. Thus, immigrants from Imsdalen who took the name Imsdahl could be related with a common ancestor, if you go back far enough.

Imsroa is a small village in Stor-Elvdal in the Eastern Valleys (Østerdalen) and is approximately 9 miles south of the community center at Koppang Norway. This is the location where the River Imsa coming from Imsdalen flows into the Glomma River. This is also where the turn off from the main highway is to get to the Ringnes bottling facility where they produce Imsdal water.
Click here for a street view of Imsroa and the turn off to get to Imsdalen.

The shaded area within the dotted lines is the municipality of Stor-Elvdal. The village of Koppang is the administrative center of the municipality. Imsdalen is the side valley that extends from Imsroa in Hedmark County to the east side of the municipality of Ringebu in Oppland Country.

Norwegians who came from the valley in Norway called Imsdalen changed their name to Imsdahl after immigrating to America.

Nordre Imssjøen - the north lake in the valley called Imsdalen.

Imsdal water is owned by Ringnes Brewery which produces beer, soft drinks, and bottled water for the Norwegian beverage market. The water comes from Imsdalen (Imsa River Valley), which is located at the foot of the mountain range Rondane. In the 1970s, water from Imsdalen was bottled under the name Norwater. In 1987, Ringnes Brewery bought the rights to the source. In 1994, the name was changed to Imsdal and first marketed in conjunction with the Winter Olympics held in Lillehammer, Norway.

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