Olava (Gjerdum) Erickson was born in Vaaler, Norway in 1872. As a young girl she and other girls cared for a herd of cows in the mountains.
She married Ivar Keisenid in 1897. They came to Canada (Olds) in 1910 and changed their name to Erickson. Some of their children died of typhoid in Olds.
Olava never learned to speak English. She was left at home alone in the winters when her husband and son went to work.