May 4, 2019 – The Andrew Peterson Farmstead Past and Present

Between 1860 and 1920, it is estimated that over 1 million Swedes immigrated to the United States.  Andrew Peterson would have been lost in the rush except for the 48 year diary he kept, noting his journey to the U.S, his horticulture work with apples and his struggles to homestead in MN.  The diaries were eventually found by Swedish author Wilhelm Moberg who used them as a primary source for his  Emigrant novels.

The Peterson Farm, a National Register of Historic Places site, was donated to the Carver County Historical Society six years ago  The donation launched the CCHS into a crash course on the restoration and rehabilitation of Swedish farm buildings.  During this presentation Wendy will be discussing the importance of the Peterson farm and the work being done to preserve it.

Wendy Petersen Biorn has worked in the nonprofit history field for over 30 years.  Twelve of those years as the Executive Director of the Carver County Historical Society. She holds a BA in Business Administration from Augsburg University and a Masters in public and nonprofit Administration from Metropolitan State University.  She is a nationally award winning author for co-authoring Two Wars on the Frontier, and has led the CCHS to two national AASLH awards for excellence in history, three MN MAHLM awards for excellence and one Dot.org award for excellence in technology.

SHORT:                                                           

“Minnesota – The New Sweden”

Al Youngdahl, SGSC Members

Swedish influence was very prevalent in Minnesota.  My Dad’s oldest sister made Swedish cookies and treats for family gatherings, my parents made Swedish sausage with their friends, and we went regularly to Svenskarnas Dag in Minneapolis for the midsummer festival.  We even said “hej” as often as we said “hi” to people we met.  My Mom’s German roots were also a major influence as well.

People have heard of all the Swedes in Minnesota, but I wanted to try and answer some of the questions regarding just how significant the Swedes were in Minnesota throughout the years.  Why and how did they choose to go there?  What were the historical numbers of immigrants who came to Minnesota?  Where did they live?  What did they do?  I hope this short will fill in some of the details about the connection between Swedes and Minnesota.

Al Youngdahl was born and raised in St. Paul, Minnesota, moved to Colorado in 1979 and lives in Denver with his wife Barb Sanborn.  He has always been interested in history and joined SGSC in 2014.  Al first researched his mother’s German family back to 1634 in Pomerania in the 1990’s.  With the help of online resources including Ancestry and ArkivDigital Al has traced the Youngdahl family back to Johan Jonsson (1663-1734) in Mansarp Parish, Jönköping Lan, Småland.  He is also researching his Swedish Grandmother’sfamily from the Örebro Län area.

Meeting presentations and handouts available here.