Swedish American: Minnesota History

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Swedish Beginnings in Minnesota


Scandia in Washington County is known as the home of the first Swedish settlers in Minnesota in 1850.  For history, historic sites, a timeline, and relevant online indexes see http://projects.wchsmn.org/communities/scandia/

Swede Hollow

Swede Hollow was a neighborhood of Saint Paul, Minnesota.  Swedish immigrants arriving in the 1850s gave their new home in this valley the name "Svenska Dalen" or Swede Hollow in English.  It was a valley where some of the poorest Swedish immigrants settled.  Residences were constructed almost entirely from scrapped building materials.  Because of this and other poor conditions, the area can be described as a slum.  The Swedes moved on and the area was later populated by waves of other poor immigrants -- Poles, Italians, and Mexicans.

Today the area has been cleaned up and has been designated as a nature center.  It has returned to its original woodland state and is a part of the city park, Swede Hollow Park. 

To learn more about Swede Hollow see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swede_Hollow  

Recommended Reading

Swedish Immigration:  Why did they leave? and Why Minnesota?  http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/history/mnstatehistory/swedish_migration.html

A Review of Swedish Emigration to America by Ulf Beijbom http://www.americanwest.com/swedemigr/pages/emigra.htm

I Go To America by Joy K. Lintelman. A book published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press about Swedish-American Women and the life of Mina Anderson, why they left Sweden, what they found and how they survived.

Swedes in Minnesota. http://www4.cord.edu/projects/Bergstrom/MNswedes.htm

Minnesota Swedes: The Emigration From Trolle Ljungby to Goodhue County 1855-1912, Lilly Setterdahl, Ameican Friends of the Emigrant Institute of Sweden, Inc., East Moline, Illinois, 1996.

Swedes in Minnesota, Anne Gillespie Lewis, Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2004.

Letters From the Promised Land: Swedes in America 1840-1914, H. Arnold Barton, University of Minnesota Press, Minneapolis, 1975.

Swedes in the Twin Cities:  Immigrant life and Minnesota's Urban Frontier, Philip J. Anderson and Dag Blanck, Minnesota Historical Society Press.  2001.

"Where did the Swedes Go? The Causes of Swedish Immigration and Settlement Patterns in America" by Rickie Lazzerini http://www.kindredtrails.com/Where-Did-The-Swedes-Go-3.html