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Vasa: Mattson’s Settlement
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member beagle39z
N 44° 30.211 W 092° 43.424
15T E 521961 N 4927836
Quick Description: Vasa was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. It stands today as a tribute to America’s Swedish immigrants.
Location: Minnesota, United States
Date Posted: 7/20/2007 7:28:42 AM
Waymark Code: WM1WDE
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member KC0GRN
Views: 112

Long Description:
Founded in 1853 and called “Mattson’s Settlement” after its first resident, Hans Mattson, the community was renamed Vasa in 1856 in honor of Swedish King Gustav Vasa. Once called “the most Swedish colony in America.” The town prospered as an agricultural community until its two general stores, creamery, and post office were closed in the 1950’s. It has continued to serve as a religious center, and its ethnic heritage has been carefully preserved.

Two men played major roles in Vasa’s development. Mattson was one of the earliest promoters of Swedish immigration to the United States. He organized and led a company of Swedish volunteers in the Civil War and later became Minnesota’s first commissioner of immigration in 1867 and its secretary of state in 1869. He later served as U.S. Consul General to India and in 1888 was named national chairman of the celebration marking the 250th anniversary of Swedish settlement in America.

Reverend Eric Norelius, who settled in Vasa in 1855, established about a dozen Lutheran congregations in southeastern Minnesota. A major force in establishing the Minnesota Conference of the Lutheran Church – the Augustana Synod – he also started the state’s first Swedish newspaper and one of its first colleges. Gustavus Adolphus, now located in St. Peter. Minnesota first private children’s home and the first private high school were both established in Vasa by Pastor Norelius, who was later knighted for his efforts by Sweden’s King Oscar.

My Grandfather migrated here from Sweden via Ellis Island; met and married my Grandmother and had 11 children – my mother being one of them. My parents (born 1919 & 1923) worked, went to school and church in Vasa then left to the “Big City” – Minneapolis – to start their own family. According to my mother, areas of Vasa were named for the part of Sweden the inhabitants came from. Their area in Vasa was called Smoland (Småland, Sweden).

Both my Grandparents are buried in the church cemetery nearby.
August Applequist & Hulda Applequist
- May they rest in peace -
Marker Type:: City

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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
bookworm1225 visited Vasa: Mattson’s Settlement 5/28/2011 bookworm1225 visited it
GeoDad6 visited Vasa: Mattson’s Settlement 3/28/2009 GeoDad6 visited it

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