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Balsam Lake, United States

Jay Bergstrand, a second cousin to my father, has been extremely kind in helping me organise a lot of my trip. He has a strong interest in genealogy and our Swedish family. Through his help I managed to connect with many of my American relatives throughout the journey, for which I am very grateful.

Jay lives in a small village called Balsam Lake, about 1 ½ hours NorthEast of Mineapolis together with his wife Joyce. This is also the area that my great great grandfather Johan Månsson emigrated to in 1872.

I stayed with Jay and his wife Joyce for five days. During this time I got to meet a lot of relatives and other people with Swedish connections.

The picture above is of Jay and his niece Joyce, whom my parents had met on a trip to Wisconsin in the 1960’s.

Above is Jay’s brother Fred (second from left) with his wife, Jay’s nephew Chuck (middle), Jay’s wife Joyce and Jay.

This is me and Jay with Jay’s niece Tammy who is the manager of a local restaurant.

One day we drove into Minnesota and visited the villages of Lindstrom and Scandia - places with a very strong Swedish history. Scandia is the place where Johan Månsson lived his last years and lies buried.

This is Wynness Holmberg (middle) and her family who also live in Scandia.

Lindstrom had some bizarre signs in Swedish, a giant coffeepot hanging from an old water tower, and a selection of Swedish souvenirs in the shops. The town also boasted a statue of the famous Swedish writer Vilhelm Moberg, who had stayed in Lindstrom in the 40’s to do research for his famous book about Swedish immigrants.

During a meeting with the local Swedish club at Jay’s house, I met a man called Larry Lee Philipson. He is an old rockabilly artist who has played with people like Johnny Cash. His list of merits even includes a place in the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

One day Jay took me to the St. Croix river - a site featuring some unusual ‘potholes’. These were formed during the last ice age when melted ice from the glaciers would whirl around and drill deep holes into the rock. Some of these were more than ten metres deep.

permalink written by  niklasbergstrand on January 16, 2009 from Balsam Lake, United States
from the travel blog: Niklas in America
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Grymt! Tror du man får lite discounts i Lindstrom om man heter Lindström?

permalink written by  Marie Lindström on January 22, 2009

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