- Project Runeberg -  Year-book of the Swedish-American Historical Society / Volume 10 (1924-1925) /
53

(1908-1925)
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miles from the western border of the settlement. A considerable
improvement in the means of communication and great benefit to
the settlement would result from the building of the much
discussed railroad from White Bear to Taylor’s Falls. This would
cut through the settlement from north to south, and the stations
along the line would become valuable markets for the farmers’
products.

Besides farming, lumbering is one of the settlers’ chief sources
of income. The male inhabitants of the settlement, especially
the younger element, have a good income during the winter from
lumbering in the great pine forests along the upper St. Croix
River and its tributaries. Several Swedes carry on lumbering
and logging business on their own account, but most of them
work in the large sawmills for lumbermen in Stillwater.

The town of Marine, or Marine Mills, as it really should be
called, which is the original settlement and the center of
population, was founded in 1839. On May 13th of this year, four men
arrived and settled here, namely Hiram Burke, Orange Walker,
Sam Judd and Parker. They came from a place called Marine
in Madison County, Illinois, and named the new settlement after
their old home. These men organized a company and called
it the Marine Lumber Co. Immediately they proceeded to set
up a sawmill, and the work proceeded so fast that already in
the month of September of the same year lumber could be sawed
there. Further up the river on the Wisconsin side, St. Croix
Falls had been founded the year before (1838), and the building
of a sawmill had even been started there, but no material was
sawed until 1840. The first sawmill in Stillwater was built
about 1843 and another was built at Arcola a few years later.
Thus among the sawmills that are located along the St. Croix
River, and which now saw and send into the market annually
several million feet of building material of all kinds, the one at
Marine is the oldest. This district, or the so called St. Croix
Valley, is undoubtedly the first to be settled in Minnesota.

In the year 1848, when Wisconsin was admitted into the
Union as a State and Minnesota was organized as a territory,
the first election was held in the town of Marine.

Among the first Swedes to visit this region is one named
Jacob Tomell. He appears to have lived among the Indians,

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