- Project Runeberg -  Year-book of the Swedish-American Historical Society / Volume 7 (1921-1922) /
12

(1908-1925) [MARC]
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to the burdens. Except to those who came from the
Southern province of Sweden, heavily timbered land
was deemed better than more open, or the prairie.
Timber was absolutely needed for fuel and for buildings.
The lands adjoining the rivers upon which transportation
was dependent were mostly heavy forests. And we
find the early settlements about the Chisago Lakes, in
Carver County, near Cokato, and to some extent at Vasa
and Scandia located in dense woods where clearing
became exceedingly slow and laborious. Some exceptions
occurred as at Scandian Grove. That brushing, grubbing,
clearing and breaking was hard and tedious, I can verify
from experience. And it may be said truly that
circumstances beyond their control handicapped most of the
early Swedish settlers in this state.

Some of the adverse conditions of the early days have
been referred to; but of course, not all. In common
with other settlers, the Swedes found that the market
for their products was limited, the price low, and the
and the currency of uncertain value. Add to that their
ignorance of the English language and the ways of this
country, and the outlook was not very promising except
for those who had strength and courage to overcome
difficulties and who could look hopefully to the future.

What helped to give character and stability to the
early Swedish settlers and settlements here? As
already pointed out the need of more favorable economic
conditions brought them here. They wrerc not adventurers.
Nearly every one who came was determined to make
this the future home. The first objective was therefore a
piece of land, even if no more than a forty could be
secured. Comparatively few found permanent work and
became denizens of the cities of St. Paul, Stillwater, and

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