Led by Lutheran minister Eric Norelius's group to an area reminiscent of their lives in Sweden, most Swedish immigrants to America would soon choose Minnesota as their new home.
Today, like so many small towns in America, the highway bypasses Vasa and it isn't even a town anymore. There are no photos of its earliest days, but this is one artist's view.
The church still rides the tallest hill, and near it are the school and grave digger/church janitor's old home, both a museum today.
The early settlers traveled by oxcart, and amazingly, this one has been preserved and is on display in the museum.
Most walked much of the distance to Minnesota in their homemade shoes to save the strength of the oxen. They were sturdy people -- look at the size of these shoes! Behind is a photo of the man who made and wore these.
I was intrigued that such a small settlement of a couple hundred could muster a community band with uniforms, concerts, and a little bandstand between church and school.
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