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Stockholm was founded on Erik’s dream…

Erik Peterson fell in love with the area that today we know as Stockholm.  In the heavily-wooded bluffs, he saw beauty reminiscent of his Swedish homeland and opportunity in lumber and cattle.  An immigrant working on the Mississippi as a lumberjack and rafter, he understood the need for wood to feed the fires that created the steam to move the riverboats.  Erik had a dream to establish a settlement along the river.  At the Stockholm site he discovered the perfect place to do so.

In 1852, Erik registered a claim to two parcels of land and then returned to Sweden along with his two brothers.  During the next two years, he married and convinced two hundred more Swedes to join him in “paradise” along the shores of Lake Pepin.  His brother Jacob arrived with the first group in the spring of 1854 and built a log house where everyone resided until each family could construct a home.  Eric returned with his wife in the fall just in time for her to give birth to their first child, Matilde, on the day of their arrival.

The next spring the settlers planted corn, potatoes, and other crops.  In 1856 the residents decided to establish a village and selected a name from their homeland, Stockholm.  The settlement prospered to such as degree that the nation’s economic downturn in 1857 did not affect them.  Erik was the community’s leader during these years and often referred to as “King Erik” or “The King of Stockholm.” 

In the March, 1857, issue of Hemlander, the author of an article echoed Erik’s sentiments regarding Stockholm. “The situation in Stockholm is not only romantic but also advantageous.  Being situated on the shores of Lake Pepin, the settlement has a good steamer connection with the cities up and down the river, and the sale of one’s products is thus very much facilitated.  The Swedes annually sell considerable quantities of wood to the steamers…  The lake yields fish in inexhaustible abundance.  For cattle-breeding this place is quite excellent as well as for agriculture.” 

The next time you come to Stockholm, remember that you are visiting the legacy of Erik’s dream.

We’d love to see you again,
Stockholm Merchants