~Isanti County Minnesota~


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Isanti County

Gerdin Cemetery Tombstones Photos Added!

Thank you Glenn Larson!

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Isanti County is sometimes called the Dalarna of America, but its first Swedish settlers were from the province of Hälsingland. They arrived as a group in 1860 and claimed land just south of Cambridge. They had come to America a few years earlier, settling first in the Chisago Lakes area. It was not until the Civil War ended (in 1865) that immigrants from Dalarna began to comprise the greatest number of settlers. From the parish of Rättvik alone, more than 85 families settled in the country, most around Cambridge but also in the townships of Isanti, Athens and Spring Vale. Their settlement patterns have been well documented in a book by Robert Ostergren (University of Wisconsin), who terms the Rättvik/Isanti connection "a community transplanted"

The community of Stanchfield claims almost as strong a connection to Orsa in Dalarna, and Dalbo has definite ties to both Venjan and Älvdalen, also in Dalarna. The 1895 census indicated that of 10,915 people in the county, more than 4,300 had been born in Sweden.

In spite of it's strong Swedish heritage, many place names such as Bradford, Oxford and Cambridge reflect the influence of the folks from New England who came to the county before the Swedes. Only one township, Dalbo, was given a Swedish name. Thought to be named in honor of the immigrants from Dalarna, it is more likely that Dalbo comes from the place of the same name in Dalsland. Throughout the county there were a number of other small communities (now extinct) that had names of Swedish origin. Among them were Bodum, Walbo, Andree and Blomford.

A Guide to Swedish Sites in Kanabec and Isanti Counties, Kanabec - Isanti Swedish Tourism, 1996



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