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The story behind the place: Lagerman, Nelson, and Ryssby-Swedish Legacies

 
Series: Story Behind the Place | Story 1

April 22, 2020

Katie Rowley

Lagerman Reservoir, former "prastgard" of a Swedish reverend.

The Homestead Act of 1862 turned the American West into a promised land for religiously and socially repressed Swedish Lutherans, who were coming off three years of crop failure. Around 1.3 million Swedes immigrated to the United States between 1862 and the early 1900s.

But not all Swedish immigrants in Longmont acquired their land through the Homestead Act; at least one earned it by gratitude.

In 1870, August Nelson accepted a job in the Blackhawk smelter. With help from his two brothers, Nelson saved up $1,000 to buy land. He was passing through present-day Hygiene when he came upon a dis...



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