Erik Hanson, from Omaha, Nebraska, jumped on a Megabus to Chicago with his mother Patricia, and his friends John Jacobsen and Joyce Jacobsen to explore Andersonville’s rich Swedish culture.
What do you know about Andersonville?
At one time, it was the the center for the second biggest Swedish community in the world after Stockholm. A lot of Swedes settled down here after arriving at Ellis Island on the east coast. Andersonville was one of the first stops in America. My grandfather came over in 1912 and Andersonville was his first stop before he ended up in Omaha. Other popular locations for the Swedish immigrants were Iowa, Minnesota and Bishop Hill in Illinois.
What do you know about Sweden?
I’m taking language classes in Swedish. If I understood it right, what Sweden is today is very different from 100 years ago. The standard of living, class structure, farming, religion, merchants and towns.
Earlier on Andersonville:
When Jultid became Yuletide
and, on the Swedish American Museum: The Swedish American Museum in Chicago's Andersonville
and, its founding Executive Director: Creator, founder, visionary