Archival Anecdotes: New place like home


February 20, 2023

Unidentified woman uses her spinning wheel to produce yarn. Many pioneer daughters reported that their mother brought a spinning wheel from the homeland to the homestead. (What an awkward package that must have been!) Mrs. Howard Schmid recalled how her mother Signe Aslakson spent many hours carding, spinning wool yarn and knitting socks. Signe was so good, she could knit and read at the same time.

The Homestead Act of 1862 opened settlement opportunities throughout the Dakota Territory, thus giving the Scandinavian populations an opportunity to escape crop shortages and create new opportunities. It is estimated that between 1865 and 1918, 1.3 million Swedes and 800,000 Norwegians immigrated to America. Some of those immigrants made it to Eddy County.

It wasn't uncommon for young women to...

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