Swedish Roots in oregon

An Immigration Research Project


About Swedish Oregon

Swedes began filtering into the Oregon Territory with the first wave of white settlers. At first their numbers grew slowly, but after 1883, when the railroad connected Portland to the national grid, the flow accelerated. By1910, the Swedes were the second-largest foreign-language immigrant group in the state. The influx diminished by the end of the 1920s, and ever since Swedish immigration to Oregon has been a tiny but steady trickle.

Compiling wide-ranging material—some of it never before translated into English—and none of it ever collected and introduced, Swedish-American author Lars Nordström invites the reader on a fascinating journey through the Swedish history of the state of Oregon from the late 1800s into the 21st century.

“Lars Nordström is presently the leading expert on the Swedes in the Northwest: both those who settled there during the era of the Great Migration and those who have come after, down to the present, from a very different Sweden to a very different America. His study is based on extensive research while as an immigrant from Sweden himself, he has a particularly sensitive understanding of the personal dimensions of the migration experience, which he eloquently conveys in lucid prose.”

H. Arnold Barton, Professor Emeritus, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“This volume, another in the excellent series to come from Swedish Roots in Oregon, makes an important contribution to our understanding of Swedish America. It is especially significant because it moves the focus out of the Midwest and expands our knowledge of an often-ignored region. Furthermore, the variety of chapters helps one to see more deeply into the complex lives of Swedish Americans across several generations.”

Byron J. Nordstrom, Editor of The Swedish-American Historical Quarterly.

“In SWEDISH OREGON, editor Lars Nordstrom invites readers to a veritable smorgasbord: fresh translations, new bi-lingual poems, green diaries, savory articles, light sketches, a tangy interview, seasoned memoirs, distilled photographs. As in his award-winning memoir Making It Home (1997), Nordstrom—a distinguished scholar, translator, and poet—again gives hungry readers an anthology that relishes 150 years of rich and invisible emigrant experience.”

George Venn, General Editor Oregon Literature Series