Monday, August 2, 2021

Helena Ulfsdotter Snakenborg; A Swedish lady at the Elizabethan court


During the 16th century, both England and Sweden were ruled by the colorful royal houses Tudor and Vasa. Both families had seized power by force, both had colorful and ruthless and charismatic rulers such as Gustav I , Erik XIV , (John III and Charles IX in Sweden and Henry VIII and Elizabeth I in England. One of my distant relatives came to serve members of both.

British School 16th century _A young lady aged 21
 Possibly Helena Snakenborg WikimediaCommons

Helena (Elin) Ulfsdotter Snakenborg was probably born around 1548-1549 in Fyllingarum manor  in  the province of Östergötland as the daughter of Gustaf Vasa's councilor Ulf Henriksson Snakenborg to Fyllingaryd in Östergötland and Agneta Knutsdotter.Lillie.
Helena´s family was a branch of the old noble family Bååt (Boat) that sometimes used the 
name Snakenborg wich came from Helenas fathers paternal grandmothers side of the family. Since the Swedish nobility were just beginning using family names in the 16th century Helena would sign herself as Helena or Elin Ulfsdotter (daughter of Ulf.)

Tre Kronor The old royal castle in Stockholm (burned 1697)
The Stockholm residence of the Swedish royal family and Helena
Snakenborgs workplace as a maid of honor to princess Cecilia
of Sweden.
The castle in a painting from 1661 by Govert Dircksz Camphuysen.
WikimediaCommons

Helena was one of the youngest of her parents  six children. Due to her father's position as a member of the Privy Council of Sweden, she probably already came into contact as a child with first the elderly miserly king  Gustaf I  and later the young handsome  ambitious but mentally unstable  Erik XIV court. Helena was  of the same age as Gustav I:s  three youngest children Sofia, Anna and Karl (Charles IX), perhaps they were brought up together at the royal castle Tre Kronor in Stockholm. 

Erik XIV, 1533-1577, king of Sweden (Steven van der Meulen) - Nationalmuseum - 38906
Portrait  of swedish king Erik XIVsent to Queen Elizabeth I of England,
 to further the negotiations regarding the marriage. By 
Steven van der Meulen 1561
WikimediaCommons

Erik XIV had big plans for his future marriage. As early as 1559, he sent his younger brother Johan (John III) at the head of a delegation to England to propose to its new queen Elizabeth I. The delegation was well received but Elizabeth very civilly  declined.
Erik did not give up and  contact between the courts continued. Princess
Cecilia Erik and Johan's younger sister admired Elizabeth and began to correspond with her, expressing a desire to visit her in England.

Princess Cecilia Gustavsdotter Vasa of Sweden
unknown artist: WikimediaCommons



In 1564 the political situation in Sweden had taken a dramatic turn. King Erik had thrown his brother Johns and Johns  new bride into prison. Princess Cecilia naturally was upset by this and protested. She was  anxious to leave Sweden and visit England with her new husband Markgrave  Christopher of Baden-Rodemachern .

In the early autumn of september of 1564  the couple  left Stockholm   together with a large group of courtiers including the now 15-year-old Helena Snakenborg as one of her  maids of honour Due to the war with Denmark, the entourage had to travel over Finland, Livonia, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands. After a stormy crossing the they   landed in England and on September 12th  they made their  magnificent entry  into London.

Princess Cecilia was wearing a black velvet dress with a mantle of silver fabric. studded with pearls. and her maids of honour  including Helena wore dresses  in crimson and coats of the same fabric and colour. For Helena, the arrival to London must have been overwhelming. With about 100,000 inhabitants, London was one of Europe's largest cities  more than 10 times larger than Stockholm. Elisabeth I's court was with its splendor one of the most sophisticated in Europe.

The Darnley Portrait Elizabeth I ar. 1575
 National Portrait Gallery WikimediaCommons

Princess Cecilia and her entourage were initially well received by the Queen, who became the godmother of Cecilia´s eldest son Edward Fortunatus, born a few days after her arrival in London and named  after the Queen's younger  brother Edward VI. However Cecilia's wastefulness soon  caused   tensions in her relationship with the Elizabeth I. A life-changing event for Helena came when a prominent courtier William Parr first Marquis of Northampton 1513-1571 fall in love with  her.

William Parr First Marquess of Northampton
by Hans Holbein the Younger Royal Collection WikimediaCommons

William Parr was the brother of Catherine Parr 1512-1548 Henry VIII sixth queen and thus Elizabeth I's stepmother. He had a complicated  private life. He was a newly widowed  but his first wife Anne Bourchier, whom he divorced  twenty years earlier, was still alive and it was considered that he could not remarry as long as she was alive. We do not know what Helena felt about her 35-year-old suitor.  She must have been aware that a marriage with him would make her one of England's highest ranked ladies. She wrote to her worried mother in Sweden and emphasized his fine manner and high social position.

Princess Cecilia  and her husband had by this time hastily left England to escape her large  debts.Her debtors sized all her and her maid of honours clothes. The angry Cecilia woved revenge on England and Elizabeth ! 

Helena remained in England.  Queen Elisabeth I , had become attached to the young girl and  secured Helena a position  at court by appointing her as one of her maids of honour.
Life at the Elizabethan  court,despite all the luxuries, was often stressful. Elisabeth I was a charismatic queen but also moody with outbursts of anger as she could also beat  her favorites at court. Helena's  experience of   serving members of the fierce and suspicious Vasa  dynasty certainly came in handy.

In 1568 in  Sweden the political situation had changed once more . King Erik XIV had descended into mental illness and been deposed by his brother John III who seized the throne. Erik XIV  would later  die in prison in  possibly killed by being  given peasoup spiced with arsenic !

It was probably during this time that the first portrait considered to depict her was painted (see top of page). She wears a white petticoat with red flowers under a red petticoat. On her head she has a white floral beret adorned with a white and a red feather.

Helena and William  Parr married in May 1571, after the death of his first wife, the Queen attended the wedding which took place  the Queen's Closet  in Whitehall Palace. Helena became  a widow when her husband died after just four month of marriage. William Parr died with big debts which the queen  had to pay.

After her husbands death Helena returned to the royal court as one of Elizabeth I s ladies in waiting  As the dowager marchioness  of Northampton, Helena was the highest ranking lady  at court after Elizabeth I and the queens cousin lady Margret Douglas  Helena returned as a widow to her service as a lady in waiting  to the Queen and it was at the court that in the mid 1570s she met the man who became her second husband Sir Thomas Gorges 1536-1610.


Portrait of Sir Thomas Gorges (1536-1610)
of Longford Castle in Wiltshire,
 a courtier and Groom of the Privy Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I
Wikimediacommons.

Thomas Gorges was one of Queen Elisabeth's chamberlains. Through his kinship  with the powerful Howard family, he was related by both Queen Elisabeth's mother Anne Boleyn and her third stepmother Katherine Howard.

Despite his kinship  to the queen Thomas Gorges was not considered to be of the same rank as Helena, since he did not yet have his own noble title. Elizabeth I who chose to live unmarried was extremely reluctant to allow her courtiers to marry. This was probably what made Helena and Thomas marry in secret in 1576. The queen was furious and banished Helena from the court and threw Thomas Gorges into the Tower of London!

However, the queen soon forgave the newlyweds and allowed them to return to court. Helena and Thomas Georges Marriage seems  have been harmonious and resulted in eight children of whom six  lived to adulthood. The time the couple did not spend at the  royal court, they stayed at Longford Castle near Salisbury in the county of Wiltshire in southwest England. During their time, the property was expanded into a magnificent castle inspired by the Swedish Vasa castles


Longford Castle front
Longford castle in Wilthshire Peter, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons 

.The diplomatic relations between England and Sweden in the  1570-thies was a bit  tense. The princess Cecilia had returned to Sweden and settled in the city of Arboga . She send privateers out the Baltic where they sized the cargo of English ships.The princess meant that she had the right to keep the cargo as compensation for the property she had lost to her debtors  when she left England in 1566. 

In  1582  Thomas Gorges lend an embassy  to Sweden where he also met members of the Snakenborg family. As far as we know, Helena never returned to Sweden after her move to England. But she corresponded with  her mother and siblings, one of her brothers was present at her first husband's funeral in 1571.

In 1580ties  he Elizabeth I rewarded  Helena and her husband  with the Sheen property for their lifetime.  Sheen was located near the Richmond Palace, the queen's main residence, which allowed the spouses to live with the children even when they were in court.

Richmond Palace, west front, drawn by Antony Wyngaerde, dated 1562
WikimediaCommons

Helena remained Elizabeth's close confidant and, due to the Queen's faltering health often had to represent the queen on official occasions  at the end of the 1590s. At the Queen's funeral in 1603, she walked  closest to the coffin  as the highest ranked female mourner  present.


Helena Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton, 1603

Helena Snakenborg, Marchioness of Northampton, 1603
Helena Snakenborg widow marquis of Northampton in that costume
she bore at James I coronation 1603 artist Robert Peake the Elder
WikimediaCommons


Helena and Thomas Gorges attended the coronation of the new King James I in 1603 at Westminster Abbey in London. Helena was portrayed by the artist Robert Peake the Elder in the magnificent red dress adorned with ermine she wore at the coronation.

After Thomas Gorge's death in 1610, her Helena increasingly withdrew from the center of power of which she had been a part since her arrival in England 45 years earlier. She returned to court a few times to assist in diplomatic negotiations with Sweden over a possible marriage between the princess Elizabeth  and the Swedish prince Gustavus Adolphus son of Helenas childhood friend king  Charles IX which was never completed due to the opposition of the princess mother queen Anne of Denmark.


Helena Snakenborg lady Gorges detail of grave monuments in
 Salisbury Cathedral h
original photo: tudorqueen6.com


She had a varied life to look back on and a large family to worry about. According to a contemporary writer, she had 92 descendants at the time of her death! Helena died on 10 April 1934 at the age of 86 at Longford castle and was buried next to Thomas Gorges under a stately monument in Salisbury Chatedral (No bad career for a girl from Östergötland)!


Salisbury Cathedral (St. Mary) (14674778559)
Monument and effigies, in Salisbury Cathedral, Wiltshire,
 of 
Helena Snakenborg (d.1635) and her second husband
Sir Thomas Gorges (1536–1610). Erected after her death in 1635

 

Web links and sources


Videos:


Claire Ridgeway from The Anne Boleyn Files talks about Helena Snakenborg





Claire Ridgeway and her dog Teasel speaking about maids of honour  and ladies in waiting at the court of Elizabeth I.




A video with views from Longford Castle built by Helena and her second husband Thomas Gorges






Web links

in  english

Helena Ulfsdotter Snakenborg in Svenskt Kvinnobiografiskt Lexikon (Swedish Encyclopedia of women)
Helena, Marchioness of Northampton  art.by Gunnar Sjogren Published in HistoryToday Volume 28 Issue 9 September 1978

Family of Queen Katherine: The Death of the Marchioness of Northampton blogpost Posted on  by Tudorqueen6   


in Swedish

Snakenborg, släkt, urn:sbl:6081, Svenskt biografiskt lexikon (art av Hans Gillingstam), hämtad 2021-05-2


Helena Snakenborg: Drottning Elisabeths sängkamrat Art.by Birgitta von Heland Published in Populär Historia 5/2002


Literature:

in Swedish

Helena Snakenborg: en svenska vid Elisabet I: s hov / Gunnar Sjögren. 1973

Fiction

in english

Roses have Thorns a novel about Helena Snakenborg by Sandra Byrd 2013


Triology about Frances Gorges the daughter of Helena Snakesborg dotter
 by  Tracy Borman 



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Minnesota Day in Ljuder Church August 13, 2017



This years Minnesota day was held as usual in the church in Ljuder in Lessebo municipality  in honour of the writer Vilhelm Moberg and the emigrants from the Ljuder  area to Minnesota and other parts of the world.






Among the guests who faithfully have returned the recent years   were the former head of The Swedish Emigrant Institute' in Växjö former  Professor Ulf Beijbom. and  Monica Banaz from the University of Krakow in Poland.









A Swedish-American churchservice was held and the Swedish-American of the year the Swedish diplomat  Jan Eliasson  was also presented.












Angela Hoffman from the University of Uppsala  spoke about "Swedish meeting with Indians" in Kansas. The day before, she spoke to the Association of Friends to the Swedish Emigrant Institute on the subject "Swedish-American churches  Cookbooks"
k

Folkdancers from Vissefjärda  danced traditional swedish folkdances beside Ljuders Local Heritage
Museum and Park..


Thursday, August 3, 2017

ArkivDigital photographs Swedish-American church records .


When the Swedes emigrated to the United States and Canada, they often formed their own Swedish-speaking churches. The  oldest were founded in  the late 1840-thies and the beginning of the 1850-thies and the last in the 1920-thies  The largest congregation   was the lutheran Augustana synod . The most important of the others were the Evangelical  Covenant church  and ther were also Swedish baptist and Methodist congregations as well as the Evangelical Free church 

During the 1970-thies and 1980-thies, Lennart Setterdahl  was commissioned by the Swedish Emigrant Institute to microfilm much of the chrurchrecords . The microfilms  are currently available at the Swedish Emigrant Institute in Växjö and at the  Swenson Swedish Emigration Center at Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois,
Last year, Arkivdigital began digitizing the Swedish-American church archives in several states to the delight of professsional and emigrant and family researchers. The digitization also includes material from some churches  that have not previously been filmed. In 2016, material from Kansas was digitized, This year,work on   digitizing materials from Minnesota and Nebraska has begun. ArkivDigital tells about the progress of their work at their blog


Warren Johnson and Sven Henning photographing
 Swedish-American church records
in Omaha Nebraska
 photo Arkivdigital





Friday, July 21, 2017

Murder on Christmas night! The shooting of Swan Nelson in Chicago 25 Dec 1893 Part 2

Swan Nelson was buried on December 28nd  at Oakwood Cemetery outside Chicago. The burial service was most likely performed by pastor Carl Granath of the swedish-speaking Zion Evangelical Lutheran church which Swan and his relatives attended. In its It is burial record he is listed as "shot December 25th 3 AM" 


note about  Swan Nelsons burial inthe burial records from
Zion Evangelical Lutheran church in Chicago microfilm SAKA 192
 Swedish Emigrant Institute, Växjö,Sweden.

 The news of his death spread fast  among the Swedish-Americans in Chicago and caused great anger . It increased the ethnic tensions between  Swedish-Americans and Irish-Americans.The Chicago Daily News described the shooting as unjustified and the Swedish-American newspapers raged. The Swedish-American organisations quickly organised The Swedish National League to raise money for an investigation and legal counsel to make sure the two policemen were tried and punished. The leaders of the  committee were  contractor August G Myhrman, lawyer Harry Olsson and William Wennerholm. Support also came from the Swedish-American newspapers , including Svenska Tribunen




(from :Swedish-American Historical Quaterly 2014 jan no. 1page .41)


Quick to join in wasthe 25-year-old entrepreneur Fred Lundin known for his "Juniper-Ade" he  was elected chairman of the committee. The first mass meeting was held on January 7th and gathered 400 participants.More than 20 mass meetings were held between january and October 1894 and around  8,000 were gathered (about $ 200,000 in today's money value) .Several Swedish-American churches and clubs became involved in the matter.  A private detective was hired to search for  witnesses and a well known lawyer  Luther Laflin Mills  was retained.  

The biggest event for collecting money was a big concert held on May 26 1894in the new Auditorium Theatre , featuring t 400 singers and musicians andan audience of  around 4500 listeners.
The trial against Healy and Moran opened  on January 7, 1895. The proceedingsoffered a lot of drama and was given extensive coverage  by the Chicago newspapers. A juror was removed for perjury and indicted,during the trial there were charges of jury tampering and witnessess being  influenced and allegations of a police cover-up. . The defense argued that there were no unlawful killing since Swan nelson had fled the policeand that anyone could have fired the bullet.
 In the end, Luther Laflin Mills adressed the jury and  held a long speech in which he depicted Swan Nelson as a innocent  young man brutally shot  by two corrupt police officers and he  concluded:

"Lying on the ground dying with his lefeblood flowing on that frost-coveredside-walk,Swan Nelson grasped" I treated them,they wanted more,I refused and the policemen shot me. I am dying,I have done no wrong.´Gentlemen of the jury,this was an awful crime;yours should be an awful verdict"

The jury sentenced the policemen to 14 years in prison for manslaughter . They were sent toThe  Illinois State Penitentiary in Joliet Illinois.. The sentence was however  not the end of the story.
The case was appealed and two more trials were  held in the following years.. In the 1897 trial, the sentence was reduced  to 4 years in prison. In 1899, the case was was again back in court, but  it was decided not to hold another trial and  Moran and Healy were returned  to prison . However, according to The 1900 Federal  Census they are not listed aong the prisoners at Illinois State Penitentiary.Perhaps they had been transferred to another prison or released .

                                    (Illinois state Penitentiary Joliet,Illinois ( )
The trial had consequences for all involved Josephine bjorkman died in 1901  Fred Lundin got contacts in politics served in the Illinois state senate and a  term in the House of Representatives congress before becomming the power behind  the corrupt Chicago mayor William Hale Thompson  l Luther Laflin Mills had a succesfull Career as lawyer before his death in 1909 Harry Olson later became first chief judge of the Juvenile Court of Chicago.

Even for Swans family life had to go on. His  brother  John Nelson married his fiancé Maria (Mary) Benson  in february1894 .they got two children Selma and Nels John Nelson became a Saloon keper the family settled in the Austin area of Chicago.John became a member of the of the Indipendent Order of Vikings and later of the Independent order of Svithiod.  .He died in 1938. His only grandchild died unmarried in2007. His sister Elna Neson  married Albert Stedman and died 1944 in San Fransisco,California..
Karna (Carrie) Nelson married John M Anderson  they first lived in Illinois but later moved to Washington near Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Swans youngest  sister Johanna (Hannah) Nelson 1874- married  Oscar Frederick Johnson. they moved from Illinois to  Flint River near   Burlington, Iowa, All sisters left descendants. During the following years the area were Swan Nelson was murdered became the home for many Sicilian immigrants .
The antagonism  between Swedish-Americans and Irish-Americans deacresed with time and they came to direct their prejudices towards newer immigrants and minority groups as East -Europeans and Afro-Americans.

More about the shooting of Swan Nelson can be read in  här i  i The Swedish American Historical Quaterly 2014 jan no. 1

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Murder on Christmas Night ! The shooting of Swan Nelson in Chicago Dec 25 1893 part 1

On  Chistmas Eve 1893 Swan Nelson a young Swedish Emigrant closed his little tobacco store on Archer Ave on Chicagos south side   at 4 pm and walked to his home close by near 32 Street .;
Swan was born as one of 7 surviving children  in 1871 in the village of Magletorp in Trolle- Ljungby in the province of  Skåne (Scania) in southern Sweden as the son of Nils Johnson 1820-1881 and Sissa Johnsdotter 1830-1891.
After the the death of their father, Nels two oldest sisters Elna and Karna emigrated to the USA in 1882.  after their mothers death Sven and his older brother Jöns and their youngest sister Johanna emigrated in march 1892. Sven and Jöns settled in Chicago where their maternal aunt Elna(Ella) Benson and her two children lived..

Trolle-Ljungby kyrka
Trolle-Ljungby church 

In Chicago Jöns and Sven Nilsson quickly became John and Swan Nelson .  Life apparently went well for the two brothers  Swan quickly learned a bit of english and manged to accuire a little tobacco store. He also took part in the social life of the Swedish-Americans in the city. In the summer of 1893 he became one of the charter members of the lodge Angantyr of The Independent order of Vikings. In  the summer and fall of 1893 Chicago also hosted The  Worlds Columbian Exposition .with visitors from allover the USA and the world visiting Chicago.
The city  was also plagued by crime and violence and political corruption  and shortly before  the Exposition closed Chicago mayor Carter Harrison was murdered .


Chicago World's Columbian Exposition 1893
"The White city" The Worlds comumbian Exibition in Chicago 1893

Swan had all reasons to be content with his life in Chicago and to look forward to a bright futute unfortunate his life was cut short all too soon. On Christmas evening  Swan went to a small Christmas party held by his neigbours Otto and Josephine  Bjorkman  . he and the bjorkman family and a few other friends celebrated Christmas Eve the Swedish way with some food and drink.


(Aproximate place where the shooting took place (the street numbers where changed in 1909)

About 2.30 AM  early on Christmas morning Swan left the Bjorkmans home. Despite being early in the mornng he decided to go to the Northelfer´s saloon nearby.  Outside the saloon he met two Irish-american policemen  Michael J Healy and Thomas  J Moran  who had had some drinks in another saloon earlier in the evening.
 They  insisted that Swan should buy them some drinks in the saloon. The three men went inside    where  there where  a few sleepy german-american customers and the bartender .The bartender gave the policemen cigars and Swan bought them each a drink. but when they insisted he should buy them more he refused.

 They then beat him with a club. and then  cleared the saloon. Outside the Saloon the quarell continued. They arrested Swan Nelson and while Mooran went to call the police-wagon Healy held him. Swan then brooke lose and ran towards his home .The two policemen fired 5 shoots (in the air) they later said.
Swan Nelson was hit in the back. Mrs.Bjorkman heard the shot and opened the door.  Mooran entered and said  he had fired at a robber and demanded more whiskey !.Swan Nelson had managed to crawl to his house where mrs Bjorkman found him dying.

 "Here is my watch,mrs Bjorkman"  he said " I am shoot and will die !. the two policemen returned.Healy treatened to shot mrs  Bjorkman if she left the dying man , he also hit her in the face she later testified. Swan Nelson was dragged to the sidewalk where he was heard saying "I die,I die ,I have done no wrong,Have I no friends here? help-I am dying."  The police-wagon arrived and took him  to the hospital where he died later on Christmas day .





Friday, November 11, 2016

Research tips for November

The Swedish digital provider of digitized Swedish church record Arkiv Digital announces free access to their records for the Weekend of 12-13 November.


Linda Kvist has started a new podcast about Swedish genealogy in English it is called
Cousin Linda 

The Minnesota Historical Society has opened a new website for showing digitized Swedish-American newspapers. 

Hundreds of Swedish-language newspapers were published in the United States from 1850 onward,
catering to America's Swedish immigrant communities. Use this online portal to learn more about these newspapers, and to search over 300,000 digitized newspaper pages from 28 different Swedish American newspaper titles published across the United States between 1859 and 2007. 


North Park University  in Chicago has digitized the records of the first Swedish church in  Chicago
the St. Ansgarius Protestant Episcopal Church

Founded in 1849, St. Ansgarius Episcopal Church was the first parish established for the growing community of Swedish immigrants in the city of Chicago. The church was formed jointly by the Swedish and Norwegian communities within the neighborhood of Swede Town (present-day River North). Gustaf Unonius (1810-1902), a Swedish pioneer and Episcopal priest, served as the church’s first pastor for 10 years.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Swede Hollow -The Swedish slums in Saint Paul, Part 1

In the swedish consiousness the typical Swedish Emigrants to USA are often symbolized by swedish author Vilhelm Moberg main characters in his novel series The Emigrants.
In the books the young hardworking farmer couple Karl Oskar and Kristina Nilsson  immigrates to Chisago county,Minnesota to create a better future in the 1850thies.

What few realise is that this image is only part of the thruth. Most swedish emigrants came to USA to settle in larger or smaller cities. The swedes also got their fair share of prejudices,racism,disease and slums. On of the slums that some of the swedish emigrants lived in was Swede Hollow on the East side of Saint Paul Minnesota. Situated between Payne Ave. and East 7nth Street on the border between Railroad island and Dayton's Bluff the area is now a park a green area but until 1956 it was one of the poorest parts of St. Paul.




 The area is located in the lower part of Phalen Creek Valley a narrow gorge about1,2 kilometers long surrounded by 20-30 meter high cliffs . in its bottom flows a stream Phalen Creek. The area has several springs and caves .The stream soon attracted industries to the surrounding area. Several breweries primarely the large Hamm Brewerey.its large buildings and its owners Theodore Hamms magnificent residence was right next to the ravine.  A railroad line to Duluth went through the valley.

 The area´s first inhabitants were non swedish trappers and ,loggers and odd job workers who lived there in the 1840-thies. the Swedes began to settle in the area in the 1850thies and came to dominate it for fifty years. They called the area Svenska Dalen (Swedish Valley) but it soon became known under its unofficial name Swede Hollow (Swedish hole)


Swede Hollow, looking north from East Seventh Street before creek was enclosed
1912-1915 courtesy of the Minnesota Historical Society [1]


By the end of the 19th century Swede Hollow was an place where poor immigrants could find cheap accomodation when they began their life in USA It also was a stepping stone werethey  could reside for some time until they could  "move up" both socially and geographicly   to more more social-established areas in the city .it was also a refuge for those who went through hard times and needed a place to pull themself together . it was a slum and many remained poor diseases flourished and child mortality was high.

Swede Hollow was not devided into street,blocks and lots. The only street in Swede Hollow meandered along Phalen Creek. .The houses and shacks were self build  and build  close together were there were  place left . Some inhabitants  kept small animals as chicken out of necessity. The residents took their water from a well  and used the creek as their sewer. Some of the residents built their outhouses on piles over the brook

In 1881 the swedes got new neigbours when a group of Irish moved into the valley..The Irish area became known as Connemara Patch .The Irish lived downstreems Phalen Creek from the swedes and sometimes got the dirt from the swedish outhouses.the relationships between the groups was tense.




At the start of the 20tcentury as more of Swede Hollows swedish residents became more socially established.They bagan to move up from the valley and into more established neigbourhoods in St.Paul.new immigrant groups began to settle in Swede Hollow .First italians later poles and other East europeans.After World War one the area became home to newly arrived Mexicans.

After word War two the city authorities began to see the area as a burden.In 1956 it "discovered" that the sanitary conditions in Swede Hollow was unfit without access to municipal water and sewers.
Despite protest from local residents,they were evicted . On november 2 1956  the Saint Paul Firedepartment set the remaining empty houses on fire. in 1978 the area begame inagurated as a park Swede Hollow Park.