"Unto a New Land"
Swedish immigrants, anxious to escape famine and an unsympathetic government flowed into the Midwest frontier of America from the 1870s to 1890s searching for land and work. Railroads and lumbering industries offered attractive opportunities to these immigrants. The Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad sent the Reverend J.P. Tustin to Sweden to recruit laborers for construction of its line. As an inducement, the railroad donated eighty acres to the Swedish colony of New Blekinge (Tustin). Swedes swarmed to this vicinity building the railroad, logging the forest and laboring in the sawmills. As the forest became depleted, many moved on but others became permanent settlers whose still reside here. Children of these settlers have in this century gone across the country to make their contributions to America.