Matt packed pages and pages of family history on this trip. We were prepared to go looking for the old homestead in south central Sweden. Thanks to Matt's great uncle Luther, most of the research was in hand and we were off to explore.
The adventure took us by the original IKEA and to the Emigration Museum of Sweden. We followed clues from Luther's research and winding roads out into the countryside. Signs and familiar descriptions led us deep into the woods where we found the lake. Matt's grandfather's grandfather learned to fish at this lake more than 100 years ago. Lilly pads and birds entertained us as we wandered to find signs of an old paper mill and the foundations of buildings.
The land is a young fisherman's dream. I walked the trails watching Matt discover a cave and an old boat. His grandfather's grandfather left this place when his was ten and settled just west of the St. Croix River, a region that raised Matt and taught him to fish. The more time we spent there, the more the place resembled Scandia, Marine on St. Croix and Lindstrom. And the more I learned about Gustavsfor and legend of Carl Johan Magnuson/John Carlson, the more it felt like my homeland too.