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Whiskey BreakfastMy Swedish Family, My American Life$
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Richard C. Lindberg

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816646845

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816646845.001.0001

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Two Men from Swedetown

Two Men from Swedetown

(p.25) 2 Two Men from Swedetown
Whiskey Breakfast

Richard C. Lindberg

University of Minnesota Press

In this chapter, the author, a first-generation Swedish American, reflects on the lives of his father, Oscar Waldemar Lindberg, and his maternal grandfather, Richard Stone, as Swedish immigrants in Chicago in the first half of the twentieth century. Oscar arrived in Montreal and slipped past customs officials along the Canadian border into Detroit. He reached Chicago and headed for the city’s North Side near Belmont and Clark Streets. New immigrants usually arrived in Chicago with specific directions to the neighborhoods made up of others from their country back home. Swedes went to “Swedetown” and found a world of Swedish temperance cafés, fraternal societies, taverns, and cheap lodging for transients. Oscar arrived in Chicago at a time when the Swedes who preceded him had woven themselves into the cultural milieu of the city. At the same time that Oscar struggled to settle into this strange new world, farther north on Clark Street, Richard Stone and his family faced challenges of their own. Richard often wondered if he had done the right thing to leave Sweden for Chicago.

Keywords:   Swedish immigrants, Oscar Waldemar Lindberg, Richard Stone, Chicago, Swedes, Swedetown, Sweden

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