The rough Goodhue County first home of Norwegian settler Mikkel Finnegaard is pictured in 1934. Finnegaard settled in Holden Township in the county's southwest corner, described in 1874 as a "compact mass of Norwegians."
G.O. Miller's first store in Vasa, the Swedish colony founded in 1853, is the building to the left. Immigrants from Sweden made Vasa the center of their Goodhue County colony. The community retains its Swedish heritage to the present day.
By 1880, Goodhue County held within its borders four significant Euro-American immigrant enclaves: Minnesota's largest group of Swedish colonists; the second largest assembly of Norwegians; one of the most densely populated German tracts; and an Irish colony at the county's center. The colonizing of Goodhue County serves as a case study of the state's early immigration patterns.
Emile Julien Amblard, known as the "Duke of Clearwater Lake," became one of Coney Island's leading residents. He bought his first piece of land there in 1893. The western edge of the island and a building in Waconia would become his passion for the next twenty-one years.
Andrew Peterson was born Anders Petterson on October 20, 1818, on a farm in Sjöarp, Västra Ryd, Östergötland, Sweden. His family had financial ties to the church, so he and his brother received a better education than many farmers of the time. He had interests in music, and experimental agricultural and farm techniques.