Gustaf Unonius, New Upsala and the Scandinavian Parish

26 04 2022

The first Swedish colony in Wisconsin, the second in the United States was established at the east shore of Pine Lake in Chenequa, Wisconsin. The young founder Gustaf Unonius came here in 1841 together with his wife and a few friends claimed land and built a log cabin. Many more Swedes followed and the New Upsala settlement was formed. As the settlement grew with more immigration from Scandinavia, the Scandinavian Parish at Pine Lake was founded. Partly based on letters from Unonius and other pioneer settlers and the Unonius memoirs published in 1862 waves of immigration from Scandinavia followed especially in the 1860’s and 1880’s. In 1864 the Pine Lake Scandinavian Church became known as the Holy Innocents Church, which a hundred plus years later merged with Grace Episcopal Church and together they built a new church which eventually was named St. Anskar’s Episcopal Church.

1841 Pine Lake from Gustaf Unonius memoirs

Fika meeting, May 14 at 1:30 PM at St. Anskar’s Episcopal Church in Hartland.

This fascinating pioneer and church history has been the research topic of a SAHSWI Historical Project team that was initiated to recognize it with an official Wisconsin State Historical marker. The team will present the project and the story at the “fika” meeting. After the presentation participants will enjoy fika, coffee or tea with treats. The meeting is open to the public.

St Anskar’s Episcopal Church is located at N48W31340 Hill Rd, St Hwy 83 in Hartland.

Exit from Hwy 16 to State Road 83 North, follow 83 for 1/4 mile, enter driveway on the right from 83