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The Carl and Lena Kajsa Linn House (a.k.a. The Karl Oskar House)

Gary Noren
Kichi-Saga Park, south of Lindstrom, MN - on the south shore of South Center Lake, off Co. Rd. 25

When Cousin Ken came to visit us from Texas, his special request was to visit the Karl Oskar House, affectionately known as Nya Duvemala. Ken had a special interest in Swedish immigration to the US, not only because of his ancestry, but also because he had read Vilhelm Moberg’s books on Swedish immigration to Chisago County, MN, including:

  • The Emigrants
  • Unto a Good Land
  • The Settlers
  • The Last Letter Home

Swedish author Moberg came to the Chisago Lakes area in the summer of 1947 in order to research where his fictional character, Karl Oskar Nilsson, would live when he and his family arrived from Sweden in 1850. As it happened, the house that Moberg chose was the house that my great great grandfather Carl Linn built in 1854 after arriving in the US in 1852.

Even though this house (now a museum) has been officially named the Karl Oskar House, my family has chosen to keep the original family name for it: the Carl and Lena Kajsa Linn House. According to what my grandfather, George Noren told me at age 100 (and still very much the local historian), Carl Linn immigrated to Chisago Lake from a town named Linnehult in Smaland, Sweden. Carl and his siblings shortened that city’s name to “Linn” and used it for their surname.

The house was built on a farm about a half mile west of its present location and was originally much longer, extending approximately 10 feet further west (to the left as shown in the photo). The Holts, the last owners of the house, chose to tear off that west portion of the house in order to use the lumber to restore the rest of the house that remains today. Carl and Lena Kajsa were buried just east of the present location of the house, in Glader Cemetery on the bank of South Center Lake.

The photo was taken of the Linn family at Carl and Lena Kajsa Linn’s 50th wedding anniversary in 1905. My grandfather George Noren is the 4th person standing on the left side of the photo. His wife and my grandmother, Minnie is at his left. Great grandfather Frank Noren is seated in front of George. Great great grandparents, Carl and Lena Kajsa are seated in the middle.

Gary Noren, St. Croix Falls, WI

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