Nelly Gustafson

July 11, 2013

Chisago City is home to a new Ian Dudley sculpture

Several hundred people were on hand for the unveiling of Ian's sculpture of Nelly. Before her introduction to the Chisago Lakes Area, Ian gave a presentation on his research and provided a brief history of Nelly and her family. Nelly Gustafson was a midwife serving the Lindstrom area at the begiining of the last century. 

By the end of 2013 our community will have 5 Ian Dudley sculptures representing the area's cultural heritage - Vilhelm Moberg, Nelly Gustafson, and a trio to be intalled in Lindstrom of Daniel Lindstrom, Eric Norelius and Per Andersson. All these statues, along with Chisago City's Vilhelm Moberg statue, were cast at American Bronze in Osceola, WI. 

Nelly, The Midwife with Bio.jpg

From "Lindstrom on the Lake" :


The house where Nelly lived is listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Frank A. Larson house.

Lindstrom gets 3 Dudley statues and a plaza dedication

Swedish heritage binds together the communities of Chisago City, Lindstrom, Center City, and Shafer, while MN Highway 8 links all together - from Chisago City on the west to Taylors Falls on the east (about 20 miles.)

Chisago City's neighbor to the east is now home to 3 works of bronze art. They honor the city of Lindstom's namesake Daniel Lindstrom, Per Andersson one of the first Swedish settlers in the area, and Eric Norelius a minister to the new Swedish Lutheran congregation in Center City and who went on to found Gustavus Adolphus College

Also honored is former Minnesota 8th District Congressman Jim Oberstar for his invaluable support to the community and the state in their efforts to improve the safety of  Minnesota Highway 8, a major interstate corridor. 

Chisago County Press - 10/10/2013

Highway 8 tribute to founding fathers

The city of Lindstrom officially marked the Highway 8 reconstruction project as complete, with a ribbon cutting. Invited guests included longtime U.S. 8th District Congressman James Oberstar, who was in office many years ago when a major push to make safety improvements to the highway corridor began. Oberstar served as chair of the House Transportation Committee. Some Hwy. 8 Task Force members, active in lobbying for highway projects, returned to celebrate the ribbon-cutting as well. The triangle where the statues (see other photos) are located has been named in honor of Oberstar. Pictured cutting the ribbon are: Ann Marie Brink and Bill Schlumbohm, sr, current Lindstrom council members with Curt Flug, Mayor Keith Carlson, task force member Nora Holt; (in back center) MnDOT official Ed Boytim; former mayor Sig Stene (in light colored overcoat), and Jim Oberstar; with Congressman Rick Nolan’s staffer Rick Olseen, former council member Jim Singer, and task force member Chisago City Mayor Bob Gustafson.


+ view more photos

Chisago County Press - 9/12/2013

Scuplture trio dedication occurred October 5


Lindstrom artist Ian Dudley has been carrying around an idea in his head for years, a vision of a public art piece honoring three men credited with founding the Chisago Lakes and Lindstrom area. Very soon that long-lingering vision will become real, erected in 3D for all to touch and be inspired by. The trio of sculptures will be installed soon in Lindstrom and you should mark the dedication ceremony date of October 5 on your calendars now. 

Dudley was doing research for his Vilhlem Moberg-with-bicycle piece-- for the eponymous Moberg park in Chisago City years ago-- when he first heard tell of Per Andersson, Daniel Lindstrom and Erik Norelius and their adventures. The trio’s mystique stayed with him over the years and Dudley did eventually receive a commission in 2012 to create sculptures memorializing these local founding fathers. He worked concurrently on this threesome and his Nellie Gustafson mid-wife and buggy piece, which was installed this summer during Karl Oskar Days, outside the Chisago Lakes Area library. 

In short order the men’s super-sized likeness (Dudley’s pieces are generally 20 percent larger than real life) will be bolted into place in a small plaza in downtown Lindstrom. The dedication Saturday, October 5 is expected to be a big deal with Scandinavian dignitaries and extended relatives of the three men’s families attending. A quick primer on the artwork: Daniel Lindstrom carries a string of fish. He is Andersson’s half brother. Norelius accompanied Per Andersson and 100 or so other immigrants from Sweden by boat, to America in 1850. Within about four years’ time, Norelius, who was only in his early 20s, was documented serving as a preacher to the faithful in the Chisago City-Center City territory. 

In 1862 he was involved in the founding of Gustavus Adophus College. History dictates that Norelius would have books with him, in his knapsack. Andersson was a woodsman and hunter and he’ll be carrying a rifle.

From the Chisago County Press 6/7/2012:

Erik Norelius accompanied Per Andersson and 100 or so others aboard a ship from assela Parish in Sweden, to America in 1850. He was 17 at that time. Norelius was preaching in the Center City-Chisago Lakes area by the summer of 1854 and according to the Lindstrom centennial book, published in 1994, he was a founder of Gustavus Adolphus College in 1862. Daniel Lindstrom was a half-brother to Per Andersson but did not come to America with Andersson, but arrived about three years later. He obtained legal rights to 130 acres, where he made his homestead and lived for 25 years. This general site would become the City of Lindstrom, when citizens voted in 1894 to incorporate as a village. Andersson led settlers here who he’d met during what historians say was a brief time spent with an “ill fated” relgious settlement in Illinois.