Back to the future

Published 5:22 pm Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Saturday’s dedication of a historical marker in Thorsby’s Scandinavian Cemetery was the culmination of months of hard work.

Members of Thorsby’s Historical Preservation Committee and the Chilton Cemetery Association should be proud of their work and getting the site listed with the Alabama Cemetery Preservation Alliance.

However, their work goes much further than just a sign on the side of the road. Thorsby community members have done a great job working to preserve and educate others about the town’s Swedish heritage, unique to this part of the world.

People have worked to preserve buildings, start the annual Swedish Festival and reach out to start building sister relationships with towns in its ancestral homeland.

While preserving everything Swedish helps to honor the past, working to network and strenghthen ties with the country will pay dividends in the future.

Congrats again to all involved.

Just for interest, the historic markers unveiled Saturday reads:

“In 1896, Swedish settlers organized the Concordia Lutheran Church and acquired this land for the Concordia Cemetery, later known as the Lutheran Cemetery. This is the former site of Stassburg School. In the 1980s it became known as the Scandinavian Cemetery since most of those laid to rest here were Lutherans, not only of Swedish descent, but also of Norwegian, Danish and Finnish. They were primarily from the upper mid-western United States and desired a better climate and living conditions to work in and raise their families. They cleared the land, built homes, planted orchards and vineyards, established businesses, schools and churches. They developed a thriving town where they enjoyed social gatherings, band concerts, festive celebrations, and built lifelong friendships. This marker was placed here in 2010 by descendants of the Scandinavians laid to rest here and by the Thorsby Historical Preservation Committee to remember these people who founded the town of Thorsby.”