v26-4 Immigration exhibit find

Vol. XXVI No. 4 - WINTER 2015

Over the next few months of the Voices in Edgewater, Then and Now exhibit we will feature some of the historical collections of objects in the exhibit and a bit about their owners.

Early immigrants to Edgewater came with hopes and dreams and usually with some assets, either money or skills, to help make those dreams a reality. In the late 19th Century, many Scandinavians settled in the southwestern corner of Edgewater, an area that later became known as Andersonville. In 1903, at the age of 23, Oscar Carlson left Sweden with his handmade wooden carpenter’s tool chest, seeking his fortune. He found employment in Chicago as a cabinet maker and, in 1910, established his own cabinet making business at 5207 N. Broadway. Oscar settled into life in America, started a family, obtained citizenship and registered for the World War I draft. His story is typical of immigrants from other northern European countries who helped develop Edgewater with churches, social clubs and other organizations that welcomed new settlers. By 1926 Edgewater was a well established community offering immigrants a growing network of resources such as affordable housing stock, good transportation and economic opportunities.