The first Swedes came to the Chisago Lakes region in the early 1850s. The area was thick with forests and lakes, very similar to Sweden. The Chippewa Indians called this land KichiSaga, meaning fair and lovely waters. The immigrants desire for a Lutheran church of their own became a reality on May 12, 1854, when they, with the Reverend Erland Carlsson of Chicago, organized a congregation of about 100 members. That summer they built a meeting house, which served as a public school and a church.
The first preacher and teacher was 22-year-old Eric Norelius, a student at Capital University, Columbus, Ohio. The next spring, 1855, the first resident pastor, Pehr Anderson Cederstam, came. The following year, 1856, a small frame church was build on the present site. The first officially called and paid [perhaps “salaried” rather than paid since an offering was undoubtedly taken] pastor was Carl August Hedengran, who came in 1859.
A new pastor, Johan Johansson Frodeen, arrived in 1875. In 1882, a brick building was constructed, only to be destroyed by fire six years later. Within a year the present church, identical in size, was completed.
When you visit us, come to the Green Room and see the Memorial Tapestry. Events highlighting our history are woven with beautiful woolen yarns from Sweden. Be sure to stop at the Archives Room where treasures from more than 160 years of Christian service are on display. Guided tours may be arranged for a nominal fee by calling the church office at 651-257-6300.
If you would like to be a member of our Historical Committee, we ask that you are a member of Chisago Lake Lutheran Church, we meet the 2nd Thursday of the month. Please call the church or see the church calendar for exact time.