One of the great things about being the museum curator is that you never know what is going to come through the door. The other day I received a stack of yellowed, brittle newspapers. This newspaper was unique, it was in Swedish. To add to the excitement the newspaper was printed in 1913 in Chicago, Illinois. These newspapers came to me since they were found inside the walls of a house here in Moscow, Idaho. At the time the newspapers were printed it was fairly common to use newspapers and whatever else you could get your hands on to insulate your house. These newspapers served that purpose for more than 100 years and are now being examined for the first time since.
These newspapers add to the documentation of the rich Swedish heritage in Latah County. Large amounts of Swedish immigrants were attracted to this area by the availability of land and jobs in the agricultural and logging industries. The Swedish presence was so large that in 1906 a Swedish Lutheran Church was constructed. The fact that some of these immigrants sought out this newspaper tells us how important it was for these immigrants to connect with their country and their heritage through the written word.
The name of the newspaper is Gamla och nya Hemlandet, which translates to The Old and New Homeland (or Country). This newspaper began in 1855, originally published in Galesburg, Illinois as the Hemlandet det gamla och det nya or Home Country of the Old and New. In 1870 the newspaper changed its name, editor and publication location as it became the newspaper in my office the Gamla och nya Hemlandet.
The newspaper is immensely interesting, even for those who do not speak Swedish. The newspaper contains photos and advertisements including one for a cruise on the Cunard Cruise Line ship, the Lusitania. The Lusitania was famously sunk by German U-Boats on May 1st, 1915 during World War 1. These newspapers are a great resource of documentary history.
So that everyone can get to look at these wonderful newspapers I have attached a photo of only one page but if you use the link below you will be able to access all of the pages at their full resolution.