Swedish Immigration to Chicago

The Dream of America: Swedish Immigration to Chicago 

  • The sign at the entrance to the Swedish American Museum leaves very little to the imagination - "Välkommen" / Welcome!
  • The Swedish American Museum’s main permanent exhibit, The Dream of America: Swedish Immigration to Chicago, explores the struggles and triumphs of the Swedish immigrant experience in America in general and Chicago in particular.

  • Part of the permanent exhibition at the Swedish American Museum—newly arrived immigrants admiring the New York skyline.
  • Through historic artifacts and vignettes the exhibit takes a chronological journey through the experiences many Swedish immigrants had back in Sweden, during their journey to the new world, finding their way to Chicago and building a new life there. It examines why so many Swedes left their homeland and what they packed for their voyage, as well as careers they chose in the Chicago area and the social lives within their immigrant communities. You'll meet Stina Olofsdotter, who is helping her son prepare for his journey to America in 1868, Karl Karlson, whose family arrives in New York in 1893, and Elin Hedman and her daughter Birgitta who pass through Ellis Island in 1924.

  • The Swedish American Museum's permanent exhibition offers a glimpse of the troublesome journey for the 19th century immigrants.
  • The exhibit is open during regular museum hours, includes explanations in Swedish and English for self-guided tours, or visitors can enjoy a guided tour on given dates such as March 17 at 11 a.m. or with advance notice. 5211 N. Clark St, Chicago / 773.728.8111 / For more info, see www.swedishamericanmuseum.org