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Old 03-25-2012, 11:01 PM
 
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Curious as to why Frederick is billed as a "Finnish" town and the Finn Fest has become such a big deal. Statistics for Frederick state that over half of the ancestors were German, next largest group were Norwegian. How do non-Finnish residents of the area feel about the lack of recognition of other immigrant's contribution/celebration. I even read that Frederick's name originated from a Finnish immigrant. Didn't the name come from the first woman immigrant, Fredericka Gorder?
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:06 PM
 
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It is interesting to see how areas around a small town were settled 100 years ago or 130 years ago. Groups would head out in a general direction. Like the norwegian would gather south of town, the english to the east. The Germans to the west etc. I am not sure on how or why of Frederick. But my dad talks about that sort of convergance and how it was noticable when he was growing up. He was born in 33.
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Old 08-15-2016, 08:40 PM
 
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Immigrants from a variety of countries settled in the Frederick area, including Germans (Germans from Russia, so far as I know), Norwegians, Swedes, and Finns. Many Finns settled northeast of Frederick in the township of Savo, where they developed a fairly robust community--church, hall (including a library), creamery and some businesses that were quite short-lived. The Finns did a lot to advance the co-op movement locally--ag equipment, creamery, telephone and (I think) electricity were all co-op movements in the Savo area. These Finns started a midsummer festival at some point after Savo Hall was constructed in 1898. The festival was held into the 1970s.

In 2007, Frederick was going through a community engagement process called Horizons, and residents started talking about doing a festival as something that would bring visitors to town and would give the whole community something to rally around. Some suggested bringing back the midsummer festival and building on the Finnish heritage, since it was unique in the area. The first festival was held in 2008, and the community has built on it since.

Not everyone in the area has been happy about the highlighting of one culture, though the festival has become a tradition despite not having unanimous support. It has become a successful fundraiser for Frederick Forward, a community development group, and some former residents plan their trips to Frederick to coincide with the festival. And enough residents do rally around the festival to make it happen every year.

Fredericka Gorder was not the first woman settler; she was the first baby born to settlers in Frederick. Though that's not quite accurate--she was born on the prairie outside of town as her mother couldn't make it to where she was heading to get assistance with the birth. She's named after the town, not the other way around. The town was named after Kustaa "Frederick" Bergstadius, a railroad clerk who recruited fellow Finns to live there.
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