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LCA Collection 029. Vasa Children's Home. Collection of the Vasa Children's Home, 1865-1997: Overview

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Collection Description

Vasa Children's Home.  Collection of the Vasa Children's Home, 1865-1997.  LCA Collection 29.  2 half Hollinger boxes and 2 flat boxes.

The Vasa Children’s Home collection contains books as well as articles and other papers regarding the facility.  Books include information about the finances, inventory, and residents.  Articles share news of the home over a 50 year span, and many programs and brochures are also included.  All material in the books is written in Swedish.  Vasa Children’s home was an orphanage from its inception through 1954 when evolved into a facility for disabled youths and young adults.

Historical Note

The Vasa Children’s Home began in the basement of Vasa Lutheran Church in Welch, Minnesota by Reverend Eric Norelius in 1865 with four orphans.  Norelius soon purchased ten acres for the home’s eventual expansion and land for farming.  In 1876, he transferred supervision of the home to the Board of the Society of Mercy, Minnesota Conference, Augustana Synod.  The Vasa Children’s home has been rebuilt twice after total destruction: the third building was constructed in 1880 following an 1872 tornado which demolished all buildings, and this structure burned to the ground 1899.  The institution relocated to their current location six miles west of Red Wing, Minnesota in 1926.  Between sixty and seventy children were housed at the Vasa Children’s Home during the early 1900s.  In 1954, the home’s focus shifted from housing orphaned or neglected children to caring for children with disabilities.  The current building was built in 1973 and houses 7-22 year olds with disabilities while their families remain their legal guardians.  The Vasa Children’s Home is now known for being the oldest children’s home in Minnesota and the origin of Lutheran Social Services.

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into three series: administrative, financial, and miscellaneous.  The administrative series contains annual reports, minutes, records, and a visitor’s log.  The financial series includes financial journals, inventory, receipts, and subscriptions.  The miscellaneous series is comprised of articles, correspondence, programs, and brochures.

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