When Anna and Anders Petterson arrived at Ephraim in Door County, Wisconsin, in October 1884, they found a locale far different from the busy resort area it is today. In adjusting to their new home, one of the greatest difficulties, particularly for Anna, was the cultural isolation they felt.
The sixty letters in this collection were written in German to Anna’s mother in Niesky and share Anna and Anders experience as immigrants. The letters not only describe the details of daily living but also illuminate the innermost feelings of the couple. Anna, in particular, was often overcome with homesickness and longing for family and friends. She was constantly sustained, however, by her deep love for Anders and their partnership as equals.
It was fortuitous that the enchanting letters of Anna and Anders Petterson were carefully saved and then meticulously researched and translated by their granddaughter, Lucille Petterson. Upon learning of their existence, the Ephraim Historical Foundation spent years arranging their publication in book form so they may be enjoyed by a wide audience.
The text for this book was first published in four successive issues of the Wisconsin Magazine of History (1986-87). This publication is a cooperative effort with the Wisconsin Historical Society.