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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Thorsby in Chilton County, Alabama — The American South (East South Central)
 

Thorsby: A Scandinavian Colony in the South

 
 
Thorsby: A Scandinavian Colony in the South Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2014
1. Thorsby: A Scandinavian Colony in the South Marker
Inscription.  
Side 1:
Founded in 1895, the Town of Thorsby was the first planned community in Chilton County. The original settlers were people of Scandinavian origin seeking a favorable climate to locate for farming, fruit growing and better health. The original founders of Thorsby were three Swedes, Theodore T. Thorson, John F. Peterson, John E. Hedberg, and a Norwegian, K. G. Faegre. Advertisements were placed in northern newspapers declaring the discovery of a southern utopia, one that promised good soil, plenty of fresh water, nice warm temperatures and long growing seasons for crops. Soon excursion trains brought new residents to town, most of them Swedes, Norwegians, Finns and Danes.
(Continued on other side)
Side 2:
(Continued from other side)
The name Thorsby may have been derived from a town named “Torsby” in Sweden, but more likely it originated from the combination of the name “Thorson” and the suffix “by” –which means town in Swedish. The founders formed the Concordia Land and Improvement Association and
Thorsby: A Scandinavian Colony in the South Marker (reverse) image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2014
2. Thorsby: A Scandinavian Colony in the South Marker (reverse)
Click or scan to see
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began mapping out the new community. Parks were included in the plan and residential plots were sold mostly in ten-acre tracts which included a small vineyard. The town formally incorporated in 1901 and continued to grow as churches, homes and businesses began to fill the landscape of the little “Swede Town.” as it became affectionately known by locals. The Town of Thorsby was one of three Scandinavian Colonies that were established around Alabama at the turn of the century.
 
Erected 2010 by the Alabama Tourism Department and the Town of Thorsby.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1895.
 
Location. 32° 55.031′ N, 86° 42.996′ W. Marker is in Thorsby, Alabama, in Chilton County. Marker is at the intersection of U.S. 31, on the right when traveling north on U.S. 31. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 12 Minnesota Avenue, Thorsby AL 35171, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Thorsby Remembers Our Veterans (approx. ¼ mile away); Scandinavian Cemetery (approx. 0.7 miles away); Central Alabama Vietnam Veterans Memorial (approx. 7.3 miles away); Chilton County History (approx. 7.3 miles away); Chilton County Veterans Memorial
Thorsby Marker Area image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2014
3. Thorsby Marker Area
(approx. 7.4 miles away); City of Clanton (approx. 7.4 miles away); Walnut Creek United Methodist Church (approx. 8.1 miles away); Chilton County Training School 1924-1969 (approx. 8.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Thorsby.
 
Thorsby Fire Department image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2014
4. Thorsby Fire Department
Thorsby City Hall image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2014
5. Thorsby City Hall
Thorsby - Richard H Wood Memorial Park image. Click for full size.
By Mark Hilton, April 25, 2014
6. Thorsby - Richard H Wood Memorial Park
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 25, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 576 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on April 25, 2014, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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May. 13, 2021