When we moved to Lindsborg 16 years ago one of the first things that struck us about the town was what some people called “Swedishness.” We hadn’t the slightest notion what that meant, but we could sense it.
Like some other towns, Lindsborg had a distinct footing. Immigrants found the place, named it and made it great. Other places, too, had striking, vivid beginnings, many of them chiseled into the early histories of the cattle towns, the railroad centers, the industrial meccas.
The difference was that many of these stories, even the towns themselves, proved evanescent. Over the years they lost their fizz. For too many cities today, heritage is an afterthought, a party favor, or the trappings of a footnote. Their roots are buried in the conniptions of close urban life, or the urgent transience of suburbs or in the dust of rural withdrawal. A town lives on, or dies, with little thought any more about why or how. There is no anchor to the reasons a place is. Or, is no longer.
Lindsborg carries certain habits and moods from the old days, legacies that temper its current venture and fortify blueprints for better days. There is a certain “Swedishness” about tidy neighborhoods, brick streets and leafy parks, about the glow and bustle of a downtown that breathes, about people who seem to smile even when they don’t. There is a certain “Swedishness” in the staying power of a place that beckons without even trying.
‒ JOHN MARSHALL