So when I visited the Depot Museum in Batavia Illlinois several years ago, it was to get a glimpse of the work done at the U.S. Wind Engine and Pump Company. My second great-grandfather was a blacksmith there for many years.
The museum was very interesting. The displays were wonderful - I took many pictures of the USWE&P display and was grateful to the volunteer who answered my many questions about 19th century life in Batavia. At the end of my visit, Marilyn Robinson encouraged me to sign the guest book and add the surname I was researching. She said other guests sometimes look through the book and connections are made. I signed the book and wrote the name "Tolf".
A few days later Marilyn mentioned my from-out-of-state visit to another volunteer. The volunteer asked what surname I was researching. Together they looked at the guest book. The volunteer (also named Marilyn) said Tolf looked familiar. When she returned home, (the second) Marilyn looked in the scrapbook created by her husband's great-grandfather Charles Wenberg. He had been a professional photographer in Batavia during the time my family lived there. Inside the scrapbook she found these pictures:
|l-r Charles Wenberg, Peter Tolf and Claus Pederson|
These three men were instrumental in founding the church below
|First Swedish Mission Church in Batavia Illinois|
|Peter Tolf (center wearing tie) blacksmith foreman|
at US Wind Engine and Pump Company
|Peter Tolf and his wife Augusta Landström with their children|
(l-r) Ranghild Henrietta Katarina, Harry Wilhelm, and Raymond Johan Carl
|Helena Åman Tolf with daughters Christina Tolf and Amanda (Tolf) Peterson|
And to my Tolf, Åman, and Landström ancestors: For putting the two Marilyns and me in all the right places at all the right times - there are not enough words in my vocabulary to express the depth and breadth of my feelings.