We are descendants of Frederick and Adela Olafsson and their children Victor Holm, Maria Holm Samson, Anna Holm Carlson, Emma Holm, Carl Johan Holm, and Alida Carlson. The photograph shows Adela Olafsson with her children Maria Samson, Anna Carlson, Victor Holm, and Carl Holm, in Kenora, Ontario, on a 1936 family reunion.

Emma died in an epidemic without any children. Representatives of all the remaining branches of the family, except those descending from Anna, were able to gather in Kenora during 14-16 August 2015 for a Cousins Reunion 79 years after the reunion in the photo. (A smaller get together was held in Kenora in 2014.)

Since this was the first time many of us had met, the first event of our reunion was a Meet & Greet on Friday evening kindly hosted by Vicki at her home. Her uncle Joe fried pickerel that was delicious and there was plenty of other food to enjoy. Sharon, one of the chief organizers of the reunion, had broken her knee in a fall just weeks earlier, but was able to attend this event despite the pain.

It had been warm and humid during the day, but cooled off nicely for our gathering.

Vicki, granddaughter of Maria, and Wayne Holm, grandson of Victor Sharon, Sue, and Judy, all granddaughters of Maria

Terri, granddaughter of Victor, Donovan, great-grandson of Maria,
and Gail, wife of Albert, grandson of Victor

Linda, granddaughter of Carl, Terri, and Sue,

Linda, Karin and Paula, both great-granddaughters of Carl, and Gail

Judy, Sue, and Wayne enjoying the meal

Uncle Joe showing empathy for the injured Sharon

On Saturday morning, some of us visited the Lake of the Woods Museum and the Fragile Glass Studio, which is housed in the former Swedish Lutheran Church, where some of our ancestors worshiped. But the next scheduled activity was a lunch cruise on the MS Kenora. The weather was very good for the cruise: sunny, warm, and not windy.

Linda, Karin, and Bert, Karin's father, on the deck of the MS Kenora Wayne, Sue, Judy, Judy's husband Oscar, and Terri
in the cabin of the MS Kenora

Todd, great-grandson of Maria, Wayne, and Sue

The boulder bearing the Devil's image at the Devil's Gap

After the cruise, we gathered for a family photo on the steps of Kenora's City Hall. During the days when our ancestors arrived here, this was the post office and they surely would have passed through its doors many times.

Back row: John Samson, Darrell Samson
Next Row Down: Wayne Holm, Paula Broeders, Karin Broeders, Kathryn Samson
3rd Row Down: Terri Holm, Gail Holm, Linda Beacham, Todd Ross
4th Row Down: Oscar Oberg, Larry Lyle, Nancy Samson
5th Row Down: Judy Oberg, Sue Ross, Albert Holm
6th Row Down: Marcy Samson Lyle

Saturday evening all who were able gathered for dinner at Casey's Grill and Bar. In addition to everyone who was in the family photo above, Brad, grandson of Alida, joined us. He is fourth from the left at the table.
Sunday morning a few of us gathered at Yesterday's Restaurant for breakfast. We sat and chatted until it was clear that a line was beginning to form and they needed the table.

Later in the morning, a few of us visited Lake of the Woods Cemetery where Adela Olafsson and many of our ancestors and relatives are buried. The weather had turned cold and very windy so we did not linger long.

Eating together is an important aspect of reunions. And some drinking too. Some of us shared lunch, including fried pickles and draft beer, at the Lake of the Woods Brewery. We also continued to share stories.

Charlotte, the daughter of Carl Holm, is our oldest relative in Kenora. She is frail and in a nursing home. She was unable to attend any reunion events and did not feel up to having a large group visit her. Linda, Brad, and I visited her during afternoon visiting hours at the nursing home. Charlotte told a story of how her father had had been good at using dynamite. In the spring, the family would gather ot the creek linking Lake Willard with the next lake, using nets and spears and everything else to keep the suckers from swimming into Lake Willard. Suckers would eat the eggs of other fish and decrease the number of game fish. Her dad would come down to the creek with a short stick of dynamite, light the fuse, and throw it into the water. Shocked by the explosion, the suckers would float to the surface to be scooped up.

What is happening next year? That is still uncertain, but this year nearly as many cousins were as interested in a west coast location as in the Kenora location. So maybe we will go west.

Decades before Victor, Maria, Anna, Emma, Carl, and Alida left Sweden for the new world, their uncles Otto, Alfred, and Andrew settled near Tracy, Minnesota. Recently Cynthia Sabinske, a descendent of Otto, has gotten in touch with us. We learned that that branch of the family has a reunion in southwestern Minnesota every year. It is likely that we will be invited to join them at their reunion. Maybe some of them will attend our next reunion.

Prepared by Albert Holm, 28 August 2015