An Immigrant Story - Sophia Peterson Larson

An old grave marker with a barely readable engraving sits in the grass.
Sophia Peterson Larson rests in Calumet Township's Schoolcraft Cemetery.

NPS Photo

A Keweenaw romance began when Danish immigrants Sophia Peterson and Hans Larson met and married in Calumet in about 1873. By 1880 the young couple lived with their two children on Seventh Street in the village of Red Jacket. Hans was an express (delivery) man operating his own company; a young man named Richard Mody lived upstairs and worked as a teamster for Hans.

A variety of people walk down a street together in a parade.
Hans Larson lived just two doors south of the Italian Hall with second wife Catherine in 1910.

Keweenaw NHP Archives Foster--C&H--Lib Card--#295 (488)--Parade 7th Street--1910

Their marriage was cut tragically short on August 18, 1885 by Sophia's unexpected death. Hans waited nearly five years before marrying Catherine Peterson in 1890. The couple had one child, and lived for a time at the corner of Seventh and Elm Streets in Red Jacket, near the Italian Hall.

Roster of the Calumet Light Guard during the Spanish-American War.
From Our Boys in the Spanish-American War.  Frank M. Larson is highlighted as a musician.

Daily Mining Gazette. 1900. NPS edit.

Sophia might have been proud, yet concerned, to see her son Frank serve with the Calumet Light Guard as a musician during the Spanish American War. Today Sophia rests quietly in Calumet's Schoolcraft Cemetery, her contributions to her adopted homeland unknown to most who walk past.

Last updated: January 24, 2018

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