May 19th, 2023 by Gary Osberg

Last night I attended a board meeting of the Upsala Area Historical Society.  We are making plans for an open house at the Borgstrom House on August 12th during the annual Upsala Heritage Days celebration. 

Part of the history of the Upsala area is the story of “The Lost Children of Two Rivers”.  Late in the autumn of 1870, Maria age 10 and Christian age 8 had gone out one evening to bring in the cows.  They did not return.  Family and friends searched for weeks, but no trace was found of them.  At one time there were over 100 men and women engaged in the search.

In the middle of December, a Native American Indian who was hunting, saw some tracks in the snow and he found the girl.  She had been dead less than a day.  He fellow went to a farmhouse nearby and despite some difficulty with language, he was able to communicate that he had found the body of a girl.  The body of the boy was found nearby.

The poem “Babes in the Woods” was written to reflect the tragedy of the story.  My grandmother Laura used to sing it to her children.  My mother hated the song.  In May of 2006, a beautiful granite marker was placed on the farmstead of the children’s family.  Thanks to John and Ruth Heisick, Peg and Brad Bellamy, Dan Hovland and the Morrison County Historical Society for making this possible. 

“Hold a true friend with both hands.”   A Nigerian proverb

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