Family History on Land Tracks Covenant’s

CROMWELL, CT (August 21, 2017) – In 1906 Edwin Anderson became one of the first administrators of the Swedish Christian Orphanage, which the Swedish Mission Covenant Church had started six years earlier. Shortly before that, Edwin and his wife, Augusta, had arrived in the United States, escaping poverty in Sweden.

Carolyn and Fred Lorenson met on The Hilltop

Little did they know that their descendants would meet spouses and eventually retire on the same property where the orphanage was located. Just as the family has remained connected to that location, so has the denomination.

Recently four of the family’s six generations held a reunion at the same site, which is now the Covenant Village of Cromwell, a Covenant Retirement Community. Several generations of Edwin and Augusta’s family members been residents there.

Many family members have attended Covenant congregations for all or much of their lives. “It was fun to see how the family and the Covenant have been connected through the years,” said Sue Lorenson, Edwin and Augusta’s great-granddaughter.

One of the residents at the party was 89-year-old granddaughter-in-law Carolyn Lorenson, who met her late husband, Fred, at The Hilltop, a camp the East Coast Conference operated on the same expansive property where the orphanage was located. Fred was Andersons’ grandson. The camp was the forerunner to Pilgrim Pines Camp and Conference Center, now located in Swanzey, New Hampshire.

The orphanage would later become the Covenant’s Children’s Home of Cromwell, now Ädelbrook Behavioral and Developmental Services. Changes in language reflected how the Covenant and the world has changed. A copy of the 1910 Census identified the children at the orphanage as “inmates.”

One of the highlights of the event was a tattered basket that Augusta had brought with her from Sweden and which some of the 55 family members in attendance had never seen.


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About the Author

Stan Friedman

Stan Friedman is the news and online editor for the Covenant Companion and is grateful for the opportunity to serve in a job that combines his newspaper and pastoral ministry experience. He has been to 15 Bruce Springsteen concerts in four cities and listened to “Thunder Road” an average of at least once a day for 41 years.

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