FLORENCE LINNEA BLOOM PEDERSEN
Buried: Madge Evergreen Cemetery
Oscar A. Bloom
Anna Marie Ahlgren Bloom
Eda Marie Bloom Rosengren
William (Bill) Bloom
The story below was told by
Florence to Karen Pedersen Kelsey, a granddaughter, in the 1970s:
My family lived in Rockford
when I was a little girl. I had an older brother, Bill, and a
sister, Eda. Bill was my stepbrother; my father had been married
previously and his wife had died. He and my mother met in
married in 1893, and lived there for a few years. Mother had been
a seamstress [probably at the Nelson Stocking Factory in Rockford,
and Dad was a tool and die maker.
Around 1904 my father decided
to move the family to Long Lake, Wisconsin. He helped manage the
building of summer homes on the lake, primarily built for people from
He lived with us during the summer, but in the winter he returned to
to work. He left us alone in our home on Long Lake.
He and Mother built a two-story
house on the lake, but we did not immediately live in it. While
home was being built, we lived in a large log bunk house, abandoned by
the lumber company after logging had been completed. [Florence
they lived in this log house from 1904-1906, however, her brother, Bill
Bloom, said that they lived at the Hotel Rockford and stayed at the
only occasionally]. Our house was built by the same crew of
who built cottages up and down the lakeshore.
Finally we moved into the house,
and Mother ran a hotel to earn money. It was a two-story frame
with a large screen porch, and it looked out over Long Lake. The
carpenters who were building cottages continued to rent rooms from
and she cooked and cleaned for them. We had people living with us
for many years [refer to photo of the family with boarders standing
It was a hard and lonely life,
and Mom didn’t appreciate the fact that Dad left her alone for so much
of the year. I didn’t like living so far away from a city
Mother and Dad helped form the Madge Evergreen Church and cemetery, and
she was active in the ladies aid society. This was her greatest
and it let her meet people. [Florence’s funeral and burial was at
this Evergreen Church cemetery in 1991; the church was opened for the
time in many years.]
I spent many years at the Long
Lake farm [located somewhere between the Hotel Rockford and what is the
golf course today]. Sometimes, when we dated, the men would row
boats to our pier. There would be three couples in the boat and
men would be in their black suits, and they would do the rowing.
We would row to a dance, and then in the dark they would row us back
dropping the girls off at their family’s dock. Lanterns hung from
poles on the boat, and it was always so much fun to have a date and go
to a dance this way.
After the logging company cleared
the land around Long Lake, a company grazed cattle on the land across
lake from our house. Nels worked for that company, so that is how
I met him. After we married, Nels became a crew chief of a
He was the youngest one there, but he was the manager. Nels knew
how to command people and he knew how to make money!
he became a grocer in Chicago, buying stores and converting them into
delicatessens. We had four children.
Nels loved Long Lake.
We often spent summers at the lake because my parents lived there until
1920, and I knew so many people from around our end of the lake.
We rented cabins before we had our own land. One year
1927) we rented Houts’ cabin, next to Duffy’s, because I had
and needed a long rest. Nels hired a nurse and a babysitter for
and I recuperated up there. Tina was a lady who helped me with
children; they loved her.
I had grown up in that area,
so I had no desire to spend too much time at Long Lake. There
other places to go that were more exciting. However, Nels
bought a piece of property [around 1927], and eventually built a cabin
on it. I did not take an active role in the plans, but it is good
that he did build this place because it has been my home for many
and it is where the children love to come. [The family continues to own
The depression hit us hard.
Nels had bought too much real estate – grocery stores and a big
building. He did not want to put people out on the street when
couldn’t pay their rent, but he couldn’t continue to make the mortgage
payments. He lost pieces of real estate, but he got some back.
became very bad during those years, and finally we all moved up to the
lake. We spent about two years in the cabin, and the children
it. They were outside most of the time, and they met all of the
families. They ice skated in the winter and swam in the
We all have wonderful memories of those years.
lived at the cabin during
the 1940s, even during the winter. Jack and Bud went off to war,
and Jean, Bob and I lived in Chicago on Keeler Avenue. We were
very worried about Jack and Bud. Nels wrote us many letters from
Nels Pedersen died in 1952:
buried in Madge Evergreen Cemetery
Florence Bloom Pedersen died
in 1991: buried in Madge Evergreen Cemetery
Jack Pedersen (their third
child) died in 1978: buried in Madge Evergreen Cemetery
Oscar (Bud) Pedersen (their
second child) died in 1988: buried in Madge Evergreen Cemetery
bearers at Nels Pedersen’s
funeral were all neighbors from the Madge Township area: Ralph Curtis,
Walt (Red) Randall, Ernest Weideman, Harold Hines (who ran the Hines
store on hwy. B on Long Lake), Lenice Bates, and R. Davidson (Duffy of
Duffy’s Tavern). The Curtises, Randalls, and Weidemans are buried
at the Madge Evergreen Cemetery.