In 1976, 29-year-old King Carl Gustav XVI of Sweden made a visit to America in observance of the bicentennial. He chose to visit Jamestown because of its significance in Swedish settlement in the United States, and Hessel Valley Lutheran Church in Chandler’s Valley, a village in northwestern Pennsylvania, because of the church’s significance in Swedish immigration. Hessel Valley was the mother church to many of the Lutheran congregations in the eastern United States, including First Lutheran in Jamestown, N.Y. Many Swedish Americans searching for their roots end up at Hessel Valley asking about records; the church has taken that responsibility to preserve history very seriously.
In 2011, the Norden Club of Jamestown, New York commemorated their 100th anniversary with a special guest. A member of the club since his first visit to Jamestown in 1976, his Majesty, the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustav attended the celebration with her Majesty, Silvia, Queen of Sweden. During their visit, the royal couple made a stop at the Roger Tory Peterson Institute, to see the museum and honor our favorite Swedish-American, Roger Tory Peterson.