Sherburne History Center

Sherburne History Center
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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Somewhere in France


An interesting collection arrived at the Sherburne History Center in recent weeks.  A wonderful collection of letters from George Bostrom to his family members living here in Sherburne County.  Particularly interesting, the bulk these letters came from France during World War One.  George’s letters document the different training camps and finally his stations “somewhere in France”.  The letters begin in 1918 and continue through 1920.  In letters to his family George documents everything from experiencing bombings at the front, to the price of chocolate.  Also interesting, he provides the exchange rate from American dollars to French francs.  From his letters we know, a 12-ounce chocolate bars cost anywhere from thirty cents to sixty cents.

Letterhead from the Knights of Columbus.  
George Bostrom used this, as well as letterhead 
provided by the YMCA, to write letters home

In a letter written the day before the Armistice, George provides a sense of life in the Army and the excitement about the coming end of the war:

Nov.10, 1918

Dear brother,

I am now in the third camp since landing here.  It is also the best one I’ve been in on this side of the water. One of the things contributing to this is that we have no guard duty, K.P., or detail work.


Today the papers tell us that the Kaiser has abdicated and the long-looked for revolution has begun in Germany.  Naturally this is news that must bring joy to people in all the allied nations, or it cannot but be an indication that the end of the war is not far away. 


This collection may provide fascinating details as we fully examine it for information about the first war “to end all wars.”  As we can examine these letters more, we will provide greater details about George Bostrom and his service to the United States.

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