Baby Dedication

In December of 1892, Peder and Kjersti Rask’s 10th child was born in Houston County MN, in a 2 story farmhouse they’d built the year after their marriage, 28 years prior.  (We got to visit the house last year in June and September.) Their baby’s name was Olaf, and he was my great-great-grandfather.IMG_0441IMG_0439

Two months after he was born, Olaf was baptized at Wilmington Church wearing a beautiful gown handmade by his sister, Belle (she was 18 at the time of his birth, and supported herself as a skilled seamstress all her life.)IMG_0430 IMG_0436

Olaf grew up and married a sweet and beautiful girl named Selma. Their first child was Palma Caroline, my great-grandmother, and when she was baptized in 1914 she wore the gown too.IMG_0440

Since then many family members have used the same gown, and yesterday at our church’s baby dedication service, Leo got to wear it.20160619-DSC_7623 20160619-DSC_769320160619-DSC_773920160619-DSC_775620160619-DSC_778420160619-DSC_790620160619-DSC_792520160619-DSC_795820160619-DSC_793920160619-illuminate-5

It was really fun taking Leo to church, knowing Peder & Kjersti took baby Olaf in that same gown, and Olaf and Selma took Palma, and everyone since then.

I like to think about what their day might have been like. I wonder if their babies slept through the service, or cried the whole time (like I thought Leo was going to – but he didn’t!) I wonder if any of their babies needed their backs patted constantly to keep them asleep like Leo did yesterday. It’s special to me to think how Kjersti and Selma held and nursed and rocked their babies in that gown too. I was really happy to have the chance to use it.


This photo of Old Wilmington Church is my favorite – look at all those horses & buggies!

Old Wilmington Church 1904


  1. sandra K. Meitroddt

    June 20, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I am so happy that this dress continues to bring such joy to our family! Your pictures of Little Leo & the dress are so precious!! Thank you for sharing them with everyone!! Much Love to you all!! Aunt Sandy

  2. Emily Dorothy

    June 20, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    Mom and I were just talking about the baptism/dedication gown over the weekend and how my baby will be able to wear it after Leo. Love, love, love this family tradition. In fact I even wore this gown for my baptism.

    Hope all is well with your family!

  3. Connie Wobse

    June 20, 2016 at 5:20 pm

    How beautiful, Olaf was my grandfather. My mom wore Peder Rask gold ring for many years and one day a few years ago gave it to me. I’m the 4th generation to wear this. Last year when seeing Elaine she has one very similar to this but hers was Belle. Their names are ingraved on the inside. Thanks so much for sharing, you did such a nice job putting it together.

  4. Mary Jo

    June 20, 2016 at 7:45 pm

    Very nice article and pictures of all!! I have never seen the picture of the church and all the buggies!

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