Svea V. Lindquist and Helga Olson Papers

M. Carey
The University Library
Special Collections and Archives
University Library
University of California, Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz, California, 95064
Email: specoll@library.ucsc.edu
URL: http://library.ucsc.edu/speccoll/
© 2009
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Svea V. Lindquist and Helga Olson Papers

Collection number: MS 331

The University Library

Special Collections and Archives

University of California, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
Processed by:
UCSC OAC Unit
Date Completed:
February 12, 2009
Encoded by:
UCSC OAC Unit
© 2009 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Svea V. Lindquist and Helga O. Olson papers
Dates: 1875-1991
Collection number: MS 331
Creator: Lindquist, Svea V.
Creator: Olson, Helga O.
Collection Size: 2 boxes
Repository: University of California, Santa Cruz. University Library. Special Collections and Archives
Santa Cruz, California 95064
Abstract: This collection contains biographical material, correspondence, photographs and information about "The Rock Garden Nursery" in San Mateo, CA.
Physical location: Stored in Special Collections & Archives: Advance notice is required for access to the papers.
Languages: Languages represented in the collection: English

Access

Collection open for research.

Publication Rights

Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permission to publish or to reproduce the material, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

Preferred Citation

Svea V. Lindquist and Helga O. Olson papers. MS 331. Special Collections and Archives, University Library, University of California, Santa Cruz.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Roy and Francis Rydell

Biography

Svea Victoria Lindquist was born in Gotenburg, Sweden in 1881. She was from an affluent family and attended private school where she met Helga Ottila Olson. Svea studied landscape gardening and apprenticed in gardens in Gotenburg, Helsinki, and England from 1894-1912. In 1916 she came to the United States for a visit and stayed to take a position as governess. By 1921 she was in Maine working as governess for the Robert Law family.
Helga's family manufactured shoes in Gotenburg. She also studied landscape gardening in Europe. In the early 1900s, Helga came to the United States, to visit a brother who raised strawberries on Bainbridge Island near Seattle and decided to stay.
By 1925 the ladies had reunited and were living in California, in the San Francisco peninsula. They had became gardening consultants for wealthy clients who owned estates in the San Mateo area. In the 1930's they established "The Rock Garden Nursery" in San Mateo. They exhibited at the Golden Gate International Exposition on Treasure Island in 1939-1940 where they earned a Certificate of Merit.
In 1943 Svea and Helga moved to Santa Cruz County, where their friends, the Laws, were living at Lawridge Farm and breeding polo ponies. They settled into the Landreth Errington house on the Lawridge Farm with life tenancy granted by Robert Law. In 1948, they met Roy and Francis Rydell who were in the area looking for a caretaker's job. The ladies asked the Laws if they could use another set of hands. The Laws agreed and the Rydells settled into the guest house "Cowslip" where they stayed for a year and a half until 1952-53. Svea and Helga introduced Roy to their gardening clientele on the peninsula where they were still engaged as gardening consultants. Roy, then a stuggling young artist, became a landscape architect through the efforts and training of these two ladies.
Svea and Helga lived and gardened at the "Little Farm House" until 1973 when Svea died. Helga had died in 1971.

Scope and Content of Collection

This collection contains biographical material, correspondence, photographs and information about "The Rock Garden Nursery" in San Mateo, CA.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Lindquist, Svea V. (Victoria)--Archives
Olson, Helga O. (Ottilia)--Archives
Landscape gardening
California--Scotts Valley--Santa's Village


Container List

box-folder 1:1

History of Santa's Village Property (photocopy) 1991

box-folder 1:2-3, 5; 2:1-2, 5

Svea Lindquist ca. 1875-1969

box-folder 2:1

Biographical material Ca. 1898-1947

box-folder 2:1

Elementaskola report card 1898

box-folder 2:1

Passport 1916

box-folder 2:1

"Nësby-Visan" - sheet music ca. 1907

box-folder 2:1

Temporary Drivers License 1947

box-folder 1:2

Correspondence Ca. 1920-1969

box-folder 1:3

Letters of Recommendation Ca. 1894-1912

box-folder 1:5

Photo Postcards - family, gardens (blank) Ca. 1910-1969

box-folder 2:2

Photographs - album pages Ca. 1890-1916

box-folder 2:5

Svenska Familj Journalen 1875

box-folder 1:6-8; 2:4

Helga Olson ca. 1916-1973

box-folder 1:6

Correspondence ca. 1916

box-folder 1:7

"Bollnës 1914-1916" - photo album ca. 1914-1916

box-folder 1:8

"Fotografier" - photo album ca. 1900-1916

box-folder 2:4

Photographic portraits by Robert Law ca. 1960-1971

box-folder 1:4

"The Rock Garden Nursery", Misses Ollins Ca. 1930-1960

box-folder 1:9

Photographs (b/w, color) ca. 1900-1973

box-folder 1:10

Plant Catalogs ca. 1934-1950

box-folder 2:3

Certificates of Participation and Certificate of Merit for "The Rock Garden Nursery", Golden Gate International Exposition, Treasure Island, CA 1939-1940