The story goes that Gabriel Aspegren, born in Kristiinankaupunki in 1708, lived his childhood and youth in poverty. During the Greater Wrath, Gabriel’s family fled to Sweden, where his father Anders Aspegren served as a low-paid teacher and deacon. After the Greater Wrath, the family returned to Kristiinankaupunki, and Gabriel was sent to a trivial school in Pori. In those days, poor schoolboys had to go begging to earn their living by singing and working in farmhouses. (Nikula: Pedersöre Jul- och hembygdsblad, 1936)


They say that Gabriel Aspegren, during his time at the vicarage, was an energetic, determined and educated man. In addition to pastoral counselling, he was interested in farming and gardening. One demonstration of this was the large and versatile garden he established through hard work on the barren and stony Rosenlund hill. Aspegren found the arable area of the garden insufficient, so he tried to acquire additional farming and forestry land elsewhere. However, his expansion efforts were stronly opposed by the bourgeoisie and the city administration, which embittered him. (Söderhjelm: Jakobstads historia)


In spite of his physical weakness and earlier life of poverty, Aspegren was able to achieve the honorary title of rovasti as well as fame and fortune; this is said to have resulted from his strong ambition, tenacious energy and "clear mind". (Nikula: Pedersöre Jul- och hembygdsblad, 1936)


Sigrid Nikula described the Rosenlund area in the early 1930s by saying that the “Aspegren spirit” still lived there, even though many such things had disappeared that Aspegren had proudly nurtured. For instance, plants had covered a large part of the garden paths. (Nikula: Pedersöre Jul- och hembygdsblad, 1934)