Edit ModuleShow Tags

Swede for a Day


Published:

I am a quarter Swedish, a quarter French, a quarter German, and a quarter Norwegian—a true ‘mutt.’ And while I take pride in every last bit of my ethnicity, the part I most identify with is Swedish.

I think this is because my grandma was so proud to be a full-blooded Swede (her home was filled with blue and yellow flags, Välkommen signs, and those traditional bright red Dalahäst (Dala) horses) and because my uncle married a wonderful Swedish woman, Agneta, who still has family and close friends in Stockholm and returns multiple times a year. I hope to visit Sweden some day with her as my trusty tour guide. 

Gammelgarden MuseumTurns out I don’t need to travel 4,300 miles from Minneapolis to Stockholm in order to get a taste of my Swedish heritage though. I can travel 10 miles from my parents’ house in Forest Lake to the town of Scandia, believed to be the first Swedish immigrant settlement in the state of Minnesota, way back in 1850, to the Gammelgården Museum’s “Immigrant for a Day” event happening this Sunday, May 26, from 1 to 4 p.m.

Gammelgården, which means “Old Farm” in Swedish, is the only open-air museum devoted to Swedish immigration in the country. The free event includes visiting the carefully preserved and restored Välkommen Hus (visitor center), Präst Hus (parsonage), GammelKyrkan (old church), ladugård (barn), Immigrant Hus and Swedish Stuga (cottage) on the 11-acre site. There will be activities in and around the five historic buildings, recreating what life was like on the small farm back in the 1800s. Participants may be hauling water to the Immigrant Hus, packing a trunk for Amerika, making butter, doing laundry, or playing games at “recess” in the school yard. Visitors are encouraged to come dressed in period costume and bring a picnic lunch, but either way, everyone is welcome. 

The museum is owned by the Elim Lutheran Church, and has preserved, presented, and promoted Swedish immigrant heritage and history since 1972.

For more information about the event, visit the Gammelgarden Museum’s website or call 651-433-5053. Free parking is available.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Related Articles

Artistic Mini Golf

These creative courses combine a game of putt putt with local art

Top Five Reasons to Visit Lanesboro

Moveable Feast: MnMo editor Rachel Hutton and MPR Classical’s John Birge offer tips for a trip to Lanesboro

Guide to Local Meditation Centers

Locate the meditation center that best suits your needs—no experience require
Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Recent Minnesota Journeys Posts

Artistic Mini Golf

These creative courses combine a game of putt putt with local art

Top Five Reasons to Visit Lanesboro

Moveable Feast: MnMo editor Rachel Hutton and MPR Classical’s John Birge offer tips for a trip to Lanesboro

Guide to Local Meditation Centers

Locate the meditation center that best suits your needs—no experience require

10,000 Minutes of Minnesota Craft Beer

Celebrate Minnesota-brewed beer this week by attending one of nearly 200 events around the state

St. Croix Valley Pottery Tour

The annual pottery tour attracts thousands of patrons to admire work by the country’s most accomplished potters
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags