Saturday, September 08, 2012

Annie's Swedish Coffee

Today my Red Hat group gathered again (we no longer meet regularly because 2 members have moved away) and went to Gammelgården Museum in Scandia, Museum. What a treat it was! We were served a 3 course coffee: sweet bread, cookies, and almond cake. Each course was delicious! In between the courses, the director of the museum gave the most interesting history of the Swedish immigrants. 

L to R: Nancy, Joanie, Sharon, Jeanne

Our table was set with beautiful china plates and coffee cups. Down the center, was a wooden set of dolls in Swedish in costume from various provinces. This is the second floor of the museum and is filled with Swedish history. 

2nd course: cookies. Oh, my! They were scrumptious!

Gammelkyrkan, the first sanctuary of Elim Lutheran Church, was built in 1856 on a site near Hay Lake, two miles south of Gammelgården Museum. Used as a church until 1860, then moved and used as Hay Lake School until 1899; it was then sold, dismantled and moved to the Frank Forsell farm and used until 1981. Mr. and Mrs. Archie Forsell donated it to Elim and Gammelgården. Once again it was dismantled, moved and restored. Re-dedication was September 12, 1982 by Prince Bertil of Sweden and Bishop Herbert Chilstrom of Minnesota. Exterior repairs were completed in 1995 through the kindness of the Skandia Insurance Corp. of Sweden. This is the oldest Lutheran church building in Minnesota.

At the start of the church, the parishioners couldn't afford to pay the preacher, so to survive and provide for his family, he had to farm. This was the barn. Like the church, it is strongly constructed with logs (This area was heavily forested when the immigrants arrived.). There is a facing on the outside, so the logs are not visible, as they are inside. The Swedish immigrants planned ahead and packed the metal parts of the tools they knew they would need into their trunk. They knew they could make handles once they settled.

is the kitchen of the parsonage. Our tour guide was explaining the daily living of the preacher, his wife, and children. Because there was no office in the church, when parishioners needed counsel, they came to the parsonage. Therefore, the preacher's wife had to always have a clean house and food to share. This is the oldest existing parsonage in Minnesota.

This is one of two wedding dresses that are on display in the parsonage living room. A darker, practical dress was worn for weddings so it could be worn again. It would never be black, since that was saved for mourning.

This is a Stuga, or in other words, a Swedish home for peasants. They are now known as a small vacation home. If I could have a little spot either in a woods or by a lake, this is the house (cabin) I would like to have. It has two rooms: a kitchen and a bedroom. This one is painted in the traditional red paint that was actually purchased in Sweden.

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