In our 30th year, the Välkommen Hus became a reality of many years of planning, construction, and an investment of over $560,000. It is a two-story frame building with a full basement and elevator for handicap accessibility. The style is 1850’s Swedish farmhouse and it is painted Falun red. Inside, there is a lobby, Butik gift shop, restrooms, classroom (45 people), office, and storage.
Built in 1868 as the first parsonage for the Elim Congregation. Pastors L. 0. Lindh and Eric Hedeen and families lived in the Präst Hus which was sold in 1884 to Peter Magnus Nelson, his wife Lovisa Marie Petersdotter Nelson and their children, Josephine, Axel and Annie who was 13 weeks old. Annie lived in the house until she was 88 years old and sold the property back to Elim for $7,500 in 1970. This is the oldest existing parsonage in Minnesota.
is the first sanctuary of Elim Lutheran Church, and 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. Rededica- tion 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.
The present Ladugård (barn) was constructed in 1879 at the request of Rev. Eric Hedeen. When the property was sold to the Nelson family in 1884, the barn was listed on the deed. The hitching posts were removed from the perimeter of the cemetery and the front of the church when roads were widened and paved. The lower level of the barn was for livestock, the upper level for tools, crops and vehicle storage.
The Immigrant Hus features the same Swedish log construction as the Gammelkyrkan and the Präst Hus. The exact construction date of this house is unknown, but the original land patent is dated 1855. It was used as a home until the early 1900’s and then was used as a granary. Mr. and Mrs. Russell Jackson donated this building to Gammelgården in 1985 when it was moved from its original site on Bone Lake (Bonne Lake). Exterior siding added 1996. Similar size to home dwellings in Sweden and could be built by 2 people and hand tools. In the winter this home could be heated by a wood stove. Early Swedish families did not spend lots of time inside during summer, only during cold weather. Tongue and groove flooring was added later and probably had a dirt floor at first.
Stuga, in immigrant times, meant a rectangular building, with 1 door, a corner stove, the home of peasants. The word now means a small vacation home. The outside is painted with Swedish falun red paint; the inside has the original 1930’s paint. Falun Red could be made on the farm by mixing rye flour, linseed oil and the finely ground tailings from the iron mine at Falun, Sweden. It was cheap and easily made paint and was long lasting. The Swedish Stuga (vacation house) was on the St. Croix river estate of Gotlieb Magny, architect, who used it as a guest house. The STUGA was a gift to Gammelgården in 1979.