City of Scandia, MN

{5CDFDF2B-A494-440B-BED3-D28E8574B2B7}Nestled among rolling hills and many beautiful lakes, the City of Scandia is the site of the first Swedish settlement in Minnesota. In October of 1850, the first log cabin was built on the shores of Hay Lake. Residents of Scandia have done little to alter the character of the community, and visitors will find reminders of mid- nineteenth century pioneer days and the rural town atmosphere.

Swedish Settler's Monument:
Erected in 1900, the monument now stands near the site of this first log house built 1850, located 1.5 miles south of Highway 97 on Olinda Trail North (County Road 3). The monument is inscribed with the names of the first Swedish settlers in Minnesota.    14001 Old Marine Trail North

Hay Lake School Museum:
Hay Lake School Museum is located just two miles south of the Community Center, near the Swedish Settler's Monument. With the Hay Lake School, there is the two-story Johannes Erickson log house with furnishings from this era.   Both the school and log house are listed on the National Historic Registry.  14020 195th Street North

{73012E57-BFCC-4101-84CE-92496C4EF738}GUIDED TOURS:

June, July & August-- Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
May, September & October-- Fridays & Sundays
Open from 12 noon - 4 p.m.

For more information and rates, please call Susan Stepka, Site Manager, at 651-433-4014. Visit the Washington County Historical Society website, and click on "Visit the Museums".

Gammelgården Museum of Scandia:
{D1D7E872-8CD7-47F6-A864-4138300A5059}Dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Swedish immigrant life, the eleven-acre site owned by Elim Lutheran Church, contains six buildings. Gammelkyrkan (1856), Immigrant Hus (1855), Präst Hus (1868), Ladugård (1879), Stuga (1930), and  Välkommen Hus (2002) which is the home of the Scandia Butik (Gift Shop). The museum is open seasonally, May through December on Wednesdays through Sundays; and from January through March on a periodic basis. Check the museum's event calendar for classes, workshops, and events. Tour groups are welcome and meals are available with advance reservations. For more information, call 651-433-5053, or visit Gammelgården Museum's tour page on its website.  A Minnesota Historical Society marker is on site.  20880 Olinda Trail North

Walk-in Tours (May through mid-October)
Friday and Saturday – 10:30 a.m., 1:00 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.
Sunday – 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Director’s Tours
First Friday of Each Month (June-October)
12:30-2:00 p.m.

Group Tours (10 or more)
Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday
A sandwich buffet is available for groups with 15+ people. Prior arrangements must be made.
Reservations are required two weeks prior to a visit.

Student Field Trips
Field trips are available from September 1-October 15 and May 1-June 9 each year. Reservations are required two weeks prior to a visit. 

Elim CemeteryElim Church Cemetery
Prior to the acquisition of this parcel of land in 1860, at least three cemeteries were used by the Elim congregation. One was on the west side of Sand Lake not far from the first church building.  The congregation currently manages two separate cemeteries. This northern, larger one has been in use since the early 1860s, and was the site of the second Elim church.  Located at the corner of Olinda Trail North and Oakhill Road North.

Other Resources:
The Washington County Historical Society serves as a historical umbrella for the county’s history organizations and acts as a community resource for individuals and organizations seeking historical information. The Society:
  • operates two interpretive museums showcasing county heritage,
  • provides educational programs to schools and to the public,
  • assists researchers to document their own, county, and state history,
  • provides expertise to help community groups conserve collections and produce exhibits,
  • investigates and publishes county history,
  • collects and preserves cultural artifacts and documents for future generations, and
  • showcases county history through exhibits and displays throughout the county.
Clio is an educational website and mobile application that guides the public to thousands of historical and cultural sites throughout the United States. Built by scholars for public benefit, each entry includes a concise summary and useful information about a historical site, museum, monument, landmark, or other site of cultural or historical significance. In addition, “time capsule” entries allow users to learn about historical events that occurred around them. Each entry offers turn-by-turn directions as well as links to relevant books, articles, videos, primary sources, and credible websites.
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