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 Scandia at (address link) (County Road 3), 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
June, July & August-- Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays
May, September & October-- Fridays & Sundays
Open from 12 noon - 4 p.m.
SCHOOL & BUS TOURS BY APPT.
For more information and rates, please call Paula McHugh, Site Manager at 651-433-4014. Visit the Washington County Historical Society website, and click on "Visit the Museums".
Dedicated to the promotion and preservation of the Swedish immigrant life, the eleven acre site owned by Elim Lutheran Church, contains seven buildings. GammelKyrkan (1856), Immigrant Hus (1855), Prast Hus (1868), barn (1879), stuga (1930), Välkommen Hus (2002), and home of Scandia Butik (Gift Shop). The museum is open seasonally, May through October with regular weekend hours. Tour groups are welcome and meals are available with advance reservations. For more information, call 651-433-5053, or visit the Gammelgården Museum website. A Minnesota Historical Society marker is on site. 20880 Olinda Trail North
Elim 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.
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.