This weekend was my first of my “Adventures Through Kansas!” I went to Lindsborg, KS, also called “Little Sweden of the USA.” It’s about 25 miles southwest of Salina, for those of you from Kansas. The drive down wasn’t bad at all. It’s really easy to find because it’s labeled so well. I didn’t use my GPS at all, which is very unlike me! There’s the main street, which is your typical downtown in a small town. It’s definitely a tourist town, so many of the shop were souvenir shops. They played Swedish music throughout the street, and it was all so brightly colored.
I started my day going to Coronado Heights. It was cool, however, the story behind it was kind of lame if you ask me. It’s in honor of Fransicso Vasequz de Coronado, who they think passed through Kansas on his way to find gold. Consequently they decided to build a monument for him. (If only I could get a monument built in honor of myself for thinking about doing my stats homework tonight!) Even though there was no purpose to it, it really was kind of cool! And the view from the top was really pretty – good ole rolling hills of Kansas, with some corn and wheat growing in the middle of it! Because that’s not a stereotype at all 🙂
After that I headed into town without much of a plan. I just drove around following signs for things I thought would be interesting. I ended up by the Old Mill Museum. When I first got out I saw a bridge, so I thought “hmmm I wonder what’s over there! Let’s go on adventure.” Turns out it was just a campground with no one there, so I turned around and headed to the museum. Bet you thought that story was gonna be better than. NOPE!
See, Lindsborg was originally settled in 1860-something (69?) by a group of Swedish immigrants, which is how it got the name “Little Sweden.” One of the guys I talked to on the street said that somewhere around half of the people that live there have some sort of Swedish heritage, which is awesome! They’ve worked hard to keep their culture in the town. Every year they have a festival and around town you can find Dala horses – part of the Swedish culture.
Back to the museum….it has the original flour mill that some of the immigrants used, which was cool! I have absolutely no idea how it works even though they had a diagram there. I was so lost. It’s three stories of fancy looking machines that somehow make flour. That’s about all I got out of it. But it was still cool! Once a year they turn it on during their festival, so it still works.
The other parts of the museum were pretty cool too! Across the street they had “Heritage Square,” which was more focused on the history of Lindsborg. There was a one room schoolhouse that used to be used in New Gottland, but they moved it to Lindsborg for the museum. That was my favorite part! I can’t even imagine being in a one room schoolhouse, let alone teaching one. There were quotes from some of the teachers explaining what it was like to teach them. One said that because she wasn’t much older than the students, she had to dress older to get the respect of the older boys. They also had actual pictures colored by some of the younger kids on the walls, and the salary for teachers in the 1860s. $30 a month in case you were wondering!
Further along the square they had old tractors, farm equipment, this slightly terrifying stuffed horse (see below), and replica post office, depot and blacksmith shops. They also had the replica Swedish house built for the 1904 World Fair in St. Louis. At one point they used it at Bethany College for the music program, it’s been a church and it’s now a historical landmark in their museum. When Lindsborg first started the train went through the town, so they had a train in the back of the buildings to honor that.
My favorite part of the day was walking down Main Street. These were some of the friendliest people I’ve ever met! Every single person I walked by said hello and asked where I was visiting from. (The thing about a small town is they know if you’re a visitor!) Apparently I look just like Daisy, whoever that is, because I had multiple people call me that. Unfortunately, she was out town so we couldn’t take a twin pic 😦 Most of the strip was made up of souvenir shops and art galleries. I made a rule for myself that any time I go on one of these adventures, I get $20 to spend. That includes food, souvenirs, admissions, etc. I want to go explore, but I don’t want to break the bank! Since I basically have no money right now, I decided I needed to stick to the that and not make this trip an exception to that rule (although my mom’s birthday present doesn’t count) otherwise I would’ve spent so much money! They had a bunch of Swedish foods at the stores that looked interesting. There also is a designer that lives there that had some really cute hats and jewelry (because I wear so much jewelry….). Her shop was really interesting, and maybe with more money, I’ll go back!
Let’s be honest though, the total highlight of the day was the food! 🙂 I was determined to get Swedish meatballs! So that I did! I ate at Swedish Crowne, a local restaurant with primarily Swedish inspired food. When I ordered my meatballs, she asked if I wanted potato sausage and lingonberries with it. “Sure!! Why not?! I have absolutely no idea what either of those things are, but throw them on there”….or something like that was my answer. I also got lingonberry lemonade, which is quite possibly my favorite lemonade ever! But….I don’t just like plain lingonberries I found out. It tasted too much like cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, which I’m not a fan of. Also can’t say I particularly enjoyed the potato sausage. It’s a mix of beef, pork and potatoes in the shape of sausage. I like all of those things! Apparently just not mixed together. But the meatballs – one of the main reasons I went there – were good!!
When I said I was going by myself, my friends thought I was weird. “Isn’t that boring?” “What if you get kidnapped?” No, it’s not boring. Quite the contrary actually. I can do whatever I want for however long I want. I don’t have to worry about if I’m taking too long wandering around, or missing out on something I want to do because the people I’m with don’t want to. As far as being kidnapped….yeah I mean that’s a legit possibility. I didn’t really have anything to counter that other than I can kick some ass if I need to 🙂