New exhibit opens May 3
“The attic:” a place where items are stored/stashed because they are important, valuable or sentimental and MIGHT be useful later. We all have them and use them, sometimes multiples, as sheds, barns or rental storage spaces.
The Gammelgården attic houses a wide variety of items that are relevant to telling the story of Swedish immigration and settlement. Often these valuable items are too fragile, too small, or too difficult to display in our historic buildings, so they stay “in the attic.” This year many will be on display in the Passage Room of the Välkommen Hus where they can be enjoyed, help tell story of immigration and settlement and the donor families recognized for their gifts.
“We are dusting off objects that have been in storage, putting them on display – and telling their stories,” said Sarah Porubcansky, the museum’s communications director. “And, we hope, encouraging you to think about your stories.”
There is Swedish immigrant farmer Albert Swenson’s account book, which covers half a century from 1864-1914. The fact that it was in Swedish in the 19th century and English starting in the year 1900 tells its own story – of learning the language and assimilating.
Or Olaf Olin’s gold handled engraved walking stick and pocket watch. He arrived in Scandia in the early 1850s with his wife. In Sweden they were tenants on farms, he couldn’t read or write. By 1860 he was able to donate 10% of his land (40 acres) to the local Elim Church.
Wedding dresses from the mid-1800s tell the story of women’s fashion. A doll buggy tells the story of how children played were similar to today’s children. “Crochet needles have been too small to display and immigration documents and land patents have been too fragile,” Porubcansky said, “but we’ve dusted them off and are displaying them this year in our exhibit, Gammelgården’s Attic A-Z.
“Come and enjoy the stories.”
The museum opens for the season on May 3. Walk-in tours are available on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. Book a group tour by calling the museum, 651-433-5053. Gammelgården participates in Museum Month with its Immigrant for a Day event, May 26, with free activities for children 1 to 4 p.m.