So, as I was passing Gammelgarden on Tuesday afternoon, I thought about how the early pioneers must have felt back in the 1800s when they settled in the area. One of the buildings at Gammelgarden Immigrant Hus - was actually at a different location before being moved to the organization's property.
Gammelgarden said that "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 .... The building was donated to Gammelgården in 1985 when it was moved from its original site on Bone Lake.
"Exterior siding added 1996 (if you look at the lower right side of the picture, there's a section of the original siding that is revealed and covered with plexiglass)."
As the wind blew across the open land, it was bone-chilling. Seeing the open spaces between the slats on the home gave a very different perspective of how determined those early settlers must have been to make it through frigid Minnesota winters.
Given that parents often had more children who helped provide needed help with farming and livestock duties, the small space of this home would have been challenging - both from space and relational standpoints.
In a home no bigger than a one-room cabin, family members had to get along. There wasn't a lot of space where they could retreat or escape to if they needed a break from each other.
Another home at Gammelgarden is much larger. In fact, it was considered a large house at the time with four bedrooms and a hand pump in the home (although it didn't have a furnace or plumbing).
Window on the side of Präst Hus.
The wood trim around the windows and door are painted a pale blue.
I like the reflection of the wooden fence in the window.
According to the Gammelgarden website, the Präst Hus was "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."
There were so many other interesting structures and things to see at Gammelgarden in the winter. One of the things that captured my eye was this little wood shed. It overlooks a little creek/wetland area.
One more thing that was interesting to see was the windmill. The windmill at Gammelgarden is attached to a water pump. I didn't test to see if it worked or not during the winter, but as the wind blew the top moved around and squeaked...loudly.
It reminded me of stories my Dad use to tell me about growing up on a farm, and having to use an outdoor hand pump for water. Simple things we take for granted these days, people had to work hard to get 70+ years ago.
Walking around Gammelgarden on a windy and very crisp day was a good reminder to appreciate the little things...the simple things...that make daily life easier; and to be grateful for a warm place to live, especially on cold winter days.