There will be an open house and birthday party picnic supper on May 6.
The idea for the Gammelgården Museum in Scandia was conceived in 1971 when the congregation of Elim Lutheran Church learned that its former pastor’s house and barn — dating back to the 1850s — were for sale.
It turned out the church’s 1856 log sanctuary, which was being used as a hay barn, also was available and could be moved to the 11-acre site and restored.
A group of church members formed a committee and Gammelgården, which means “old farm” in Swedish, opened in 1972. Other buildings have since been added to the site, including a welcome center that opened in 2002.
“We have the oldest Lutheran pastor’s house in Minnesota, as well as the oldest Lutheran sanctuary in Minnesota,” said Lynne Blomstrand Moratzka, museum director.
Plans to mark the open-air museum’s 50th year had to be put on hold because of leadership changes at the museum, so “we are celebrating our 51st anniversary and looking to the next 50 years,” Moratzka said. “This is the third century for five of our historic buildings.”
The museum will hold a free open house from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 6. There will be self-guided tours, demonstrations, live music, interactive games and crafts.
A 51st Birthday Party Picnic Supper will be at 5 p.m. Reservations are required; tickets are $10 a person.
For more information, go to gammelgardenmuseum.org
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