Scandia, Minnesota

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Scandia is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 3,692 at the 2000 census. Scandia is located 25 miles northeast of Saint Paul, Minnesota, and is part of the Twin Cities Metro Area.



As evidenced by the town's name, Scandia has a rich Scandinavian heritage. Scandia was the site of what is believed to have been the first Swedish immigrant settlement within the State of Minnesota. In 1850, the first log cabin was built on the shores of Hay Lake. The first sanctuary of Elim Lutheran Church, was built in 1856 on a site near Hay Lake.[3]

After many years as New Scandia Township, Scandia became a city on January 1, 2007, due to concerns about the community being annexed by the city of Forest Lake. The city is serviced by a weekly newspaper, the Country Messenger. [4]

Points of interest

  • Gammelgarden Museum is owned by Elim Lutheran Church and since 1972 has preserved, presented, and promoted Swedish immigrant heritage and history. Since 1972, it has preserved, presented, and promoted Swedish immigrant heritage and history, with events such as Spelmansstämma. "Midsommarafton" and "Dalapalooza" . The later is a reference to the Dalecarlian horses the city has erected to welcome visitors, similar to Saint Paul, Minnesota's use of the Peanuts characters. [5]
  • Hay Lake School was constructed in 1896. This was rural school district #2 organized in Washington County in 1855. After several years of school being held in local homes, the school was moved into the old Elim Lutheran Church building. The school used that structure, which is now a part of the Gammelgarden complex, until this brick school building was built. The school was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on July 1, 1970. [6]
  • Erickson Log House Museum centers on the log house constructed in 1868 by Johannes Erickson and his thirteen year old son Alfred. In 1904, Alfred Erickson constructed a new home and the old log home became at various time a granary, garage and playhouse. In 1974, the Washington County Historical Society purchased the old log house and moved it one and a half miles to its present site. The Erickson Log House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 17, 1976.[7]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 103.1 km² (39.8 mi²). 93.1 km² (36.0 mi²) of it is land and 10.0 km² (3.8 mi²) of it (9.67%) is water. Minnesota State Highways 95 and 97 are two of the main routes in the community.

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