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Rediscovering Lindsborg

Lindsborg, Kansas

I've noticed this sign over the entrance to the hardware store on Main Street many times but until this trip I never thought to ask what it means. There isn't a Swedish word for hardware so they used a word that means "Iron Shop." Now you know too!

I remember the first time I visited Lindsborg I was amazed that Kansas had such a unique town in its midst. Why hadn't I known about this sooner? It was with awe that I walked up and down the Main Street peering in all the windows and going into stores that seemed to have everything Swedish you could imagine. Later visits there found more discoveries like seeing Dala Horses hanging from virtually every house in town and coming face to face with the vibrant color palette of Birger Sandzen. On subsequent visits I savored the sweetness of a Swedish Pancake with Lingonberries, saw the inside of the flour mill (how could wood look that polished and shining after all these years), ogled the Swedish Pavilion with my mouth hanging open and watched the Lindsborg Folkdanslag perform native Swedish dances on Main Street.

Now that we have concluded a three day research voyage to Lindsborg I have discovered even more treasures...including the people. I think that is the secret to really enjoying a visit to any community. To be curious and ask questions of the locals. It adds more depth and richness to the journey and you come away filled with a knowledge and pride in your state than you could ever imagine. 

Below are a few of my favorite moments and discoveries in Lindsborg. I hope you'll find these and many more on your visit to our very own Swedish village.  ~ WenDee

I have seen Ye Old Clocksmith shop many times but didn't take time to stop. Now I know that if I want my grandmother's old clock fixed that W.R. Chestnut and his son Jason may well be able to do it in one day! You can buy antique clocks here too. A beautiful Civil War clock by Seth Thomas is for sale!

The newest kid on the Main Street block is The Good Merchant owned by Liz Lahodny. It's located at 135 N. Main and sells a glorious array of gourmet foods, unique gifts, handmade purses and jewelry, scarves and so much more. They are "purveyors of good stuff for inspired living." The store is open Monday- Saturday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Want to sample some tasty Kansas wines? Then ride on into the Wild Dala Winery but only on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. The store is located on Main Street and is the only outlet for Vin Vivante Winery in Wamego. You can also enjoy beautiful artwork by local artisans.

I'm not sure how or why I've missed it all these years, especially since I used to work in a museum, but I had never seen the exhibits at Heritage Park across from the Old Mill Museum. What a great surprise especially when I discovered they had a thresher and a tractor used to plow virgin prairie much like I had seen in the famous F.M. Steele photographs.

What a nice biking/walking path the city has created and it's lined with interesting signage like the one on the south end that tells the story of how hobos used to camp out in that area. Part of the path is the old railroad bed that has been revamped for this new use and a highlight was the bridge trellis overlooking the Smoky Hill river. Can't wait to take a bike ride on theValkommen Path (it means "welcome" in Swedish).

One of the more popular posts we put onFacebook the day we stopped at the Ol Stuga (it means Ale Cottage) at 119 S. Main for lunch was that liverwurst was on the menu. We had no idea that it was such a popular sandwich meat until the comments started piling up! Seems like lots of people grew up eating liverwurst, or braunschweiger, and they all love it with mayonnaise and a wide variety of other condiments. You can also order the Brent Nelson sandwich made famous when it was featured on a contest on the morning news show, Good Morning America, a couple of years ago.

Written by WenDee LaPlant.  We're going to every town in the state to research for a guidebook.  We want to share some information with you now!  This is a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.

So much more than a great view: Coronado Heights

Lindsborg, Kansas

Built by the WPA in 1936, the castle sits atop an area called Coronado Heights.  It is believed that Coronado and his party may have been in this area in 1541, thus the name.

Make sure to go in -- and up the stone staircase for a splendid panoramic view of the Smoky Valley below.  At certain times of the year the yucca is in bloom or wheat fields can be seen in their green or golden colors.

On the bottom floor is a big room with two picnic tables.

It's a little musty inside so pick one of the eleven outdoor stone and cement picnic tables.

Each picnic table area comes with its own fireplace!

The area is an adventureland!  There are trails and staircases and interesting graffiti carved in stones.  It's a great place to fly a kite or just lean back and read a book.

Taken from the 8 Wonders of Kansas Geography web site:  The fun of Coronado Heights kept on rolling through the early and mid- 1900s. Locals still talk about their grandparents' breakfasts atop the hill.  Earlier Bethany College students remember their dances (when dancing was forbidden by the institution).  Birger Sandzen hiked there often.  There was at least one attempt to roller skate down the hill.  July 4th band concerts were legendary, and others recall thunderstorm watching, physical training, and old cars and horse-drawn wagons making their way up to the top in improbable feats of engineering.

June 20, 2012
Michael J. Fox & Sue Schlegel, Lindsborg

The Business of Lindsborg

Lindsborg, Kansas

Lindsborg is a wonderful Swedish town -- but has many outstanding businesses, too!

GOOD MERCHANT, 135 N. Main.  Open Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.; Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Liz has been gathering ideas and items for this store for 14 years.  In March, her husband encouraged her to just do it.

It's a happy place to shop because of the colors and fun merchandise.  Beside, what can feel better than helping someone live their dream.

SARAHENDEPITY at 132 1/2 N. Main (785.906.0106) is another great stop.  Filled with one-of-a-kind handmade jewelry, it also has a mix of antiques and niceties!

, 122 N. Main.  800.576.5280. 

Adding exotic roasted coffee to their regular coffee, Blacksmith Coffee Roastery, an artisan microroaster, is the only importer in the U.S. for Nepal Mt. Everest Supreme, the northern-most coffee grown in the world!

215 N. Harrison, 785.227.2296

Lindsborg is lucky to have such a big and fully-stocked store.

It's also the place to get Swedish specialties from potato sausage to baked goods and breads, dry goods to Glögg!

Yes, get your Glögg here!

ÖJD, 210 N. Main.  785.227.2983. Hemslojd is an international tourist site and has the leading Swedish gift catalog and Web site in the country.

ANDERSON BUTIK Scandinavian Gifts, 134 N. Main.  785.227.2356.  They sell all things related to Scandinavian lifestyle, mostly Sweden. 

ELIZABETH'S handwoven artwear, 110 N. Main

Owner Beth has designed and created fabrics and garment patterns.   The focus is on the softest of rayon chenille yarns, woven on a black cotton warp, in vibrant colors--like stained glass windows.

Beth would like to teach this skill to someone who would have aspirations to own the business.

, 124 N. Main.  785.819.5198.

Who knew that if you need a clock fixed, Lindsborg is the destination for you.  W.R. and his son, J.R., can fix anything, the best in Kansas.

From the local hardware store to the cutting edge VisionTek, Lindsborg does a great job taking care of business.

While you're checking out business in Lindsborg, one place you could stay is...

SEASONS OF THE FOX Bed and Breakfast

Michael J. and Sue have provided a room for any seasonal desire you have:  summer, spring, autumn, or winter.  Plus WiFi, hot tub, and a delicious breakfast.  This is one of the best bed-and-breakfasts in the state to fulfill any accessibility needs.  800.756.3596.

, 112 W. Lincoln. 785.227.2985 is another great choice for an overnight stay.


Lindsborg's Explorer-y Attractions

Lindsborg, Kansas
As a Kansas Explorer Club member and a guidebook researcher, it's always fun to find new discoveries. Here are some of the explorer-y attractions we found in Lindsborg.

Behind the 1898 Smoky Valley Roller Mill (120 Mill) are stone walls, arches, pillars, and steps. They overlook the Smoky Hill River and the old mill dam. It's was interesting to find such an elaborate backyard to the mill. The stone aren't primarily Dakota sandstone so were they brought to this site?

In Heritage Park across from the Old Mills Museum (120 Mill) you'll find the first McPherson County courthouse built in 1869. A brief history of the county towns is found inside.

Have you seen a Prairie tractor lately? They are huge! Primarily built to bust the prairie sod, these machines were built by a variety of manufacturers, mostlyin the early 1900s, the "teen" years. These gas-powered giants usually weighed ore than six tons. Located in the exhibit building in Heritage Park, this machine dwarfs all the others.

It appears to be a "captured" rock. Located beside the roller mill, there is no interpretive sign...just a lonely Dakota sandstone rock.

In Swensson Park (400 N. Main) is a tree with an elaborate fence around it. This tree has a story. Does anybody know what it is?

Ride your bicycle or w
alk this 2.5 Valkommen Trail. Along the way you'll find signs about local attractions, benches, and "beauty spots." At the south end of the trail is my favorite part where the old Missouri-Pacific and Union Pacific bridge has been converted for trail use! One can find the name "Carnegie" stamped on most of the steel beams.

Was this drinking fountain a WPA project? It's located in Swensson Park (400 N. Main). It still works, too!

An abandoned pond with a fountain in the middle conjures up a vision of something exquisite decades ago. Was it a fish pond? Did the ducks enjoy it, too?

A time capsule marker is situated in front of the pond.

The plaque states that Lindsborg's Lutheran Augustana Synod was established on this site in June 1892.

The plaque reveals that this was where the home of Dr. C.A. Swensson, founder and president of Bethany College was located. Perhaps the fish pond was behind his house?

There are two outdoor chess boards at the playground in Swensson Park!

Architectural points-of-interest are found throughout the streets of Lindsborg. But this one really gets your attention. It's just a little chapel just south of 430 N. Washington.

Artist John Whitfield incorporated stained glass, antique tiles, old bells, and other intricacies. It's OK to enter through the gate. Just be sure to leave it as you found it.

The questions posed here will be solved by the time the guidebook comes out in 2015. In the meantime, finding the answers is part of the fun and richness of exploring.

Written by Marci Penner.  We're going to every town in the state to research for a guidebook.  We want to share some information with you now!  This is a project of the Kansas Sampler Foundation.


Doors of Lindsborg

Lindsborg, Kansas
Lindsborg, not only do you have great doors, but great door hardware, too!

You could be the Door Hardware Capital of Kansas!


The door hardware on the left is found at the store, Sarahendepity, 132 1/2 N. Main

The hardware on the right is from the Wild Dala Winery door at 105 N. Main.  Seasons of the Fox Bed and Breakfast has great door hardware, too, as do many others.

See if you can figure out where these doors belong.  Answers at the bottom.










1.  Courtyard Gallery, 125 N. Main
2.  Whitfield Chapel door, 430 N. Washington
3.  Blacksmith Coffee Roastery, 122 N. Main
4.  Swedish Pavillion doors (from the inside), across from 120 Mill
5.  Pay telephone booth door (in front of Blacksmith Coffee Roastery)
6.  Red Barn Studio door, 212 S. Main
7.  Cabin behind the Old Mill, 120 Mill
8.  Bethany Lutheran Church, 320 . Main
9.  Ol' Stuga, 119 S. Main

Come in, to Lindsborg!