Sweden/Denmark Trip: Swenson Farmhouse

(journal entry from August 26, 2019)

After the schoolhouse, Erik took us over to the farmhouse where Swen and Thilda lived before the schoolhouse.  The farmhouse has been abandoned for several years and unfortunately, it burned down a few years ago, but it was still really neat to see the barns that were still standing and also the foundation and rubble that is left over from the house.  

This photo was taken by Tal, my mom’s cousin’s son. He took this in February 2011


This is what it looks like now. I wish I had thought to take a better angle for the photo. That concrete slab that Erik is standing on is where the front porch was.

The foundation

I am guessing that this might be remains from the fireplace
One of the barns
Inside the barn


If you’ve read the backstory that I posted here then you read about a photograph that was found by Erik only 3 months before Brittani and her husband came to visit Sweden back in September 2008.  Well, that photo was found in this very farmhouse.  


“After that, he took us over to the decrepit old building, with broken windows and degraded wood, where Swen had taught before the school had been built. Although the building had fallen into disrepair and was locked against vandals, Erik showed us an old photograph of a schoolmaster and a large class of young students that he had discovered inside by chance only three months before our visit. He couldn’t be sure, but he strongly suspected that the schoolmaster in the photograph must be Swen. There hadn’t been a class so large since the baby boom that had occurred in southern Sweden at the end of the nineteenth century. How excited we were to see this photograph and to hear of the kismet that caused it to fall into our hands so providentially! Grandma Ruthie later helped us confirm that Erik’s suspicious had been correct.” (Brittani)


We even found some artifacts from the house… some nails (which I wish we could bring home, but I’m sure they won’t make it through airport security), a pair of round rimmed glasses, a piece of wood that was part of the wall, some pieces of the foundation, and some pieces of the roof tiles.

These are what we ended up coming home with. The glasses, a rock from the foundation, a piece of one of the roof tiles, and a piece of burned wood from the walls.



Leave a Reply