Sunday, November 23, 2008

Rockin' with tha Swedes

Stromsburg has only one bed and breakfast, I think it's the only place to stay overnight at all except camping in the state park, a little too cold for that this year. So I stayed at Stromberg B and B. Stromberg is a huge name in Stromsburg and it's an old famous clock made in Sweden. The Strombergs were wonderful folks and they definitely are clock collectors; just from what I saw in the few rooms I was in, I would guess that I saw at least 100 clocks. There were a good 50 coo coo clocks in the kitchen alone.
I asked them and we guessed that it's a Swedish thing 'cause I have such an affinity for clocks, I had an idea that there might be some connection since my mom has several clocks from her grandparents and her mom, my grandmother, had quite a few clocks too.
These are just a few of the snaps I took of their endless collection, it was cool.
Here's a little sneak peek of how sweet the room I stayed in was...antiques, doilies, and old fashioned lamps.
There are several neat shops in around the town square; one was a home decor shop that had been the local soda fountain shop. They still had the original fountain with the original Hamilton milkshake mixer, ice boxes, fountain spickets, and ice cream coolers. They were just like the ones that Jarrett's had in Bryan when I was growing up; it made me feel so warm and cozy.
See? I love it.
I made a point this year to get to Stromsburg on Saturday so I could attend services at the church where my grandmother, great grandparents, and great-great grandparents attended. It was awesome. Mom and I had seen the church and visited the cemetery across the road last year which I visited after service on Sunday but inside the church was fabulous.
In the basement where they have coffee after church the pastor showed me this painting of the three different plants that have been on the property, not at once but as a succession. The one on the left was the first, on the right was the one that was built when my grandmother was little, then the third, the one there now, in the middle would be one that my great grandparents, grandmother would still have attended and the one that my mother remembers visiting as a child.
I loved sitting inside and thinking about them having been there.
After the service the pastor gave me all the scoop on the church history and told me this was the original baptismal font where my grandmother would have been baptised and perhaps her parents before that.
So many beautiful adornments in the church that I should have had my picture taken with all the folks I talked with after the service. I met two out of three brothers who had their hair cut by my great grandfather who was the town barber. The third brother lives right down the road from here in Bethesda! One brother said he remembers his first hair cut as one of his first memories and that it was 37 cents. I replied that's where the family fortune came from! My favorite part is meeting folks who actually knew the family when they were alive.
Next are just one-offs that I found amusing here and there in and out of Stromsburg. Here's an old cowboy waitin' his turn in the loo... great grandparents home, still the same...
...lots of Swedish here and there, no idea what it says but love the way it looks...
...same here, a gable that looks like it came right from Carl Larsson's home...
...and little gazebo, both at the state park on the edge of town...
...and the huge silos that declare Stromsburg to be the Swede capital of Nebraska. Nebraska? What other state has more Swedes? I guess maybe the Dakotas?
Very typical Swedish drawing outside the local grocery. I think that might say welcome. I'll find out sometime...thanks for letting me share.

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