Little Sweden USA

A blog about Lindsborg

The McPherson County Old Mill Museum, located in south Lindsborg near the Smoky Hill River, is hosting the annual Millfest celebration on Saturday, May 7th. Millfest is a family event celebrating the history of the mill and the pioneer heritage of the region; more information is available at the Mill’s web site.

The highlight of the day for many people is seeing the old roller mill in operation. Though no grain is ground, the belts, wheels and pulleys that power the 100 year old mill can be seen operating during the periodic tours of the mill that are given throughout the day.

Additionally, there is a small arts and crafts fair that includes demonstrations of once vital skills necessary for prairie farm life. A hearty lunch and good music round out the day.

Finally, there is the 4th annual Millfest Bakeoff! Contestants also provide an entry for the bake sale, which raises funds to support the museum. More information and a bakeoff signup form are available here.

While doing research for this article I came across a great website that features old mills, many similar to the local mill. The mills are from all around the country, including 7 others in Kansas. And, one of those 7 is the mill that is locally referred to as the old mill, the Smoky Valley Roller Mill.

This is one of those, look what I found while searching for something else items.

It seems that the Swedish diplomatic corps have a web site available to them (and to us!) that calls itself “the web site for Swedish Diplomatic Missions abroad.” The site provides a country by country index of information pages, which the diplomats can use as background material about their host county.

In the listing for their Washington DC office is a link to an address book, and one of the entries is titled Swedish America.

It turns out it’s not a big page, and really doesn’t have much content at all; just 2 cities are listed … and one of them is Lindsborg!

The other is Bishop Hill, located in western Illinois. I know there are other Swedish American communities out there; I wonder how they chose our two towns?

In Sweden, Midsommar celebrates the summer solstice — a magical time when daylight lasts nearly all night long — through a day of music and dancing. At the center of the festivities in nearly every village is the majstång (or maypole) trimmed with garlands of flowers, often in the form of two circlets of flowers hung from its crossbar. In addition to decorating the pole, townspeople see to it that every house gets a row of twigs around the front door, and even boats and cars are festooned. Once the maypole is raised, usually in the center of a park, the music and dancing begin a celebration that lasts well into the bright night.

In two months, on June 18th, Lindsborg will celebrate Midsummer’s Day; watch this space for details over the next few weeks. Meanwhile, an overview of Lindsborg’s Midsummer’s celebration, including an order form for the traditional Swedish smorgasboard meal, is available.

Swedish maypole

Lindsborg will be hosting 800 visitors on Tuesday, June 7th of this year. Our guests will be the riders and support staff of an annual long-distance bike ride known as the Bike Across Kansas ride. They will be marking the half-way point of their 8 day, 530 mile long journey across the state when they stop to catch their breathe and spend the night in Lindsborg.

It should come as no surprise that a large number of local volunteers come together to support such a large influx of visitors. Local folks who are interested in more information should attend an informational meeting on Saturday, the 30th of April, downtown at the Cookery, starting at 10am. As I understand it, there will be a short “question & answer” session with the Food Coordinator, Sherry McKee, and possibly Charlie Summers and Denise Duerksen, the Executive Directors of Biking Across Kansas.

In addition, as of the 15th of April, BAK is still looking for food providers. If you know of a group that would like to provide food for BAK, please contact or or call 316-283-7528.

Bike Across Kansas 2005 Route Map

bike across kansas map

Local artists and craftspeople will open their Lindsborg studios to visitors on Saturday, April 23rd, from 11:00 am to 5:00pm.

On display will be examples of painting, printmaking, ceramics, metal work, weaving, woodcarving and design, jewelry, handcrafted canoes, photography, Swedish folk design and more.

A complete list of studios and galleries that are participating is available in the extended entry area (click on “Continue reading …” below).

Read the rest of this entry »

As the masthead indicates, this is a blog about Lindsborg, Kansas. Lindsborg is known as Little Sweden USA, and I thought it would be a fitting name for a blog that covers Lindsborg. The Chamber of Commerce values the Little Sweden slogan, but feels that their official site is better recognized if Lindsborg is part of the name; you can visit the Lindsborg Chamber of Commerce at (Lindsborg’s official city site is at:

I decided to create this site in order to have a single spot for all of my postings about Lindsborg. My other site will remain what it is, a digital cornucopia, but most if not all Lindsborg related entries will be posted here. My earlier Lindsborg blog entries are still available.

I’m still considering what kind of content to post here. I want to include announcements and information about events in town, but don’t want this to be exclusively an events calendar type of site. (I’m working to convince our local volunteer events coordinator, who emails a weekly list of activities to a wide variety of folks, to start an events blog.)

I’ve started with a link to an Ellsworth resident who wrote on her blog about visiting Lindsborg, and have another similiar story to post in the near future.

This year I have volunteered to work on publicity for the annual Midsummer’s Day festival, held the 3rd Saturday of June, and so anticipate some stories about that event. Beyond that, time will tell. Of course I will continue to post images of Lindsborg and the surrounding area. I don’t anticipate much, if any, political coverage on this site; we have plenty of other places for those discussions.

The design of this site is pretty bare-bones right now, but that will change over time. One thing I plan to include is a set of links to other web sites of interest, including both “official” sites and relevant personal sites. is powered by MovableType, a leading producer of blog software, and is hosted at Pair Networks, whom I highly recommend for your hosting needs. I’m Mike Rodriquez, and more information about me is available here.

Peg, who hails from (Ellsworth in the real world), has lived an interesting life. For almost 80 years she has had a variety of exciting experiences, including:

… traveled extensively to remote places on the globe. She has flown the Goodyear blimp over Houston, handling the controls herself. She spent a day submerged in the Pacific inside the USS Topeka, a Los Angeles class nuclear submarine. …

Last September she spoke of her plans to visit Lindsborg as part of a day trip that would start in Ellsworth, pass by Kanopolis Lake and continue through Marquette before landing in Lindsborg. Looking forward to the trip with obvious anticipation, she wrote:

Then, some how we’ll find our way across country to Lindsborg to poke around there for awhile, and probably have lunch. There are always new things to see in Lindsborg, changes that are occurring in the old traditional things and people to chat with about the activities of the community.

Many happy returns, Peg. May you continue to enjoy visiting Lindsborg for a long time to come.

This is the first of an occasional series highlighting web and blog pages that relate personal experiences with our fair town of Lindsborg.