Post by ● Sep 9, 2016

City of Scandia: A Brief History

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Scandia, Minnesota was the first settlement by Swedish immigrants. In 1850, three young Swedish men by the names of Carl Fernstrom, August Sandahl, and Oscar Roos were the first pioneers to the area. They established a farm by Hay Lake, which later drew in more Swedish immigrants to the area in the 1850s. Most came from the Skane and Varmland provinces. In 1856, the first sanctuary was also built in the area by the name of Elim Lutheran Church.   

The nearby St. Croix River became the main highway for transportation and trading, with steamboats running up and down the river carrying new settlers to the area. A road was finally built in 1841 that ran from Stillwater to Marine and later a military road from Point Douglas to the St. Louis River. This, and the completion of the railroad to Stillwater in 1870 and depots in surrounding villages, ushered in a mass of new immigrants.    

The first established community in the Scandia area was Vasa Township, named after the Swedish king, Gustavus Vasa. Established in 1858, the township was primarily a stopping place for travelers on the St. Croix River. The township included a sawmill, post office, store, and saloon. The most popular building, however, was a hotel named the Vasa House, which was a stopping place for those voyaging from Stillwater to Taylors Falls.

The present day City of Scandia was first a hamlet that grew around the original Swedish settlement. Although the community received a post office in 1878, it was lost for a time when the railroad was instead directed to the Copas area. Even with the loss of the post office, the hamlet thrived with its prosperous hardware, grocery, dry goods, and farm machinery stores. Later in 1894, the first creamery was built in Scandia and a telephone exchange in 1914,  which set the hamlet apart from many of the surrounding communities. In the 1920’s, Scandia was home to a dentist, doctor, milliner, barber, bank, and auto dealership.

On January 1, 2006 the Township of Scandia was incorporated as a city, and is still currently the newest city in Washington County.

If you have any questions regarding the city of Scandia, Minnesota, or if you would like to sell or buy a house in the area, please feel free to visit or call 1-800-909-1953.