Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Our Last Day in Lindsborg

Our plan was to leave this area on Monday. However, we recently learned that our daughter Melissa will be in Denver later this month and consequently we now are in no rush to get there. We do have a concern about the  weather as it is getting cooler even out here in Kansas. Hopefully the snow will hold off for awhile yet in Denver! We also felt that there is a lot more in the town of Lindsborg to explore. Our first stop today was about one mile outside of the town at the Hoglund Dugout. In 1868 a young couple from Sweden, Gustaf and Maria Hoglund, created their first home in a 6ft.x12 ft. pit. During their first summer they used their wagon as a roof. It was hard for me to comprehend living in that small of a space with no windows!
In Lindsborg, after wandering through many of its fine small shops, we walked over to the Red Barn Studio. From 1945-1991 it was the home and studio of Lester Rhymer. When he married his wife Ramona her parents gave them several buildings, two of which were a livery stable and a wash house. He combined them into one rather large rambling building, adding a breezeway in the process. With extensive decorative touches he ended up with one awesome building.
Rhymer's house and studio proved to be a very intriguing place to tour. It is filled with his paintings, original prints, sculptures, ceramics, jewelry and furniture. Every year for Christmas he made his wife elaborate wooden toys with operating parts, they also are on display in the home. He also worked with fabric, even making a quilt. He usually worked only with recycled materials, finding them in the town dump or at auction sales. He twisted and crimped aluminum scrap to make decorative art objects. Below is a picture of the courtyard of the Rhymer home which shows some of his woodcarvings. The artist also created the ceramic tile on the brick wall which depicts the sun, a common theme in a lot of his artwork.
After touring Rhymer's art studio we walked the Valkommen Trail, a paved walking path around Lindsborg with  historical markers. At the site of the water and power plant there is an interpretive sign explaining how charges for electricity and water were calculated during the early part of the twentieth century. The customer was charged by the light bulb; one dollar for two light bulbs monthly. Water cost six dollars for one faucet, and one dollar was charged for every additional faucet. Annual charge for a bathtub was three dollars.

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