Lydia Olson: The Swedish Smorgasbord
Lydia Olson was the originator of the famous Dubois Smorgasbord. She lived for many years at the Warm Springs Tie Camp where her Norwegian husband, Martin, was woods boss of the mainly Scandinavian loggers there. She learned to prepare many Swedish and Norwegian dishes for him and his friends. She was a member and untiring worker of St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Dubois. When money was needed to build an addition to the Parish Hall there, it was her suggestion that the women give a Scandinavian Smorgasbord to help raise the funds.
The idea met with great enthusiasm and Lydia became the first chairman, mentor, and guiding star. As the crowds grew, men, women, boys and girls throughout the community volunteered their services to help prepare the foods and assist in serving the many hundreds of people who came from all over the State to partake of the delicious feast. New dishes were added to the menu but mainly it was confined to Scandinavian foods.
The first written records were kept in 1950. At this dinner, 139 people were served at $1.50 a plate. The menu consisted of baked ham, Swedish meatballs, escalloped potatoes, baked beans, coleslaw, pickled tongue and herring, a variety of cold meats, homemade jams and jellies, a large assortment of homemade breads and for dessert there was fruit soup and berry cream and all sorts of Swedish cookies.
From this beginning the Smorgasbord grew and grew. Lydia taught other women of the Community to make the fattigman, Swedish thin bread and Spritz cookies, to pickle the tongue and herring and to prepare many other delicacies served. When she finally retired, there were many able pupils to carry on.
From Dubois High Altitude Recipe Roundup, revised edition.
Re-discover the Winds by visiting the Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander or the Riverton Museum. Log onto www.fremontcountymuseums.com for a complete schedule of events, latest newsletter and the latest Wind River Mountaineer.
Next up for the Fremont County Museums
June 29th 7pm, at the Dubois Museum, “Bear Safety” Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series
July 1st 11am, at the Dubois Museum, “Release of the Butterflies” McDonald’s Children’s Exploration Series (conclusion of “Building a Butterfly Nursery”
July 8th 9am at the Dubois Museum, “Tie Hack Trek” Wind River Visitors Council Adventure Trek Series
July 13th 7pm at the Pioneer Museum, “Poetry and Song by Darra Perez, Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series
July 15th 3pm at the Riverton Museum, “History of the J.B. Okie Family” by Zane Fross, Wyoming Community Bank Discovery Speakers Series
The Dubois Museum, the Pioneer Museum in Lander and the Riverton Museum need your financial support. In the current economic environment the museums are more reliant than ever on donations from the private sector to continue to provide the quality programs, collections management, exhibits and services that have become their hallmark over the last three and half years. Please make your tax deductible contribution to be used specifically for the benefit of the museum of your choosing by sending a check to Fremont County Museums 450 N 2nd Rm 320 or taking it directly to the museum you choose to support.