The Danebod Campus is the ideal setting for your group retreat. We welcome you to enjoy the expansive prairie and endless skies of Southwestern Minnesota. We are on the National Register of Historic Places. Heritage comes to life at Danebod.
Has your family outgrown your house at holiday time? Consider lodging guests at the beautiful and historic Folk School or at the Lodge. Enjoy cozy sleeping quarters, a charming library, a study, a fully equipped kitchen and dining facilities for up to 150 people. Wedding guests and family reunions are also graciously accommodated. Call us!
Retreat alone, with a friend or with family members. You don’t have to come to a program or be with a group to enjoy Danebod hospitality. Visiting friends and family in the area? Looking for a quiet place to get away? A private retreat on the beautiful prairie can replenish the spirit and clear the mind.
The grounds at Danebod are spacious and shady. A playground, volleyball court, camping hook-ups and a fire pit provide ample opportunities for fun. The view of the landscape to the south of Danebod is the ideal subject of a quick sketch or a pastoral watercolor.
Danebod Historic District
Founded in 1884 by Danish immigrants who were inspired by the teaching of N.F.S. Grundvig, a prominent Danish preacher, teacher and philosopher who encouraged lifelong learning, good citizenship and the care of one’s body, mind and spirit.
The congregation was organized in 1886.
These building were listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.
Danebod Folk School
Danebod Folk School, the first structure on the grounds, was built in 1888 and served as the first church. Early settlers of the colony founded a residential school in the Danish tradition of folk high schools and fostered the concept of “learning for living,” by which individuals sought to become enlightened and thoughtful citizens. The Folk School building stands as a testament to these values and continues to serve as a place for fellowship and life-long learning. Each charming dormitory style room is unique in plan and decoration. A large kitchen and dining area provide a perfect setting for group meals and activities. A lecture hall and several classrooms allow ample space for programming.
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Danebod Stone Hall
The Stone Hall, built in 1889, serves as an unofficial museum housing a collection of photographs, publications and objects important to the history of Danebod. The Stone Hall is also an intimate venue for activities and small lectures or discussion groups.
“The Cross Church at Danebod” was dedicated Sunday, June 16, 1895. It was built largely with volunteer labor and money pledged by the early settlers, who had little to give. The Danebod Colony was established by a church organization and became the Danish Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.
The Cross Church holds many historic points of interest including Thorvaldsen’s statue of Christ; altar chairs; wainscoted walls and ceiling; porthole windows; hand-carved altar, pulpit, communion rail and baptismal font; candelabra and altar cloth; Star of Bethlehem carved in the sanctuary ceiling and the ship “Danebod” hung from the sanctuary ceiling; the Celtic cross and the stained glass windows.
Danebod Gym Hall
The Gym Hall, built in 1904, was originally used as a space for Danish gymnastics, folk dancing, music and theatrical performances, large social gatherings and even worship before a church was built. The congregation at Danebod Lutheran Church upholds the Danish tradition of dancing around the Christmas tree each December, a magical memory held dear by every child who has grown up at Danebod. The basement of the Gym Hall is commonly used for crafts such as stained glass and woodworking.
The Lodge was built in 2018 at the request of the August Folk Camp after five years of fundraising to accommodae the aging campers who were unable to attend due to limited mobility. Six handicapped accessible bedrooms, each with a full bath, along with a common room, limited kichen facilities and a pastor’s office occupy the main floor. A prairie view to the south overlooks what was Swan Lake, a feature that originally drew the Danish immigrants to this area. The spacious deck allows for three season enjoyment of the serene southwest Minnesota landscape.
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The Cottage is a quaint building originally used as an infirmary during the Folk School days to quarantine contagious sudents and staff from the school population. It is currently used by the summer camps and as a rental cottage during the summer months. The Cottage has two bedrooms, a modest kitchen and a private bath.
The present parsonage, built in 1915 with electric lights, is a large two story home with four bedrooms, a sleeping porch and a bathroom on the second floor. Cost to build the parsonage was $5,660.38. The original parsonage was a barn built by the Reverend H.J. Pedersen, “Founder of Danebod,” as a temporaty living place for his family. This “barn” still stands on the campus north of the Stone Hall and was used as a bus garage during the 1950s and 1960s.
A gift from the summer Family Campers, the Pavilion provides a lovely screened space from which to enjoy the fleeting warmth of Minnesota summers and the beautiful months of early autumn. It is currently used by the congregation and campers for various activities including crafts, fellowship and campfires.
A multi-purpose, cozy shelter to escape from the summer sun or sit and visit with old friends.