The Swedish Historical Society of Rockford was established in 1938 by a group from Rockford after visiting the 300th anniversary of the arrival of Swedes in North America. This celebration was held in Delaware, where once there was a Swedish colony. The Society was officially formed on January 31, 1939 and incorporated in Illinois as a not-for-profit corporation on November 29, 1950.

The Swedish Historical Society is organized exclusively for historical, educational, and charitable purposes. In harmony with this purpose is the operation of the Erlander Home Museum and the preservation of Swedish-American history and culture of Rockford through such activities as the conservation of artifacts, museum displays and educational programs.

Swedish Historical Society of Rockford, IL continues to host events to promote Swedish history and culture. Please check out our news and events and participate, as a spectator, participant, or an SHS volunteer.

Cultural Events

Kubb Tournament
Camp Sweden
Movie Night
Glögg & Pepparkakor


Erlander Home

Museum Tours by appointment only

Call 815-963-5559 for your tour.

Please allow 48 hour advance notice.

$5.00 admission for non members.

  • News release
  • SHS-Kids Around the World Playground Sponsorship Letter

    Spring 2017


        The community of Rockford, Illinois, is well known for its top ranking child and family friendly spaces and welcoming parks. In 1994 Kids Around the World (KATW), a local 501 ©(3) nonprofit organization launched its work by installing its first playground in Brovary, Ukraine. Over the years residents have continued this endeavor, sharing the joy and excitement of more than 500 playgrounds in over 70 countries. Locations are chosen based on the needs of children in the community it will serve.

    In the late 1800’s Sweden, and especially the island of Öland, experienced severe hardships causing many to seek new opportunities in the United States. Most of those leaving Öland (from the harbor of Borgholm) found their way to Rockford where their impact on that city continues. Today, Borgholm has become home to a large number of refugees, significant for a Swedish community of its size. The impact is heavy - new schools and social services have to be built to provide for the children and families. It is the intention of the Swedish HIstorical Society of Rockford to place a KATW playground as an assistance to those needs and a symbol of peace and friendship between between all cultures.

    Recognizing the strong historic link between our cities, and the desire to assist children in learning about immigration, adaptation, and assimilation through play, our Sister City partnership continues to strive in making this playground a reality. Both cities felt the loss of a prime contributor to these concepts when our Rockford and Borgholm friend, John C. Nelson passed away just before the celebration of Borgholm’s 200 year anniversary. John tirelessly connected the two cities and the playground will be named in honor of him.


        The budget for this project is $75,000, which includes a large playground, shipping, a trained playground installer to lead the team and all of the supplies we will need to complete the project. Our Swedish partners have identified the location for the new playground, and will contribute onsite equipment needs, permits, local volunteers to work alongside the Rockford team, and the concrete needed for the footings. Plus they guarantee a wonderful welcome to our Sister City.

    Sponsorship Opportunity:

        Donations may be made directly to KATW (Kids Around the World)

    Volunteer Opportunity:

        Travel to Sweden to take part in the installation in late summer of 2017

    Volunteer sign-ups will be available on

        Volunteer cost will include lodging, meals, and ground transportation

        Air travel will not be included, but can be coordinated by KATW

    To learn more, contact Melanie Derr:    815-229-8731

    Swedish Historical Society of Rockford    404 S. Third Street       Rockford, IL    815-963-5559   




  • Members only FIKA on April 24

    Welcome to enjoy fika (coffee & sweet) and interact with the Swedish construction students and instructors from De la Gardiegymnasiet, Lidköping, Sweden. The group is giving a helping hand to the renovations of the Nordic Cultural Center. Please RSVP to Swedish Historical Society board member Linnea Bengtsson at or 815 985 3895

  • Swedish construction group from Lidköping in Rockford

    10 students and two instructors from De la Gardiegymnasiet in Lidköping, Sweden, are in Rockford giving a helping hand to the renovations of the Nordic Cultural Center. For almost two weeks the group will assist with construction work, interior and exterior paining. The group will also interact with our membership and host a "fika" coffee & sweets gathering at the Nordic Cultural Center exclusive for our members on Monday, April 24 between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. Please RSVP to SHS Board Member Linnea Bengtsson at or 815 985 3895

  • Glad påsk / Happy Easter
  • April 30: Walpurgis Night / Valborgsmässoafton

    Join us to celebrate the arrival of spring! On Valborgsmässoafton, people light bonfires and sing songs in celebration of spring time while encouraging community spirit. The Swedish Historical Society is celebrating this special day on Sunday, April 30 at 6:00 p.m. at the home of Betsy and Allan Carlson. $10 per person $5 for children under the age of 12. Call Tim Krumland to RSVP and for more information 815 963 5559

  • Save the date: June 16 & 17 MIDSOMMAR
  • May 6: Rockford Swedish Historical Society Kubb Tournament

    Date: May 6th, 2017

    Location: Ingersoll Centennial Park, 315 S. First Street, Rockford, IL, 61104 (map)

    Register Here

    Kubb United is partnering with Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau,  Swedish Historical Society of Rockford and Gigi's Playhouse to present the 2017 Rockford Swedish Historical Society Kubb Tournament.  Concessions provided by Swedish Soul Fusion.

    The tournament will take place on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at Ingersoll Centennial Park.  Registration begins at 7:45AM and play starts at 9:00AM.  

  • Welcome 2017


  • Jultid with Swedish Historical