Scandinavian Communities History

Our History

Our Humble Beginnings

In the late 1920s a group of Swedish immigrants got together to figure out a way to care for their elderly. By 1930 a decision was made to buy a beautiful house on Broad Street which was called The Scandinavian Old People’s Home... and the rest is history!

The building, at 1811 Broad Street, was purchased in 1930 from the estate of Colonel Joseph Samuels, the owner of the Outlet Company, and remodeling and furnishing began immediately. In 1932 the home was formally ready to receive guests. From the very beginning a volunteer Board of Directors was in charge of this new endeavor and this continues today.

“A person of fine moral character” was chosen to oversee the building, the first Matron, Nina Swanson. At first, the original eight residents participated in the upkeep of the home assisting with meal preparation and light cleaning. The beautiful building was three stories so there were lots of stairs and few modern conveniences, but it accommodated 35 guests and it was a safe and comfortable place for the elderly Swedish immigrants to live together. In the early days, as the depression was raging, Miss Swanson was known to request donations of supplies such as potatoes and other food stuff in an attempt to keep costs down. A hospital room was added by 1938 to provide for basic medical care.

By 1959 it became apparent that more space was needed and a project was begun on a modern facility complete with elevators and other modern conveniences. This building, the present North and West wings, was dedicated in 1961 and there was now “rest care” for 60 guests. The new building was connected to the original home which was still used for resident rooms and offices. The need to provide more basic medical care was addressed. The name was also changed to Scandinavian Home.

As medical care continued to change through the years nationally, Scandinavian Home changed as well. Our volunteer Board of Directors continued to keep up with the times and the building kept expanding to meet the needs of the elderly population. While a majority of residents were of Swedish descent, admission was now open to all.

By 1970 the old building could no longer meet the needs of the Home and the decision was made to tear it down so that a more modern South Wing could be built. This modern building again made it possible to keep up with the changes in medical care nationally. In 1992 the Scandinavian Retirement Center (the present assisted living) was completed. This was one of the first retirement centers in the state and was again a tribute to our forward thinking Board.

In recent years our name has been tweaked a bit more – Scandinavian Rehabilitation & Skilled Nursing and Scandinavian Assisted Living. We are proud to be a destination of choice for wellness and elder care. Over 85 years since our founding, we continue to offer quality care including rehabilitation, short term skilled nursing or respite stays, long term care, and assisted living. Our professional and caring staff attends to the needs of all our residents.