Day 1 - Lund
There is no better place to start a 365-day-trip across Swedish America than in the tiny town of Lund on the west coast of Canada. The town was founded more than a hundred years ago by two brothers from Lund in the very south of Sweden.
Lund is the end of the road when you come from Vancouver, unless you are getting in to a taxi-boat for the trip to Savary Island. Lund is the end of the coastal highway 101 that starts in Chile at the southern-most point of South America. When you are driving up from Seattle or Vancouver to Lund, you can easily do the trip in a day via two beautiful ferry trips between Horseshoe Bay and Langdale and between Earl’s Cove and Satlery Bay.
There was no road to Vancouver in 1889 when 16-year old Fredrik Thulin and his older brother brother Karl bought the 160 acre homestead that is now Lund. The brothers made the 85 nautical mile trip from Vancouver in a rowboat with a small sail. The trip took three to four days depending on weather conditions. The Coast Salish name for their sheltered cove was Gl’amin, but the brothers named it Lund after the university town close to where they were born in the province of Skåne. Lund also means “forest grove” in Swedish, which is a nice description of the cedar forest area where they settled.
Fred and Charlie quickly cleared the land for farming and built a wharf where they sold cordwood and piped water to passing tugs. Soon they were also processing cod livers for oil. They bought salmon, salted it in boxes and shipped the fish to the Orient. In 1982 they obtained permission to start a post office and were soon thereafter also running a store. Two years later the industrious brothers built a hotel, the only one north of Vancouver. They also ran a sawmill. They built several tugboats and went into the towing business. They ran one store in a nearby First Nation village and another on a float at the mouth of Powell River.
You can still enjoy a meal in the much expanded hotel. There are many historic photographs on the walls to peruse and marvel at the entrepreneurship of the two Swedish brothers.
When the burgeoning community of Lund was big enough for a school “Fred and Charles fronted the money. That was the kind of people they were, generous and helpful every step of the way”.
Soon the brothers were ready to expand beyond Lund. “On March 11, 1904, we went from Lund to Campbell River across the Strait with a load of timber, a wagon and a horse loaded on the barge. At that time there was not a single white man in that place place for miles around. By the first of July we had built a hotel and had it ready for business”, recalled Fred about the move thirty years later.
The Lund Hotel underwent a complete renovation in the year 2000 and now twenty-five guest rooms feature great views and amenities. There is a good restaurant and a pub and the present store is partly housed under what was the open-air pavillion adjacent to the original hotel.
For snacks you go to Nancy’s Bakery across the road where the Lund Water Taxi runs its shuttle service to Savary Island’s sandy beaches. You never tire of the hustle and bustle of the tiny port that is a good starting point for kayaking, diving expeditions and “back country” hiking, biking trails and afternoon swims.
The grandchildren of Fredrik Gottfried “Poppa” Thulin sold the Lund Hotel in 1962 and today it is owned by Dave Formosa and the Sliammon Indian band. But “the entire community of Lund has maintained its Swedish roots and still has a disproportionally large Swedish population” said Leah Larson at the hotel. She is herself the granddaughter of hotel pioneer Pete Larson who was one of the early developers of North Vancouver.