© Photographed October 19, 2017
Ephraim, Door County, Wisconsin
45°09'43.9"N 87°10'16.9"W
45.162201, -87.171369

"Svalhus" roughly translates from Norwegian as "cool house" or "cooling house." The building's unique design enables it to keep a cooler interior temperature, making it ideal for storage and as a summer cabin. Nails were used to put the building together date from around 1890. The logs were numbered and the building was moved to what is now Highway 42 around the turn of the 20th century.
By 1933, the Svalhus was owned by Peder Knudson. He rented it for $85 for the summer to Doris Heise Miller, who turned it into her first Cabin Craft gift shop. A creek running through the property served as a cooler for a ceramic jug holding milk, butter, and cheese, Jewelry designed by Doris for her Cabin Craft shop are still worn and much admired today.
For a time, the Svalhus was used by the Eagle Harbor Inn in Ephraim as a summer cabin. In 1995, the Neddersens, then owners of the Eagle Harbor Inn, offered the dismantled Svalhus to the Ephraim Historical Foundation.
The Ephraim Historical Foundation is currently working on turning the Svalhus into an archival library featuring books, periodicals, and maps related to the history of Ephraim and Door County.
For more information on EHF museums, tours, program, and archival resources, please contact the EHF office or visit our website at
This historical setting and landscape is
dedicated in special memory of
John & Margaret Nelson.
Its development will be ongoing, using traditional plantings in a
manner benefitting its historical  nature.

Svalhus is located on the grounds of the Ephraim Historical Foundation and is accessible from northbound North Water Street / Wisconsin Highway 42, at its intersection with Anderson Lane, at or near 3060 Anderson Lane, Ephraim, Wisconsin 54211.

Ephraim Historical Foundation

Cool little building!

Svalhus is located in Ephraim, Wisconsin.

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