The Dubois Museum celebrated the legacy of the Scandinavian tie hacks at the annual Swedish Smorgasbord on Saturday.
(Dubois, Wyo.) – Close to 200 people enjoyed a buffet-style smorgasbord featuring traditional Scandinavian food over the course of two dinner seatings, one at 5 p.m. and one at 6 p.m. Saturday night in Dubois. The event was held in the Headwaters Arts and Conference Center and also included live music, a viewing of the re-mastered National Forest Service film of the last tie drive, and pie raffle.
The Swedish Smorgasbord celebrates the legacy of the Scandinavian tie hacks that cut cross-ties for the railroad industry for over forty years in the national forest of the Upper Wind River Valley. After a long, cold winter of cutting railroad cross-ties in the national forest around Dubois, Scandinavian tie hacks guided the ties down creeks to the Wind River, then down the river to the railroad yard in Riverton. The smorgasbord celebrated the end of spring and the beginning of the tie drive.
The celebration was made possible through the efforts and commitment of the Dubois Museum, the Dubois Museum Association and many volunteers who baked cookies, prepared meatballs and the other delicious items on the menu for the event on Thursday and Friday in advance of the buffet. Other Dubois volunteers helped serve and clean up after the well attended event. Recipes for the menu items served can be found in a new cookbook available for purchase in the Dubois Museum Gift Shop.
When the railroad ceased logging in the Upper Wind River Valley, the wife of Wyoming Tie and Timber Company woods boss, Lydia Olson joined with members of the St. Thomas Church Guild to continue the community tradition. The community potluck featuring traditional Scandinavian food was first held in 1948 until the early 1990s. The Dubois Museum Association revived the tradition in 2004 as part of Dubois’ 90th birthday celebration.