Minature Stone Village, Solway, MN

If you’ve never heard of Solway, MN, you are probably not alone.  It’s not a big place; the population is just shy of 100. It’s more or less a small settlement located just west of Bemidji on Highway 2. There are a few random businesses like an auto garage and a bar, a few blocks of ordinary-looking houses, and that’s pretty much it.  But, like many quiet little towns in Minnesota, there is a curious secret hidden within.  Solway’s is a miniature village of stone structures that a local resident created right in his yard.

107_3163The village consists of maybe a half-dozen or so structures, ranging from a church, a schoolhouse, a fireplace, a windmill, to a pyramid.  The buildings are crafted beautifully, set adjacent to the owner’s home in their own little village. They were created by a guy named Martin Sorenson. They are around  4 feet tall and were built as a replica of the structures in the village in Denmark where Sorenson’s parents came from.

107_3164 The stone village is not marked whatsoever by any signs, it is not fenced in, it is not explained or detailed, and there is no charge to see it. It’s not out in plain sight, but if you drive through the town long enough you will inevitably find it. It won’t take you too long.107_3162Although it’s technically on private property, you won’t see any “No Trespassing” signs here.  It’s clear that the owner wants the outside world to see his creation, and you can walk right up to it and have a look around, maybe grab some photos. 107_3161 107_3165Some online research showed that the Solway Miniature Village was built in the 1940’s. There isn’t much other info available in any books that I’ve seen and no one was around at the time of my visit. But it’s still in remarkable shape and is worth a stop by on your way through, wherever you may be going.

While in the area:  Solway is just down the road from Bemidji where you can check out the iconic Paul Bunyan & Babe the Blue Ox, the Concordia Language Villages, or the Fireplace of States at the Visitor Center. Or, head north a little ways and check out the big eagle outside of the newly-built casino near Red Lake, MN.

3 thoughts on “Minature Stone Village, Solway, MN

  1. I was just there and talked to a guy there.On one of the stone buildings and the man said.It was built in 1941.[Said carved in one of the buildings.I have photos to

  2. I lived there as a kid from 1957 to 1962. There use to be a moat around one of the pyramids and in the basement of the house there was a stone fish tank with an aerator. The fish tank seemed like the size of a hot tub when I was. Little

  3. I grew up in Solway, a little town sitting on top of the world, that is on the north/south continental divide. Water south of town flows to the Mississippi River and the gulf. Water north of town flows to the Clearwater River and the Hudson Bay. That makes Solway special.
    As for the little village–I remember crawling into the little church as a very small boy. Really a very tight squeeze. This had to be about 1945 or a year or two later due to my size. As a young teen, I mowed the lawn around the buildings for a couple summers in the mid 50’s. At that time there were glass windows in the buildings and a very interesting rock collection in the larger building.

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