Two hundred guests celebrated Hallstrom House/Farmstead’s 100-year anniversary on March 10th of this year. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places located at 1723 Old Dixie Highway SW in Vero Beach. Axel Hallstrom born in Sweden in 1870 and immigrated to the United States in the late 1890s. He moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota and became the master gardener for the estate of James J. Hill a railroad tycoon. Axel met his wife Emely while working for Mr. Hill. They moved to Florida and bought 40 acres in the town of Viking, which eventually became absorbed into the community of Indrio in St. Lucie County near Ft. Pierce. Named Viking because of the Scandinavian people who settled in the town.
After Emely’s death in 1908, Axel Hallstrom moved to Vero Beach. He bought the land, which consisted of 120 acres but construction of the house didn’t start until 1914. Completion of the house didn’t happen until 1918 because of scarce supplies during World War I. During construction of Hallstrom House, a temporary home built to house Axel and his daughter Ruth as well as a chicken house and a barn.
Solid oak floors laid over Southern Pine and original furnishings throughout the house. Storyboards in each room describing the house, the Hallstrom family and the crops they grew. Pineapples a favorite crop shipped to northern states. After the hard freeze in 1910, Axel switched to citrus.
The pamphlets created during the 100th anniversary describes in detail each numbered item throughout the house. The docent brings to life each room throughout the house and the Hallstrom family who lived there. An interesting fact on the tour about the fainting couch. Women wore corsettes even during the hot summer months therefore; they fainted due to the heat so they needed the fainting couch for rest and relaxation.
Many items throughout the house once popular in the first part of the twentieth century. I recommend touring the house. Free entrance to the house donations accepted. Hours of operation on the website.