Staff Report

On Jan. 12, 1911, nearly 9,000 acres of land were purchased for a new Danish colony in the Santa Ynez Valley. Within a month, settlers began to arrive and a name was selected for the new town: Solvang, literally “sunny field” in Danish.  

The founding of this agricultural town was based on three deeply held principles: community, education and church. 

Over the decades, Solvang evolved from a rudimentary beginning into a success story driven by perseverance and progressive thinking. Land agent Mads Freese and founders P.P. Hornsyld, Benedict Nordentoft and J.M. Gregersen initially sought a location in Ballard Canyon for a Danish folk school and church, but later chose the area near Mission Santa Inés as a location for the school and town.

The celebration of Solvang’s founding in 1911 and its 110th anniversary will be celebrated by the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art throughout 2021. 

“Skål Solvang – Celebrating 110 Years of History & Culture” will include special exhibitions and programming, an email series highlighting community milestones, and events when allowed.

The Elverhoj Museum of History and Art is located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang. There is no charge for admission; suggested donation is $5 when the museum can reopen. For more information, phone the Museum at (805) 686-1211 or visit