St. Olaf, Minnesota - The fictional
hometown of Rose Nylund (Betty White) a widowed senior citizen on
the sitcom THE GOLDEN GIRLS/NBC/1985-92. Now sharing a home in Miami
Beach, Florida with two other women, Rose often reminisced about her
Minnesota roots. Her memories included that fact that St. Olaf is
the "Broken Hip Capital of the Midwest." She added "We revere our
old people and put them on a pedestal-but they fall off and break
Rose Nylund of St. Olaf
After her marriage ceremony, Rose and her husband Charlie followed
the age-old St. Olaf wedding tradition: "You tie a dead fish to the
back of the wedding car. You drive until you can't stand the smell
anymore and that is where you live."
St. Olaf was also the home of Rose's farm where she kept a her
special pet pig named Lester who could predict the Oscar® Awards by
wiggling his tail.
To honor the man who founded the town of St. Olaf (he invented
"canning juices in its own juices"), the citizens celebrate an
annual parade that features costumes resembling cans of tuna and
mayonnaise jars. Other local customs include Pretzel Week and the
Deep-Root Vegetable Carnival.
Traveling to St. Olaf by train, you go to Tyler's Landing, change
at St. Gustav, then take a toboggan the rest of the way. You can
also fly into St. Gustav, transfer to a train and complete the
journey on a donkey cart.
Although the town of St.
Olaf is fictional, there is a St. Olaf College located in
Northfield, Minnesota just 35 miles south of Minneapolis and St.
Paul. There is also a St. Olaf Township in Otter Tail County in Minnesota.
If you keep a look out, the Rose Nylund character is seen using St.
Olaf College merchandise (sweatshirts, and mugs) on certain
In addition, the folks at St. Olaf College even made Betty White an
honorary member of the Theta Alpha Phi, the school's dramatic
TRIVIA NOTE: St. Olaf is the patron
saint of Norway. During his lifetime, Olaf Haraldsson was the King
of Norway. He helped rid his country of invading throngs of Swedes
and Danes. Deposed by a group of rebellious nobles, Olaf was exiled
to Russia but returned to Norway only to be slain in battle at
Stiklestad, Norway, on July 29, 1031. Due to miracles attributed to
his tomb, Olaf was canonized in the year 1164.
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