The history of Strandgaarden Badehotel
Strandgaarden Badehotel on Læsø has a long and exciting history. Here we will try to give you a small impression of the most important events over the years.
In the church books for Vesterø Søndre Church, the place name Louskobach appears regularly in the 1600th and 1700th centuries. Louskobach was a "place" or a farm, which was located exactly where the Hotel Strandgaarden is today, and the place is found on old maps of Læsø. Louskobach means translated to Nudan Løvskovbakke, and you can imagine that there was a deciduous forest on the hill at Hotel-Strandgaarden. The families who lived on the site were referred to by the pastor as landowners and fishermen, which sounds probable.
We do not know who erected Strandgaarden in 1727, but with the benevolent assistance of Læsø Local History Archive, we believe that the first owner was Niels Erlandsen, who had to let the farm go to forced auction in 1775. The farm was bought by Anders Melkorsen for it formidable sum of 68 rich dollars and 4 marks!
In 1784 Ingeborg Andersdatter Bach got a lien on the property (she was given the estate by her father, Anders Melkorsen), and in 1798 ownership of Ivar Nielsen, but Ingeborg got the farm again in 1800 by auction auction (there has probably been a forced auction), only partially, however, when Karen Estrup later got a job on "12 floor subjects" later that year. Poul Andersen acquired the property in 1816, and a Karen Johanne Thommesen "obtained deed from the above" (whatever year), but at least Poul Poulsen Winther got deed on the farm in 1820. An Ingeborg Andersdatter (possibly the same as the above) obtained access to “The place” (year unknown) upon the attestation of her marriage certificate by Niels Chr. Møller, and in 1856, Ane Andersdatter Poulsdatter was shot in the yard, while Jens Christian Olsen was granted parental consent by a priest's certificate as confirmation of his marriage to Ane.
In 1908, postmaster Marinus Petersen acquired the property, but sold it again in 1917 to Anthon Robert Wiis, who resold the farm to Herman Axelsen about 1920. Axelsen operated from about 1926 or a little earlier the place as a boarding house, and in the work "Where should I live? in the summer?" from the Scandinavian Directory (Otto Grøn's Bookstore's Publishing House), the bathing pension "Strandgaarden" is mentioned quite briefly and cleverly as follows:
”Strandgaarden, Vesterø Harbor, Læsø pr. Frederikshavn. Herm. Axelsen. Statstelf. 35th
“Rooms with Pension from DKK 5. pr. Day. Cozy Rooms. Good Powerful Diet. ”
It is not entirely clear when Axelsen ceased to operate a boarding house, but Strandgaarden was at least purchased in 1947 by Oda Mortensen and her husband, who was the mechanical engineer at Læsø ferry. Initially, Oda maintained its original profession as a weaver and provided furniture and curtain fabrics to Illum and Magasin and other large stores. Oda had decided that under no circumstances would she resume the operation of Strandgaarden as a summer pension. Instead, she accidentally got the idea to start a turkey production in Strandgarden's attic and eventually in all the small rooms! Unfortunately, it turned out that turkey production was disastrously unprofitable, the rooms were now repaired, and by 1962 Oda lost her husband - her first husband she had lost 25 years earlier. The guesthouse began to get started after the weaving room was closed: first a family of 3 people insisted on staying there, the next time 10 arrived, and then the events took off! In the winter when the boarding house was closed, money had to be made in other ways, and this was done by setting up a small laundry with a few washing machines and a roll.
As Oda eventually ran both summer boarding and full-year laundry, the laundry was abandoned after a couple of years, and Oda instead took a winter job as stewardess on one of EAC's big boats, including on long haul to the Caribbean. It turned into 6-7 trips, and Oda now concentrated on the operation of a guest house on Strandgaarden. She had good and reliable local staff and was herself something of a magician in the kitchen. Oda did not place great demands on comfort for himself; at least during the summer season she lived in a small lobster in the attic above the current wing with the old living rooms. Only a "chicken ladder". that exists today, led up there, and the "door" is so low. that most people have to crawl on all fours to get in!
Over the years, Oda and her summer boarding became something of a legend, but she also sacrificed incredible energy on the well-being of guests. Guests who have lived or eaten at Strandgaarden in Oda's time still remember it with pleasure. Oda drove Strandgaarden until his death in 1993, over 80 years old!
An era was over, but two sons, one of whom is the master engineer at Læsø ferry today, tried to run the business for a few years, but abandoned it and sold the business and Strandgaarden around 1995-96. However, that adventure only lasted for approx. Three years after which Strandgaarden was put up for sale in 3 in a mildly miserable constitution.
Ole Lind and Karin Østrup, who had fallen for Læsø some time in advance and had a holiday home in Vesterø, heard about Strandgaarden, which was put up for sale, and although it was clear that both energy and capital needed to be invested a place where guests would come, we got rid of our good well-paid jobs as sales consultant at PBS and insurer in Danica respectively and started by renting Strandgaarden for two years.
It went so well that they decided to buy Strandgaarden. They thus started the lease in 2000 and became owners in 2002- The time until 2007 was characterized by constant progress and during this period the hotel was expanded to the current size. In 2008, the couple divorced and Ole Lind partnered with Allan Poulsen, chef of the year in Denmark at this time, as well as his partner Casper Gustafsen. 2008 was the year with 5 star food reviews in all the major Danish media but unfortunately also the year with a big bottom line deficit. The company went bankrupt in 2008.
During the winter of 2009, Ole Lind managed to stack a new company on its feet and be able to open Strandgaarden as usual. 2009 went well despite the financial crisis and in 2010 a business record year was spiced up with a prestigious victory for Strandgarden's kitchen manager, Rasmus Klitgaard in the Virgin Hummer Festival.
From the outset, I have been aware that we should not try to emulate Oda's style - we run our very own concept, which however resembles Oda's, that we take pride in personally caring for our guests and ensuring their well-being. , not least in terms of delicacies for the palate and throat. We feel Oda is smiling down at us from her heaven, though there are certainly many things she would have done differently!