A HOUSE WITH HISTORY & POSSIBILITIES The Western House on the Rebild property in Denmark has just been renovated and is ready to receive larger parties. The emigration story will get a central role in the beautiful building, inspired by a true American saloon. By Jesper Bradsted & Lars Bisgaard Erik Eriksen got a crazy idea. Together with his wife Vivian he has since 2002 rented his great-grandmother’s iconic house in the Rebild Hills: The Top House, or Top Karen’s House as it is also called. Often he has had to reject guests and tourists, being on the lookout for a place with room for larger arrangements, simply because there was not enough room in the cozy, but also small, yellow house with the thatched roof. Then he got his crazy idea: Why not utilize the Western House just next to Top Karen’s House? During the past years, that house has almost only been used for storing things. At the same time, it had started looking a bit shabby, and the words were that maybe it should be torn down. “So I presented my thoughts to the Rebild Society, who at once saw the idea of changing the Western House to a banquet room,” says Erik Eriksen. Important to tell the emigration story During the past 4 months, artisans, including Erik and Vivian, have therefore worked at extreme pressure to renovate the Western House, so it is now ready to open the doors to the big room, which is the heart of the house, and which by the way has been arranged as a true American saloon with a roofed verandah. On the walls in the beautiful and rustic wooden house, you also get some of the impressions that Danish emigrants must have absorbed when arriving at the big country. For example, there is a photo of the Statue of Liberty hanging in the Western House, plus a photo of Sitting Bull and photos of prairie wagons rolling over the dusty soil. And indeed there is a picture on the end wall of the Cimbrians, who according to tradition emigrated from Himmerland in year 120 B.C. “It has been important to us to make a place in line with the history of the whole area. We have thought of emigration in all details, because it is also important to maintain the many stories and develop the culture of the whole area.” According to Erik Eriksen, there is a very funny story behind the upgraded painting. The original is a somewhat bigger painting by the artist Henrik Prip from 1935. It was made as a wall painting in the previous Skorping Inn. Its special form at the top is due to the fact that it was placed in the house end of the pavilion wing of the inn. “When the inn burned down some time in the 1990’s, the painting was inexplicably only a little damaged by soot, and as an architect of the municipal project ‘Kulturstationen’ (the culture station), which replaced the almost burned down inn, I fought very hard to preserve the painting, instead of just The upgraded painting on the wall inside the Western House. - 8 -