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  Home > Index > Real Estate > Cities & Towns > St. Olaf, Minnesota  
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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 bones."

Betty White as Rose Nylund
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 episodes.

In addition, the folks at St. Olaf College even made Betty White an honorary member of the Theta Alpha Phi, the school's dramatic society.

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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