Falu Red

Red tree and barn dry brush

In Sweden, these buildings are considered barns, which led to a big “debate” about what to call this picture, since from my perspective, these are not barns, they’re outbuildings. In Sweden, barns are called ‘lada.’ Smaller farm buildings are called ‘uthus,’ or ‘outhouses’, which will not do here in the States. I’m not going to call this ‘Two Outhouses.’

[To complicate things further, you know, ‘barn’ is Swedish for ‘child.’ Never let it be said Swedish is easy to learn, because it’s not. It is rated the 2nd most difficult language after Mandarin and Cantonese!]

Now, what I find interesting is that the shade of red I always associated with barns here in the U.S. actually originated in Sweden. Swedish immigrants brought this color, ‘Falu red’, with them when they came to America.

It’s no coincidence, then, that the Swedish countryside reminds me so much of Pennsylvania, where my mother’s side of the family settled after emigrating from Bavaria. Sweden formed a settlement between what is now the Delaware Water Gap and western Pennsylvania in the early 1600s, before the English reclaimed the land.  


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