Built circa 1912, Registered 1999
102 W Dania Blvd
Fort Lauderdale , FL

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The Nyberg/Swanson House is an important historic architectural resource in the City of Dania. The one-and-one-half-story dwelling contains some 2,6000 square feet of interior floor space and displays a superior level of craftsmanship. It was constructed about 1912 for Charles Nelson from Denmark, one of Dania’s early ethnic settlers. It is Dania’s only remaining example of masonry vernacular architecture applied to a swelling. Its distinctive rough-face cast block walls set it apart from the few remaining historic wood frame houses and brick and stucco commercial buildings in the city.

One of Dania’s oldest structures, this one-and-a-half story five-bedroom Colonial Revival style residence is a good example of early 20th Century rough-face molded cast block construction.  It was one of the earliest dwellings erected in the city of Dania, a city founded primarily by immigrant Danes and Swedes who settled in the area in the early part of the 20th Century.

The Nyberg/Swanson house was constructed for Charles M. Nelson who was one of the community’s early residents.  “Nelson, a farmer, politician and developer, had immigrated to the United States from Denmark in 1896.  He was among the first Scandinavian settlers in Dania.  Between 1904 and 1917, he acquired numerous town lots and farm parcels and operated a truck farm.  He was elected to the Dania Town Council, serving one term (1914 - 1915).  His wife, Olive, helped organize the Dania Civic Improvement Club in 1913 and served as its first secretary.  In 1917 the Nelsons sold their home to Carl Gustaf Nyberg and his wife, Emmy, for $4,700...”   The Nelsons moved to Miami where they were listed in the 1920 census.
Nyberg was an early tomato farmer and packing house operator in Dania.  “Early immigrants prospered in tomato farming and, as early as 1910, the Florida East Coast Railway was shipping to northern U.S. cities from ‘The Tomato Capital of the World’.   During the three-month winter harvest, over 200 farmers shipped 1,000 to 1,500 train carloads of tomatoes and  V. Taoring of New Orleans set up a tomato paste factory which contributed to local prosperity.  In the late ‘40s, the tomato boom was over, as crops began to fail from salt water intrusion into the fields.”  

After Carl Nyberg’s death in 1918, Emmy married John Swanson.  Both were immigrants from Sweden and active in the growing community.  The Swansons continued to operate a truck farm and packing house and also speculated in real estate.  Mr. Swanson held a seat on the Dania Town Council for a time.   Emmy died in 1945.  Swanson and/or family members lived in the house until 1975.    The building was used as a hair styling salon until the early 1990s.  The 44 by 60-foot building was relocated to its present site in 1993 to preserve the house from demolition.  A Walgreen store is now on the original site.  They Nyberg/Swanson House is currently owned by the City of Dania and operated for public use.