The Kensington Runestone and the enduring mystery of its origin continues to be the hallmark of the Runestone Museum. This intriguing artifact was discovered in 1898, clutched in the roots of an apen tree on the Olof Öhman farm near Kensington, MN (15 miles southwest of Alexandria). The Kensington Runestone has led researchers from around the world and across the centuries on an exhaustive quest to explain how a runic artifact, dated 1362, could show up in North America.
The discovery of the Kensington Runestone changed the life of Olof Öhman and his descendants forever.
To this day, anyone who visits the museum will recognize instantly that there is something unusual about this artifact. An the question of its authenticity has been a lightning rod for debate.For more than 100 years, scientists, geologists, and linguists have studied the stone in an effort to offer a conclusive answer to the question of the Kensington Runestone’s authenticity. Our research library is packed with books and articles exploring the story of the stone.
As you travel around this part of Minnesota, notice that many businesses use the Runestone or the Viking as an identifying symbol. You will begin to understand just how far-reaching this saga is. Indeed, the name for the National Football League’s Minnesota Vikings is a direct outcome of the fame of the Kensington Runestone.
When you are in Alexandria, don’t miss the opportunity to see the Kensington Runestone at the heart of the Runestone Museum.
A short drive from the museum will take you to the Kensington Park, the site of the Ohman farm. Walk the hills of this beautiful Douglas County Park to see the very place where Olof Ohman found the stone. An effort is now underway to gain a new perspective on this chapter of the saga. Visit the park website at Kensington Runestone Park website to learn more. The county map is available at the Runestone Museum, or by clicking here.