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Across the street from Big Ole is the Runestone Museum , which holds an eclectic collection of exhibits , including the Kensington Runestone that inspired the creation of the Viking king . The Runestone Museum was constructed in 1958 to house the Kensington Runestone .
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Runestone _ Used with permission from the Runestone Museum Foundation
Swedish immigrant Olof Ohman and his sons discovered the stone while clearing ground on their farm near Kensington , Minnesota in 1898 . According to their story , the two men noticed a massive stone poking out from the earth while clearing away stumps . Upon closer examination , the men realized the stone was in fact a 200-pound slab of sandstone carved with markings resembling ancient Norse runes .
Olof soon found out the writing on it was runic writing . ( A rune is a letter of an ancient Germanic alphabet .) The inscription appears to be a record left behind by Scandinavian explorers ( Vikings ) that visited the area in 1362 , much earlier than the voyage of Columbus in 1492 . Amanda Seim , Executive Director of The Runestone Museum , said , “ Runestones were important in Nordic culture . They wanted to be remembered and they wanted to tell stories .”
According to Swim , the medieval inscription on the Kensington Runestone tells of a group of Norse explorers who traveled to present day Minnesota on an ‘ acquisition journey .’ “ The rest of the message says that ten of their men died and that a small number of men were left guarding