In 1857, Kongsvinger had about 1000 inhabitants, the city centre being what is today called Øvrebyen. In what is Christiansengården in today's Festningsgaten lived the wood merchant Sigward Irgens Rynning. He had married a wealthy widow named Marthe Elisabeth Nordbye. They felt the town was becoming steadily more noisy, and wanted to move out into the country.
They found a plot a little west of the town centre, and when Marthe Elisabeth turned 50 in 1857, Rolighed stood finished, with a dancing hall, a large veranda, and a farmyard with livestock. Sigwald Rynning died in 1871 and the building was sold a few years later.