Emigration to the United States could be a
harrowing or wonderful experience depending on the weather. An
account presented in the book “Here Come the Norwegians”
written by Carol Hanson Schwinkendorf gives the idea of what
an easy trip across the ocean was like. The Roseau County
Historical Society has received permission to reprint sections
from the book.
Hans and Kari Hanson and two of their sons,
Ludvig and Gunder boarded the steamship, The Angelo”, April
24, 1890, at Oslo Norway on the first leg of their trip to the
United States. Olaf Hanson, a grandson of Hans and Kari was
married to the former Agnes Anderson of Greenbush.
Ludvig described the scene as he remembered it.
“In the afternoon, About 3 o’clock, we had to
say ‘Farewell’ to everyone, and got on board the Angelo, of
the Wilson Line. There were many passengers, and crowds of
relations on the dock to see them off. Then a big bell rang,
and all who were not going had to leave the ship. The boat
began to inch away from the dock, and our voyage to America
had begun! Immediately we had to find our sleeping places.
There was such a hullabaloo and uproar before we finally got a
berth, and put our luggage up in the beds. Then we went up on
deck to look and listen. There were many ships and boats all
the way along Kristiania Fjord, past Horton and Drobak.
We reached Kristiansand About 6 o’clock in the
evening, and many people came on board from Telemark,
Setesdalen, Bergen, Trondheim, and many other places. Oh, how
many strange dialects there were being spoken!
When the boat had finished loading it was dark;
we passed Lindesnes Lighthouse. We had already seen Faerder
Lighthouse at the entrance of Kristiania Fjord, 12 miles out.
Then it was time to go to our bunks. We were
all stuffed in a little cabin with bunks up and down on all
four walls. It was hot and stuffy. Luckily, it was fine
weather, so no one was seasick, but there was a horrible smell
and bad air. I stayed up on deck as long as I could…
There was a lot going on up on deck. A
shoemaker from Valdres had an accordion and played dance
music, but there was no room to dance. Every inch was
occupied. Boys and girls were courting, sitting and lying on
the deck. There were many Swedes from Dalsland and Vermeland,
both boys and girls. A boy from Telemark had Vermeland girl
on his knee. They laughed and chatted as if they had been
acquainted for years.
I went down to the cabin again. Mother was
awake, and I asked her how it was going. I took off my hat
and shoes, and crept into the bunk. I think I slept a couple
of hours.” (to be continued)
We hope you have had an enjoyable holiday.
A look to the future - Two special programs
will be presented by RCHS this spring. A program planned for
March 25 will be an enjoyable experience, when we join Dorothy
Lund Nelson as she takes us on board the Orphan Train.
We are looking for wedding clothing for a
historical society wedding style show to be held April. The
show will bring both the old and the new together. We
encourage family participation such as a granddaughter in her
grandmother’s wedding gown. Monique’s Bridal will present a
bridal fashions for all who are planning a wedding. Please
contact the museum, Mary Ross - 463-2676, or Sandy Flagstad –
463-2680 if you have clothing for this program. Remember this
is a countywide function so we want to represent gowns from
across the county! This includes men’s fashions also.
Please continue to fill out the Military
History Forms. Thank you to all who have participated. Pick up
a form at any service club, the Greenbush Library or the
museum if you need one.