October 16, 2013

Swedish Heritage!

I have always known I was part Swedish, but I didn't realize my grandmothers father was born here in Ormsjö. It is a small village on a beautiful lake just north of Dorotea. We have been in contact with our Swedish relatives for years and they have been to Minnesota many times. So we were lucky enough to be in contact with the owner of the home (Bertil, one of my  grandmothers second cousins) where my great grandfather was born and even got to go inside. The place seemed untouched by time.

My mother, grandmother, Raylan and I headed up on Monday.  We drove to Harnosand (4.5 hrs) and stayed with & got to meet my grandmothers second cousin Eva-Lisa & her husband Lars-Olaf there. Initially we had booked a dog-fiendly hotel in Harnosand but Eva-Lisa called and told me I must cancel it because we were staying with her. I am glad we did because not only was the food DELICIOUS, but the pictures and stories she told us were invaluable. She even had pictures of my grandma from Minnesota visits from forty years ago!! 

We left early Wednesday morning to get to Ormsjö (another 4 hours each way) and see everything and then to get back to Harnosand before dark. The roads were not exactly big and straight. 

My mother and grandmother had some trouble deciding what kind if excursion to do on this trip to Sweden. We were thinking London for the longest time! Then Sam said we had to take my grandma to her fathers birthplace. He was speaking from the experience he had when he went to Charlottenburg the first time. Where he met even more-distant relatives and saw the land where his relatives were from.

 Yes the drive might be far but it would be worth it! Sam emphasized this for quite a few days, so it was decided. We looked into trains & flying & nothing really worked out. We also had to take my puppy Raylan, so car it wasWe were going on the 850 mile, 18 hour drive to Ormsjö! 

The drive seemed to go quickly & Raylan was a trouper! 

I took many pictures of the home and the view of Lake Ormsjö from the house. 

Just so you have an idea of how far it was! We were the little blue dot. 

The cute entryway to the house. 

The old original window. The whole home is the process of restoration, so these will be gone soon. However, Bertil is doing and amazing job and is replicating very well!

This is the window he replaced and replicated! Amazing!!

Every detail in the home was beautiful and so 'Swedish'! They had paintings like this on many windows.

The room in which my Great-Grandfather was born 1906! 

Old fireplace in the room.
In the room. The two portraits are of my great great great grandparents. The man on the left was remembered as 'The stubborn one' and still is to this day! 

Upstairs there was a room that was unfinished so you could see all of the exposed wood. The lumber they used was so huge and strong. This house is not coming down anytime soon!! 

  This house is 160 years old! It was an amazing experience to be in it. How many people get to stand in the room that their great grandfather was born in, in his home country! Even more special was my mother to be in her grandfathers birthplace. For my grandmother to be in the place her father was born was the most marvelous of all. 

What a beautiful view from the front porch.  How could they leave somewhere so beautiful??

One of the old photos Eva-Lisa showed us of our relatives. Love this photo!! 

I would like to thank Sam for pressuring us into going up to Ormsjö. You were right, it was worth it!!  I guess London can wait! 


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