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June 17, Tuesday
Old western U.S. ghost towns have fascinated me for a long time, as have old cemeteries, so it should be no surprise that genealogy has become a serious hobby and pastime. During my trip I wanted to explore some new areas, as well as sites related my ancestors. Today I continue to get to know the countryside a bit better, and that helps me understand Swedish society and my ancestors a bit better.
Today my current host, Jane Åhmark and I planned to travel to Norberg, Fagersta, and back up to Österfärnebo before heading back to the Avesta area. Well, as fate sometimes determines you don’t always do what you thought you might! You might do something even better, who knows?! As it turned out we didn’t get out of the Norberg / Fagersta area, there were just too many things to stop, look and photograph.
Iron mining and production has been an important business in Sweden for quite some time. One area where this has been very important is now part of Ecomuseum Bergslagen, (ekomuseum) an area that would take three hours to drive (with no stops to view the sites). Norberg is near the middle of the region and contains sites that date back to the 12th century – during Medieval times.
Several of my ancestors came from places names that include “hyttan” as a suffix. Stusshyttan in Grytnäs parish is one example. Hyttan is the Swedish word for foundary and indicates that a foundary had been located at that location at one time. Nya Lapphyttan is located next to Norberg’s Hembygsgården. Both are worth the visit. Nya Lapphyttan is a recreation of a iron production site from that started in the 12th century, and includes refining, smithing, living and storage building.
In Norberg the church was open, unlike the first time I had been there, and we were able to see the insides. The ceiling and altar piece are definitely worth seeing. The small rural church at Karbenning was also visited and I noticed markers there that indicated who was responsible for the upkeep of the various graves. Several graves that did not have the grass mown, or flowers put out by the cemetery contained green signs requesting family members or responsible party to contact the churchyard for information regarding the administration of the grave. It was very interesting to see unmown grass on various graves in the churchyard.