Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 16

This 16th installment update submitted by David Anderson includes the Norberg and Fagersta area of Sweden.
If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor
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. 

Klackberg dates back to the 14th century and contains some very highly photogenic buildings and mining pits. It is also a nature reserve, great for birding and botany.  There is a small deposit of lime stone in the area which allows the Rödsyssla orchid to grow here.  We were lucky enough to have met some botanists who allowed us to tag along with them, who were headed to the spot where one was in full bloom! 


Högfors bruk is one of the more recent foundaries, having started in 1915.  The remains of two blast furnances make this spot highly photogenic.  When travelling to the border region of Dalarna and Västmannland I recommend visiting several of the Ecomuseum’s sites. 

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.

David Anderson

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