Saturday, June 7, 2014

Return To Sweden, Part 7 (updated)

This seventh installment of David Anderson’s Return To Sweden includes a visit to Skärsjön Lake and the Old Car Show drive around event which was the main feature in Avesta. 

If you missed the near real time trip updates webpage, go to Trip Highlights .  Editor

June 7

On the 14th of May 1758 my ancestor Eric Hansson went out to walk from the farm Höjen in Garpenberg parish to nearby Skärsjön to check on the fishing.  He was aged 67 at the time.  He didn’t make it to the lake apparently dying of a heart attack on the way.  Today we walked the mile from Höjen to Skärsjön.  The route starts out on the level then climbs fairly steeply before crossing over a glacial moraine and dropping to Skärsjön.  It is a very pretty spot and is most likely the source of fish the people who lived at Höjen ate.

Skärsjön.  My ancestor Eric Hansson would have been very familiar with this lake.  Fish were apparently the chief food, or source of protein, for people at Höjen.

Remains of disintegrating buildings were seen in the forest between Höjen and Skärsjön.  The amount of forested land in Sweden has increased in the late 20th Century as marginal farm land has reverted to Forests.

A partially submerged boat on the rocky shoreline of Skärsjön.

Before coming back to Sweden in 1998 I made a posting on a Swedish genealogical website informing anyone who was interested that I was making a trip to Hedemora, and needed a translator!  We would be visiting Anna Mattsson, the granddaughter of Uncle Eric’s girlfriend.  Anna would be showing us around and taking us to places important to my family’s history – including the house site for Svens, Grådö, Hedemora where my grandfather was born.   Jane Åhmark answered the posting and volunteered, with her husband Tomas Vikman, to help translate for us.   We later found out that Tomas is also descended from Olaus Laurentii in Gagnef, but we haven’t figured where our common ancestor is. 

Jane joined us (today) on our trek to Skärsjön and later guided us to their home where for lunch we had a recreation of Mom and Dad’s 50th wedding anniversary dinner that we had enjoyed at Anna and Ivan Mattsson’s house in 1998.  A roast of moose, along with new potatoes, is awesome.  

Tomas enjoys tinkering on about anything, and has made two jalopies, and invited us to ride along in a parade in Avesta.  He had told us that there is a big collection of vintage American cars in southern Dalarna, but I don’t think I was totally prepared for seeing over 500 vintage cars parade up and down the main streets of Avesta.  What a show!

I can’t imagine what the world’s largest show of vintage American cars in Västerås, Sweden would be like.

Through inquiries in researching the past I have found life long friends in the present.

Tomas Vikman's jalopy which we got rides in during the parade in Avesta.

Here is a short video of some of the cars involved in the parade:

To view ALL of the trip photos (up to date) that David has taken:


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