A 'Swenglish' journey through family photos, notes and postcards from the early 20th century.


G.002-2 Stormy Weather at Varberg


Varberg: Hamnpiren i storm. / Varberg: The Pier in storm.
Förlag: Vilén & Johanson, Borås1


PLK 208 B (=Herrljunga-Varberg) 6.8.1903
Borås 6.8.03 – 2 tur
Porto: 5 öre

Till/to: J.A. Johanson, Lugnet 51, Borås
Från/from: G.J. (?)

Varberg 6/8. Hjärtligt tack för brefkortet. Igår var här en väldig storm. Ganska vackert att se. Mamma behöfver ej vara orolig att vi gå på sjön, ty det är omöjligt. Vi mår eljest ganska bra. Helsn. G.J.

Det här är ett kort som inte verkar passa in i familjehistorien. Varken Gustaf eller Gerda kan vara inblandade, eftersom de 1903 befann sig i Amerika. Till skillnad från de flesta korten i albumet är frimärket kvar. Jag gissar att Gustaf kan ha fått kortet senare av någon som visste att han samlade på kort.

1 En sökning på utgivarnamnet Vilén & Johanson visar att det fortfarande finns ett bolag registrerat med det namnet (i Mölndal), men ej aktivt. Registrerat som aktiebolag 1929 med syfte att “bedriva handel med pappersvaror, emballage och kontorsutensilier jämte därmed förenlig verksamhet”.


In English:

Varberg 6/8 (1903). Heartfelt thanks for the postcard. Yesterday there was quite a storm here. Rather beautiful to behold. Mother does not have to be anxious about us going out on the sea, because that is impossible. Otherwise we are quite well. Greetings G.J.

This is a card that seems to fall outside the family history.  Gustaf probably got it second-hand later in life – perhaps from some friend who knew he collected postcards? In August 1903, both Gustaf and his sister Gerda were in America; and this card seems to have been sent from some G.J. to J.A. Johanson, possibly his/her mother. (I think it was usual in Sweden back then to address your parents “in the third person” rather than using “you”.) The name rings no bells with me.

Johanson is a very common surname or it might have been interesting to note that this is also the name of one of the publishers of the postcard – Vilén & Johanson. The company still exists but is not active.

The postcard shows quite a magnificent picture of stormy weather at the pier in Varberg, though.

Varberg is a town on the west coast in the county of Halland. Varberg and all of Halland are well known for their "typical west coast" sandy beaches. In Varberg the coast changes from wide sandy beaches to rocky terrain that continues north into the Bohuslän archipelago.

Varberg is still a popular summer and spa resort for  people living further inland. It’s reputation as a spa resort was founded in the early/mid 19th century. The railway line between Varberg and Borås was established in 1880. The town has an old fortress from around 1280-1300; now museum + bed and breakfast.

Below are my own photos of the pier and the fortress from 2001. (In not so stormy weather!)




  1. I love your pictures, the last one is amazing. What is that the building is on?? It almost looks like a big round man made cliff or something to protect a castle...

    1. Well I guess that pretty much defines a fortress, doesn't it. I guess you could say it's castle with additional buildings all on top of a cliff made even more impenetrable by being surrounded by extra man-made walls.

  2. It's an unusual postcard and even though it's not part of your family it's still interesting to go on excursions around the country.