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

2012-08-08

Storegården och Johannelund

The Farm House and the Grey Cottage

I juli 2012 när min bror var här, bestämde vi oss för att försöka leta upp ställena där farmor resp. farfar växte upp. Båda husen finns kvar och visade sig ligga närmare varandra än jag haft uppfattning om tidigare.

Farmor Sally (född 1900) växte upp på Storegården i Längjum, Fristad (ofta omnämnd i denna blogg).

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▲  Storegården på 1920-talet
▼  Storegården 2012

CIMG9761-001 Storegården

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Farfar Gustaf (född 1904) växte upp på torpet Johannelund, tillhörande Ledsgården, som ligger alldeles i närheten. Forsätter man förbi Ledsgården på en smal liten grusväg, så kommer man så småningom till Johannelund, som idag är en idyllisk liten röd sommarstuga.

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Johannelund

Att vi hittat rätt ställe var det inget tvivel om eftersom namnet fanns på en skylt invid grindhålet, och t.o.m nummer som stämde med numreringen i farfars bok*.

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På farfars tid var det kanske inte fullt lika idylliskt:

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Under fotot i farfars fotoalbum står skrivet:
”Den grå stugan – barndomshemmet”

Utsikten bör dock ha varit ungefär densamma:

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Vägen mot Ledsgården

* I min farfars bok Torpen i Fristads socken står:

Detta torp, som till en början kallades “Flogen”, emedan området vissa tider på året översvämmades från ett kärr i närheten, uppodlades till större delen av den kvinna, som var torpets första bebyggare. --- Det var tämligen sällsynt att en ensam kvinna slog sig ned som torpare, men Johanna Andreasdotter, född i Ljur 1825, som 1880, alltså vid 55 års ålder, skrev kontrakt med Ledsgårdens ägare och uppförde en stuga på “Flogen”, som hon senare döpte om till Johannelund, hade tydligen speciella förutsättningar.

Ytterligare en del fakta och historier om Johanna följer. Hon dog 1893, och så vitt jag vet var hon inte släkt med oss.

År 1896 flyttade min farfars morfar och mormor – Alfred och Rebecka – till Johannelund från ett annat torp i närheten. Om de flyttade dit med eller utan sina vid det laget nästan vuxna barn (Gerda, född 1878 och Hjalmar, född 1879) framgår inte av boken; inte heller att farfar, född 1904, växte upp hos morföräldrarna på det torpet.

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In English

The Farm House and the Grey Cottage

In July 2012 when my brother was here, we went in search of the respective childhood homes of our paternal grandparents. We knew they both grew up on the outskirts of the same village where they built their own house when they got married.

Grandma Sally grew up on a fairly big farm, often referred to in this blog. The house is still recognisable even if some changes have been made.

Grandpa Gustaf grew up in a small cottage on the property of another farm in the same village and it turned out to be easier to find than I had expected.

Back in my grandfather’s days, the cottage was less picturesque than it is now. Now it is an idyllic red little summer cottage. Back then it was unpainted and grey and living there was probably a struggle. The view probably hasn’t changed much, though.

There was now doubt we had found the right place, because there was even a sign outside to confirm it.

The kind of cottage my grandfather grew up in was/is called a torp in Swedish. These were small farm units within the estate of a bigger farm. The inhabitants of a torp leased rather than owned their land. Sometimes they owned the cottage but still had to pay lease for the attached piece of farmland. They paid through working on the main farm as well. The system changed gradually during the late 19th and early 20th century.

In my grandfather’s childhood and youth, it was his maternal grandparents who owned the cottage. (The grandfather was an ex-soldier.) In Gustaf’s early years, his mother and probably her brother lived there too.

Gustaf grew up to be a journalist with special interest in the old cottages in this area. He died at the age of 65 but before that he had gathered facts and photos for a book, which was published posthumously. His own childhood home is included among the cottages in the book, but there is no mention of himself having grown up there, nor of his parents – only of his grandparents as the last owners who lived there all year round.

A notable detail from the book is that the cottage was originally built in 1880 by an unmarried woman, Johanna. She was 55 years old at the time, and it was unusual for a single woman to become a “crofter”.

2 comments:

  1. I always think it's sad when books are published posthumously so the author / researcher hasn't seen the fruit of his works.

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  2. Even sadder though if 40 years of collecting valuable historical information goes to waste and never gets published at all. So my parents and my grandmother finished compiling the book and it was published two years after my grandfather's death.

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