Monday, December 21, 2009

The Oscar II

Weighing nearly 10,000 tons, the "Oscar II" cut through the waters of the Atlantic ocean at a speed of 15 knots, with over 1,000 passengers on most of her voyages.  She hauled thousands of Scandinavians from Europe to their destinies in America, until she was scrapped in 1933, after 32 years of service.  Among those Scandinavians looking for a better life were my grandparents, Adolph Hammer and his young wife, Agnes, and their 11 month old daughter, Mary. 

I've often wondered how Agnes must have felt on that trip.  Aside from being 7 months pregnant, and tending to a young child, I wonder if she was excited about their prospects in a new country?  What did she think of the spectacular New York skyline - did they, in some imaginative way, remind her of the fjords of Norway?  Was she was homesick for her father, mother and brothers?  Was she afraid she'd never see them again?  (She didn't.)  When she dreamed of their future, what did she envision?

How many young Norwegian women must have crossed the Atlantic with those thoughts in mind...


  1. She was no doubt Excited and terrified all at the same time! The world is a smaller place now. I can't imagine not seeing my children and theirs.

  2. I've just spent a great deal of time reading so much on your blog. What an incredible writer you are! I did discover in one of your posts that you have Knutz's in your family. So does my good husband. Or, maybe his relatives are Knudtson's; I can't quite recall and he's sleeping.

    I've so enjoyed reading on both your blogs. I'll be back to learn more. Thank you for sharing so much. Have a very Merry Christmas!

    ~ Just Joany
    Red Wagon Flights

  3. I do like your blog. Its so interesting. Thank you for all of it. Happy New Year!

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