Sunday, February 16, 2014

S. S. Stavangerfjord ".....a little bit of Scandinavian history...."

Hello everyone.  I hope you are enjoying your weekend.  It's been a busy weekend around here.  Yesterday, I attended my monthly meeting of the Daughters of Norway.  Our lodge meets once a month and since I'm the secretary, I attend each meeting.  It's a lovely group of ladies that enjoy hearing about our Scandinavian culture besides eating and drinking coffee!  On a more serious note, we do raise funds for numerous scholarships and give back to the community where it is needed most.

Our guest speaker yesterday was our longtime member Astrid.  She shared with us her family's journey from Norway to America.  It was so interesting and when she said that her family had sailed across the Atlantic on the Norwegian American Line ship the  S. S. Stavangerfjord I jumped in my seat.  My family too had sailed on the Stavangerfjord back in 1955.  Although I was under two years old and can't remember anything, my family has always told me the stories associated with this voyage.

Astrid told us a story of celebrating her birthday on the ship and having a ribbon on her hat that read: S.S. Stavangerfjord.  Well, here's a photo of those same ribbons from the voyage my family took:

 Above is an old postcard photo of the Stavangerfjord.  We boarded this ship in New York City.  Back then they still had different classes of passage; first, cabin and tourist.   Below is some technical information about this grand old ship.

And, here's the front page of the Passenger list from the sailing that my family took:

I can't forget about the great food the Scandinavians enjoy, so here is a copy of one of the dinner menus on the sailing:

Above is a photo of the egg cups from the Norwegian America Line ships.  They were made in Norway by Porsgrund, a Norwegian porcelain company.

My beloved Danish grandparents immigrated to Washington state from Denmark in the 1900's.  Here's a photo of them taken around the same time as this trip:

When I decided to write this post I knew I had all the keepsakes put away some where.  I looked high and low for these items and finally found them tucked away with my cookbooks.  While looking for them, I came across this knife of my father's:

If you look real close, you will see the words Stavangerfjord on the bow of the ship.  During these past few years, I have met two people who have sailed on the Stavangerfjord; Astrid and another Norwegian lady who was a musician on the ship back in the 1950's. 

This ship and many like her sailed many miles across the sea, carrying its passengers back to the homeland or to their new home.  From what I have read, the S. S. Stavangerfjord was retired in 1963 and I believe sold for scrap metal.  I'm sure there are many many passengers who have fond memories of sailing on this grand old ship. 

If you are of Scandinavian descent, please click on the link above for Daughters of Norway and see if there's a lodge near you.  It's a wonderful way to meet new friends and learn about your Scandinavian heritage.

I wish each of you a wonderful fun filled week.


Lilly reminded me (between her cap naps) that you should pop over to Handmade Monday to see some great ideas!


  1. It sounds like you had a great time at your meeting, and its fabulous to have so many keepsakes from your family.

  2. I was rather captivated reading your post. I always think of the bravery of people making a new life for themselves such a long way away. It's easier now that travel times have reduced to hours. But still...
    I wonder how long that voyage took. I also don't quite understand how you came to board the ship in New York City?
    It's lovely to think that there are groups of folks who share their heritage. That seems to be more important the greater the distance from home.
    Thanks for posting! x

    1. Thank for your kind words. The sailing left New York City on April 29 and arrived in Bergen, Norway on May 7th. Our family traveled by train from Washington state to New York City.

  3. What an interesting story! The knife of your father's is amazing with such intricate detail of the ship - it's a lovely keepsake.

    1. Thank you. Now that I've found the knife, I am going to keep it in a safe place. Have a lovely week.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this post. So informative and wonderful to think that you sailed on the boat. Lilly's looking very laid back. Thanks for popping by my blog. I never thought about the translation problem with the football/soccer cards : )
    Have a lovely week.
    Ali xx

    1. Thank you Ali for reading my post. Lilly enjoys her cat naps! As to the football translation, it's us American that have it wrong. We need to change our translation of the word! Have a great week.

    2. Mom, this is so interesting! I want to scan the photos for you and touch them up so you can have them on disk and copies to frame! Its really sad they sold the ship for scrap metal though...

  5. What a lovely post, so interesting. Isn't the pen knife beautiful? I love your blog pic and background - needless to say I love Lily too. Hope you have a good week.

    Jill, Christmas Pie Crafts

  6. What a lovely story, and what a coincidence that Astrid's family sailed on the same ship. Just goes to show how small the world really is xx

  7. what a lovely post- sounds like you had a fantastic weekend, how wonderful is that carving on that knife? how interesting it is to find out about your past.. we are hoping to do the same xx

  8. I loved reading this-it's so interesting to hear a bit of history that I've never heard before.I love the knife,such a beautiful design.

  9. I also crossed over from New York to Bergen (I think) on the same ship, in the summer of 1959, as an eight year-old boy with my mother, to start a summer vacation in Europe. We sailed in Cabin Class, and I remember that menu very well—I think I still have one in my scrapbooks, in good condition! It was quite a summer for a little boy from Cleveland, Ohio, to go as far north as Trondheim, Norway, then all the way south to Switzerland—via Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Paris,and finally Vienna to Belgrade, Yugoslavia (on the Orient Express!!!)


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