Hans Jacobsen Tveter Oral History Interview, 1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Tveter, Hans Jacobsen
Title
Dates
1981 (inclusive)
Quantity
2 file folders
1 sound cassette
2 compact discs
Collection Number
t054
Summary
An oral history interview with Hans Jacobsen Tveter, a Norwegian immigrant.
Repository
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
98447
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
archives@plu.edu
Access Restrictions

The oral history collection is open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Hans Tveter was born on July 28, 1914 in Sarpsborg, Norway to Ludvig and Hulda Tveter. Hulda was from Bengtsfors, Sweden, and Ludwig met her while she was doing housework in Norway. Ludvig worked with team horses, driving a wagon of general merchandise and a carriage for weddings. In 1924, Ludvig immigrated to the United States and was followed by Hulda and five of their children three years later. The family settled in National, WA, which was a lumber community at the time, and Ludvig obtained a job at the local mill. There was not a Lutheran Church in National, so the family became involved in the Free Methodist Church instead. Hans attended school in nearby Ashford and joined his father at the mill when he graduated from high school. In 1944, the mill closed, and they moved to Tacoma, WA. In Tacoma, Hans became a truck-driver, worked in the meat markets, fished, and remained a bachelor. Hans never joined the Sons of Norway due to the isolation in National, but he is happy about his Norwegian heritage. He has visited Norway and Sweden and remains in contact with his relatives there. Nevertheless, Hans feels that being an American is of more importance, as does his brother Jacob.

Lineage

Full Name: Hans Jacobsen Tveter. Father: Ludvig Jacobsen Tveter. Mother: Hulda Lundström Tveter. Paternal Grandfather: Jacob Snekketorp. Paternal Grandmother: Oline Helne. Maternal Grandfather: August Lundström. Maternal Grandmother: Augusta Joran. Brothers and Sisters: Olga Tveter, Elsie Tveter, Helene Tveter, Leif Tveter, Jacob Tveter, Anna Louise Tveter.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The interview was conducted with Hans Tveter on May 12, 1981 in Tacoma, WA. It contains information on family background, emigration, employment, and Norwegian heritage. During the interview, Hans's younger brother Jacob joined him. The interview also contains a copy of the Tveter family passport from Norway. The interview was conducted in English.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The partial interview transcription highlights important aspects of the interview. Numbers may be used as guides to important subjects. Two numbers separated by a slash indicate that the first number is for cassette and the second for CD.

Container(s) Description
Cassette
54, side 1 000/01: FAMILY BACKGROUND
Born in Sarpsborg, Norway, an industrial area. His father worked with horse teams. Born on July 28, 1914.
54, side 1 : PARENTS
Mother's name was Hulda Lundström Tveter. Father's name was Ludvig. Father drove a wagon of general merchandise and a carriage for weddings. He worked for the Edwardson's.
54, side 1 050/02: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
He has five siblings, Olga, Elsie, Helene, Leif, Jacob, and Anna Louise.
54, side 1 060: MATERNAL GRANDPARENTS
Swedish, carpenter.
54, side 1 075:
Describes how his father met his Swedish wife. She did housework in Norway.
54, side 1 086: TVETER
He tells how it was derived. Name in Norway was Jacobsen.
54, side 1 100:
Father preceded them to the U.S. in 1924. Father's brother lived in Gig Harbor, Washington. Father worked as a Teamster and then at Dempsey Mill in Tacoma, Washington.
54, side 1 121/03: ARRIVAL IN SEATTLE
Mother and five children in 1927. Boat trip from Norway to Canada took seven days. They were on the Stavangerfjord. Traveled from Oslo to Stavanger to Bergen, Norway to Halifax, Canada. Father came on the Bergensfjord.
54, side 1 142: LEAVING NORWAY
"Lots of anticipation."
54, side 1 172: ARRIVAL
Arrived in Halifax, Canada then on to the Pacific Northwest. Changed trains in Winnipeg, Canada. Went through Canada because it was cheaper.
54, side 1 188/04:
Learned some English in the Norwegian school. Father and uncle met them in Tacoma and then they went to Gig Harbor.
54, side 1 206: NATIONAL, WASHINGTON
Lumber camp. It was his first home. He talks about life in a lumber town. There was housing for families and bachelors.
54, side 1 240:
Reaction to the Pacific Northwest.
54, side 1 247: PACIFIC NORTHWEST LUMBER CO.
Hard work, long days. Hans' father was a car loader. Hans worked in the mill after high school at 20 cents per house.
54, side 1 274: BRIDGE CLINIC
Medical protection, $1.00 monthly.
54, side 1 286/05: ATTENDED SCHOOL
He attended school in Ashford then went to Eatonville. He drove there to get a better education. They drove to school in a Model A Ford Roadster.
54, side 1 315: LEARNING ENGLISH
Began the first day of school.
54, side 1 344:
General Merchandise Store at the Lumber town.
54, side 1 350: MAY 1927 LINDBERG CROSSED THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
This was the day they came to the U.S.
54, side 1 362/06:
Recreation for young children at National. They had road made from planks.
54, side 1 396:
Accidents and forest fires at the mill.
54, side 1 442:
Japanese Town (near their lumber town). Groups didn't mix.
54, side 1 472/07: AMERICAN-SCANDINAVIAN LODGE
Eventually burned down.
54, side 1 493: DEPRESSION
He discusses the living conditions at the lumber town. The mill shut down. The lat year of high school Hans lived in town and worked for room and board.
54, side 1 530:
Spring of 1933 the mill ran again. Father was a hard worker, which enabled Hans to get a job there too. The mill closed in 1944, most of the people scattered.
54, side 1 585:
House at the lumber town. Raised rabbits for food. Owned cows and sold milk to neighbors, etc.
54, side 2 018/08: LUMBER TOWN
"Good environment to grow up in."
54, side 2 023: WOMEN'S ACTIVITIES AT THE LUMBER TOWN
PTA and church.
54, side 2 032:
Norwegian School Days.
54, side 2 039: CHURCH AT NATIONAL, WASHINGTON
No Lutheran church. It was a Free Methodist church.
54, side 2 062:
Bachelors at the lumber camp.
54, side 2 073/09:
Power saws ca. 1931, popular after WWII.
54, side 2 085: NORWEGIAN RELATIVES
They keep in touch.
54, side 2 092: CHRISTMAS
Norwegian traditions (foods i.e., lutefisk, etc.)
54, side 2 110:
Youngster sister born in National, Washington in 1933.
54, side 2 126/10: LUMBER MILL
Big strike in 1935. Beginning of the labor movement. Older sister died. IWW - Wobblies.
54, side 2 169:
After a second strike they moved to Tacoma. After the strike ended they moved back to National and lived on a farm.
54, side 2 195:
The mill closed in 1944. His occupation was a timber marker.
54, side 2 219/11:
After National closed they moved to Tacoma.
54, side 2 224: ACTIVITIES
Youngsters always had something to do; berry picking, swimming, and ice-skating.
54, side 2 266:
Remained a bachelor. Worked eleven years at the mill.
54, side 2 268: OCCUPATIONS AFTER THE MILL
Drove truck, worked in meat markets, and did fishing.
54, side 2 278:
Father retired from the lumber mill.
54, side 2 284/12: TRIPS TO SWEDEN AND NORWAY
They couldn't do enough for you. They traveled from Copenhagen, Denmark to Gothenburg, Sweden to Bengtsfor, Sweden to Halden, Norway, to Fredrikstad, Norway and to Rygge, Norway.
54, side 2 356: THOUGHTS OF NORWAY TODAY
Changes.
54, side 2 383/01: IMPORTANCE OF NORWEGIAN HERITAGE
Happy he's Norwegian, but being an American is more important.
54, side 2 399:
Parents today. Keepsakes from Sarpsborg, Norway.
54, side 2 420: BROTHER JACOB SPEAKS
Never been to Norway. Proud of being Norwegian, but more proud of being an American.
54, side 2 429: SONS OF NORWAY
Never joined. National, Washington was isolated.
54, side 2 438:
First car in 1937.
54, side 2 440:
Loggers left twice a year, the 4th of July and Christmas.
54, side 2 455/02:
Norwegian relatives visit the U.S.
54, side 2 491:
Still speaks Norwegian.
54, side 2 504: FISHING
Hobby now, once an occupation.
54, side 2 525: LOCATION OF RELATIVES TODAY
Brother Leif is in Monroe, Washington, a sister in Eatonville, Washington, and another in Tacoma. They keep in touch.
54, side 2 573:
Happy to be called on for the Scandinavian Immigrant Experience.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Education--United States
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Family--Norway
  • Fishing
  • Norwegian-Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs
  • Personal Names :
  • Tveter, Hans--Interviews
  • Joran, Augusta
  • Snekketorp, Jacob
  • Tveter, Jacob
  • Helne, Oline
  • Lundström, August
  • Tveter, Hulda
  • Tveter, Ludvig
  • Corporate Names :
  • Pacific Northwest Lumber Company (National, Wash.)
  • Stavangerfjord (Steamship)
  • Family Names :
  • Helne family
  • Joran family
  • Lundström family
  • Snekketorp family
  • Tveter family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Bengtsfors (Sweden)
  • National (Wash.)
  • Sarpsborg (Norway)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral histories
  • Occupations :
  • Sawmill workers