Lina Dahl Stakset Oral History Interview, 1981  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Stakset, Lina Dahl
1981 (inclusive)
3 file folders
3 photographs
1 sound cassette
Collection Number
An oral history interview with Lina Dahl Stakset, a Norwegian immigrant.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 253-535-7586
Fax: 253-535-7315
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The oral history collection is open to all users.

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

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Lina Stakset was born on April 7, 1904 in Refvik, Nordfjord, Norway. Her parents were Anders and Ragnhild Dahl, and there were seven other children in the family: Haldor, Anna (Strom), Ingeborg (Trongedahl), Dina, Martha (Kvamme), Anders, and Alf. Lina's parents were farmers, and the family lived on a farm with cows, horses, sheep, and pigs. Lina attended school from the age of seven to fourteen and was then confirmed. After confirmation, Lina began to do housework for her aunt and uncle and then worked in a hotel in Måløy for several years. Lina's uncle, who lived in the United States, encouraged her whole family to emigrate, and Lina left Norway in October 1928. The trip took nine days, and Lina got very seasick. Upon arrival, she and friend took the train to Seattle, WA. Lina had friends in Seabeck, WA. Lina's first job in Seattle was to care for sickly babies. She met her husband, Henry Stakset, at a friend's wedding. Henry was from Gjerdsvika, Norway and was a fisherman. They were married by a preacher in Vancouver, WA and settled in Seattle. They later moved to Tacoma, WA. Lina and Henry had three children: Christy (Jacobsen), Allen, and Henry. All of the children learned Norwegian at home, and Lina continued to cook traditional Norwegian foods. She has been active in Ole Hanson's church and meets with a Norwegian organization once a month at Gloria Dei Church. Lina has also returned to Norway six times, and her Norwegian heritage means a lot to her.


Full Name: Lina Dahl Stakset. Maiden Name: Lina Dahl. Father: Anders Dahl. Mother: Ragnhild Dahl. Paternal Grandfather: Haldor Dahl. Paternal Grandmother: Ingeborg Dahl. Maternal Grandfather: Anders Jerstad. Maternal Grandmother: Olina Jerstad. Brothers and Sisters: Haldor Dahl, Anna Dahl Strom, Ingeborg Dahl Trongedahl, Dina Dahl, Martha Dahl Kvamme, Anders Dahl, Alf Dahl. Spouse: Henry Stakset. Children: Christy Stakset Jacobsen, Allen Stakset, Henry Stakset Jr.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This interview was conducted with Lina Stakset on October 26, 1981 in Tacoma, Washington. It contains information on family background, emigration, employment, marriage and family, community activities, and Norwegian heritage. The interview also contains photographs of Lina and her family, Lina's husband's boat, and Lina at the time of the interview. The interview was conducted in English.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

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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
106, side 1 004: PERSONAL BACKGROUND
Lina Stakset. Maiden name is Dahl. Born in Refvik, Nordfjord, Norway on April 7, 1904.
106, side 1 013: PARENTS
Anders and Ragnhild (maiden name was Jerstad). Dahl means flat place. They were farmers with 4-5 cows, horses, sheep and pigs. Fished in the ocean in the winter. Caught cod (torsk).
106, side 1 032: GRANDPARENTS
Paternal grandparents were Haldor Dahl and Ingeborg Dahl. He died when he was 40. he was the only one out of eleven brothers and sisters to stay in Norway. All the other went to America. He took over his father's farm.
106, side 1 051: FARM
Cows, horses, sheep, corn and potatoes. Dried the corn and took it to grind for flour.
They lived further up in Nordfjord. They were Anders and Olina. They were farmers and he built house also. They raised crops for their own use.
106, side 1 070: FATHER
Sold milk. Talks about taking calves away from the mothers early.
106, side 1 080: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Three sisters had five but they died early. Three brothers. Haldor came to Tacoma, Washington and started Tacoma Boat in 1932-1933. They build boats. Ingeborg and Anna are twins. Came to the U.S. Martha's husband is a carpenter. Speaks of her brothers and sisters some.
106, side 1 120: CHILDHOOD
School, work on the farm and working with fish.
106, side 1 137: SCHOOL
Seven years, age 7-14. Confirmed after school. School two days a week.
106, side 1 153: WINTER
Went sledding and ice-skating.
106, side 1 157: CHURCH
Walked an hour to church. Went as a family. Taught some at home. One preacher for three churches.
106, side 1 172:
Took care of her grandmother for one year. She was bedridden.
106, side 1 180: CHRISTMAS
Tree. Went to neighbors and sang around the tree. School had a Christmas festival. Good food. Presents were homemade things like sweaters, socks, etc.
106, side 1 197:
Lina also did knitting and weaving in the winter.
106, side 1 202: HOME
Simple house with one room. Ate, worked and did everything on the one room.
106, side 1 207: CHRISTMAS EVE FOOD
Julesteik, dried meat steamed, flatbrød and potatoes. Christmas Day they had rømmegrøt.
106, side 1 222:
Mother did lots of baking, lefse, waffles, søtkaka, and cookies. Bought eggs and sugar.
106, side 1 234:
Tree stayed up until February. Homemade decorations on the tree. Talks about getting the tree.
106, side 1 258: HEAT
Had a wood stove and an electric stove. Had an electric heater in the later years.
106, side 1 274: CHURCH
Went to church on Christmas Day if there was a preacher. Father read the Christmas story on Christmas Eve.
106, side 1 288: WORK
After school, she went to do housework for her aunt and uncle. Worked many years in a hotel in Måløy, Norway.
106, side 1 342:
Her father died from choking. Describes when he died. A terrible way to go.
106, side 1 367:
Lina's uncle came to Norway from the U.S. and encouraged the family to come to the U.S.
106, side 1 383: TO AMERICA
Anna in 1926, Haldor in 1926 and Ingeborg in 1927.
106, side 1 397:
The rest of the family went to Bergen to get passes for the trip to America. Mother couldn't get a pass because she had an open sore and a sister couldn't get a pass because she didn't have an eye. Describes this in detail.
106, side 1 440: EMIGRATION
Left Norway at the end of October 1928. Didn't feel good about leaving. Came over with a lady from the same place.
106, side 1 471: TRIP
Sailed from Bergen on the "Stavangerfjord" straight to New York. Didn't go through Ellis Island. Only some had to go through.
106, side 1 492: ELLIS ISLAND
Brother had problems. Nine doctors checked him. He had an open sore.
106, side 1 520: TRIP OVER
Very seasick. Rough seas. Took nine days.
106, side 1 536:
Lina and a friend went to Seattle. Had friends at Seabeck, Washington.
106, side 1 542: TRAIN TRIP
Couldn't speak English. Held onto purses. Made coffee on the train. Had Norwegian food with them. There was a lady to watch over them the whole trip. Sold sandwiches on the train.
Rye toast and butter.
106, side 1 576: TRAIN
It was dirty. Had a bed so they could sleep from Chicago to Seattle.
Lonesome. First job was to take care of sickly babies in Seattle.
106, side 1 633: LEARNING THE LANGUAGE
Talking to a little boy helped her learn the language. Picked up the language by herself. Descirbes her living arrangemt and job.
106, side 2 005: PAY AT JOBS
$50 per month. Good pay for the times.
106, side 2 024: HUSBAND
Met him at the Norwegian church in downtown Seattle while at a friend's wedding. His name is Henry Stakset. He was a fisherman.
106, side 2 047: WEDDING
No wedding. Went to a preacher in Vancouver, Washington. Her husband was from Norway too.
106, side 2 055:
Settled in Seattle. He went to Alaska from April to November. Their daughter was born when he was gone.
106, side 2 062: CHILDREN
Kristy lives in Virginia. She has three boys. Two are married so Lina has three grandchildren. Daughter's husband works with the government. She talks about her grandchildren.
106, side 2 085:
Mother lived in Seabeck, Washington and her brothers worked in the woods and fished too. Lina lived in Seabeck for four years.
106, side 2 100:
Lina's husband built a house.
106, side 2 109: CHILDREN
Allen is the oldest son. He's a plumber with the Tacoma Heating and Plumbing business. He has three sons.
106, side 2 123: HENRY
Second son worked for Ford in South Tacoma. Got his own shop, fender and bodywork. He had three children, one is adopted. His wife is Arlene Faulk (?).
106, side 2 139:
Other daughter in law is Bonnie Klink. Her daughter married Harold Jacobsen.
106, side 2 147:
After marriage she worked a little. Had a few cows she milked. People came for cream to make butter.
106, side 2 162: CHURCH
Active in Ole Hanson's church. Left the Lutheran church. Went to a Pentecostal church in Norway. Used to baby-sit in the church. Ladies Aid, missionary work.
Group meets once a month in a church. Everything in Norwegian. Attends Gloria Dei Church.
106, side 2 208: TRIPS TO NORWAY
Six times. In 1949 the whole family took the "Oslofjord" ship over. They were in Norway for six months.
106, side 2 221: CHANGES
Hard to buy things after the war.
106, side 2 236:
In 1960 Henry and Lina went from October to January. In 1976 they had a big party for Henry's brother and his wife.
106, side 2 250: 1974
Home for six weeks. In 1976 she was home for birthdays.
106, side 2 265: CHANGES IN LATER YEARS
They are modernized. No shortages. They buy frozen things like we do in the U.S.
106, side 2 293:
Mother died in 1958. She was over 80.
106, side 2 297: LANGUAGE
Lina's children knew Norwegian. They learned it from home. They spoke it at home.
106, side 2 312: CITIZENSHIP
In 1949, went to classes for this.
106, side 2 325:
Lina has a sister in Fife, Washington. Her husband is Oscar Quamy. He's a builder.
106, side 2 336: FAMILY REUNIONS
Large gathering of Nordfjord people. Four sisters and her brother attended. All live in Tacoma. Talks about family reunions. Golden Wedding anniversary.
Food, language, gumball, krumkake, fattigmand, and kringla.
Means a lot to be Norwegian. Likes the people and the place.
106, side 2 400:
Met some Swedes and Danes in Seattle when she first came over.
106, side 2 :
106, side 2 418: NORWEGIAN SPOKEN
Good example. Talks about changing church in Norway in Norwegian.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Christmas
  • Confirmation
  • Education--Norway
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Family--Norway
  • Marriage service
  • Naturalization
  • Norway--Social conditions--1945-
  • Norwegian-Americans--Ethnic identity
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs
  • Ocean travel
  • Railroad travel
  • Personal Names :
  • Stakset, Lina--Interviews (creator)
  • Dahl, Haldor
  • Jacobsen, Christy (Stakset)
  • Stakset, Allen
  • Stakset, Henry Jr.
  • Dahl, Anders
  • Dahl, Ragnhild
  • Jerstad, Anders
  • Jerstad, Olina
  • Stakset, Henry
  • Corporate Names :
  • Gloria Dei Lutheran Church (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Stavangerfjord (Steamship)
  • Tacoma Boat Company (Tacoma ,Wash.)
  • Family Names :
  • Dahl family
  • Jacobsen family
  • Jerstad family
  • Kvamme family
  • Stakset family
  • Geographical Names :
  • Gjerdsvika (Norway)
  • Refvik (Norway)
  • Seattle (Wash.)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Oral histories
  • Occupations :
  • Domestics