Anna Malen Hopen Oral History Interview, 1981

Overview of the Collection

Hopen, Anna Malena
Anna Malen Hopen Oral History Interview
1981 (inclusive)
3 file folders
9 photographs.
1 sound cassette
Collection Number
An oral history interview with Anna Malena Hopen, a Norwegian immigrant.
Pacific Lutheran University, Archives and Special Collections
Archives and Special Collections
Pacific Lutheran University
12180 Park Avenue South
Tacoma, Washington
Telephone: 2535357586
Fax: 2535357315
Access Restrictions

The oral history collection is open to all users.

Additional Reference Guides

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

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Anna Malena (Tweiten) Hopen was born on either November 13 or 25, 1913 in Lemon's Beach, Washington, which is now University Place in Tacoma. Her parents are Ommund Karlson Tweiten and Pauline Amelia Liland. Her family moved back to Norway in 1920; she attended first grade in Tacoma and then continued school in Norway. After school, she spent two winters trapping ptarmigan, an expensive delicacy in England, and lived with Ingeborg Tveiten. Her brothers and sisters began immigrating back to the U.S., and Anna returned in 1931, traveling through Quebec, Canada to reach Tacoma. She did housework for various people before marriage, and she met her husband, Anton Hopen, at Normanna Hall in Tacoma during a snowball fight. Anton fished in Alaska in the summer, and they were married on May 21, 1936 in Cordova, Alaska. They lived in Alaska for three months and then rented a house in Tacoma. They have six children: Junis, Sigvald Dagfin, Phillip Obed, Alf Magnus, Ruben Harold, and Bruce Leon. Anna did part-time catering for parties after marriage and was head cook for Smorgasbord restaurant in Gig Harbor for thirteen to fifteen years. She joined the Daughters of Norway in 1932 and also belongs to the Sons of Norway, and she visited Norway in 1970, 1975, and 1979.


Full Name: Anna Malena Hopen. Maiden Name: Anna Malena Tweiten. Father: Ommund Karlson Tweiten. Mother: Pauline Amelia Liland. Paternal Grandfather: Karl Pederson Tveiten. Paternal Grandmother: Marte Lunde. Maternal Grandfather: Ommund Pederson Hampland Liland. Maternal Grandmother: Anna Malena Jonsdatter Espeveit. Brothers and Sisters: Carl Tweiten, Oscar Tweiten, Bertha Tweiten, Thor Bernhard Tweiten, Martha (Tweiten) Handeland, Alma Johanna Tweiten, Jørgen Tweiten. Spouse: Anton Magnus Hopen. Children: Junis Hopen, Phillip Obed Hopen, Alf Magnus Hopen, Ruben Harold Hopen, Bruce Leon Hopen, Sigvald Dagfin Hopen.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The interview was conducted with Anna Hopen on November 2, 1981 in Tacoma, Washington. This interview provides information on family history, immigration to Norway, school, Christmas traditions, return to the U.S., feelings about leaving Norway, work in U.S., marriage, children, community involvement, church, visits to Norway, changes in Norway, and Norwegian traditions. The interview also contains Anna Hopen's husband Anton's obituary from the Western Viking and photographs of Anna's grandmother's home in Espetveit, Norway, Anna's home in Norway, Hopen, Norway, Anna and Anton at Prince William Sound in Alaska (1936), Anna in Tacoma, Washington before her family returned to Norway, Anna and her brother Oscar in Fairbanks, Alaska, and Anna and Anton at the time of the interview. The interview was conducted in English with some Norwegian towards the end of the interview. Also see Carl Tweiten, Martha Handeland, and Anton Hopen.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Custodial History

The Oral History collection project was started during an experimental course on Scandinavian Women in the Pacific Northwest. Students in the course were encouraged to interview women and learn about their experiences as immigrants to the United States. The project was continued and expanded with support from the president's office and by grants from the L.J. Skaggs and Mary C. Skaggs Foundation, from the Joel E. Ferris Foundation and the Norwegian Emigration Fund of the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The project was directed by Dr. Janet E. Rasmussen. The collection was transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Department.

Acquisition Information

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Processing Note

The interview was conducted by Inger Nygaard Carr using a cassette recorder. A research copy was also prepared from the original. To further preserve the content of the interview, it is now being transferred to compact disc. We deliberately did not transcribe the entire interview because we want the researchers to listen to the interviewee's own voice. The transcription index highlights important aspects of the interview and the tape counter numbers noted on the Partial Interview Transcription are meant as approximate finding guides and refer to the location of a subject on the cassette/CD. The recording quality is good

The collection was transcribed by Mary Sue Gee, Julie Peterson and Becky Husby.


Rasmussen, Janet Elaine. New Land New Lives: Scandinavian Immigrants to the Pacific Northwest Tacoma, Washington University of Washington Press 1993

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
113, side 1 004: PERSONAL BACKGROUND
Tweiten maiden name. Born Lemon's Beach, Tacoma, Washington, November 13, 1913. 1920 the family left for Norway. Lived there for eleven years until 1931.
113, side 1 015: PARENTS
Father, Ommund Karlson Tweiten. Mother, Pauline Amelia Liland. Father did various work. He immigrated to Michigan then back. Came to U.S. again and back to Norway. Did this three times. Came west. Worked as a saw filer in logging camps.
113, side 1 033:
Father married here. Mother was an immigrant from Sirdal. She was doing domestic housework then did laundry work and cooked in logging camps.
113, side 1 039: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Carl born in Deming near Bellingham. Now lives in Gig Harbor. Carl was a logger then went to Alaska prospecting until he lost most of his eyesight in a mining explosion.
113, side 1 066:
Carl worked at Northwest Plywood for many years. He built his own house.
113, side 1 077:
Martha born at University Place, then called Lemon's Beach. Oscar next child.
113, side 1 083: RETURN TO NORWAY
Planned to take over the farm, ended up driving bus instead.
113, side 1 099: FLEKKEFJORD
Buying supplies in Flekkefjord for the townspeople. Lake close by used for hauling freight by steamboat.
113, side 1 109: GRANDPARENTS
Paternal, Marte Lund and Karl Pederson Tveiten. Pederson was father's name. Tveiten is a little place with 7-8- farms.
113, side 1 137: GRANDPARENTS
Were farmers. Grew potatoes, oats, barley. Grew things for themselves. Sold cattle and hide for money. Did trading.
113, side 1 157:
They made and sold butter and cheese.
Ommund Pederson Hompland Liland and Anna Malena Jonsdatter Espetveit. They were farmers too.
113, side 1 174: BROTHERS AND SISTERS
Alma died when she was 21 in Tacoma. Bertha lives in Tacoma, she married a Swede. Joergen born in Norway. Barney born in Norway works in Arctic on roads.
113, side 1 192: GOING TO NORWAY
As a child had fun. Went by boat. Took train to Stavanger. Took little boat. Took horse and buggy to Sirdal.
113, side 1 215: SCHOOL
First grade in Tacoma. Had Smaaskole and Storskole in Norway. Went to Smaaskole for twelve weeks in a year. When 10 to Storskole for fourteen weeks.
113, side 1 233:
They lived in the old family house.
113, side 1 242: CHRISTMAS
Julefest. Children's programs different school hosues. Children read. Sing around the tree.
113, side 1 264: CHRISTMAS
Pinne steak, meat on skewers roasted it in coals. Christmas day, got together with the family.
113, side 1 274: CHRISTMAS DAY
Went to church. Shared minister with another church.
113, side 1 282: CHURCH
Important in the family. She was confirmed. Sang in choir. Church every other Sunday.
Stories told to the children. Put out mush and raisin bread for Julenissen. Old tales were scary.
113, side 1 315: CHILDHOOD
Very nice in Norway and America. Worked in the fields a lot. Machinery, mower pulled by horses.
113, side 1 330: WINTERTIME
Skied to church and school.
113, side 1 346: CHORES
Planting and picking potatoes were kid's jobs.
113, side 1 358: SCHOOL
Had lots of homework. Had to prepare for school.
113, side 1 371: AFTER SCHOOL
Spent two winters trapping birds "ryper" or Ptarmigan. Made more money than if she did housework in town. Lived with Ingeborg Tveiten. Describes this.
113, side 1 390:
Sold bird to England. Delicacy in England. Small birds. Sold from 75 oere to 1 krone.
113, side 1 414:
Brothers and sisters began immigrating back to the U.S.A.
113, side 1 430: RETURN TO U.S.
Went through England. Stavanger to London, good trip. Train from London to Liverpool.
113, side 1 447:
Ship to Quebec, Canada, Atlantic was rough. Later part of September 1931. Took train across Canada took about two weeks.
113, side 1 463: TRAIN
Dirt. Food on train. Had forgotten English, some trouble. Went to Vancouver.
113, side 1 483:
Took car to Tacoma. Had birth certificates to get across border.
Missed winter. Didn't like doing housework here. Was homesick.
113, side 1 517: WORK
Did housework until married. Met husband at Normanna Hall during snowball fight.
113, side 1 541: FISHING
Husband fished in Alaska winters. Married May 21, 1936.
113, side 1 553: WEDDING
Married in Cordova, Alaska at the courthouse. Friends were witnesses. He was fishing. She stayed at camp for summer.
113, side 1 597:
Learned many things about American cooking from the fishing camp cook.
113, side 1 615: WORK
Before married worked for English people in Tacoma, the Jesse Bamford's.
113, side 1 632: HOUSEKEEPING JOB
$35 per month. Did cooking, cleaning and sewing.
113, side 1 674: WORK
Lived with a family. Cared for four girls. Cooking, cleaning. Made $50 per month.
113, side 2 003: WAGES
Good for the time. Made more than men. Many times they made $1 a day.
113, side 2 006: WORK
Another time for some English people, Gilpen. He owned Northwest Chair.
113, side 2 013: WORK
Worked for Elby McDonalds who was a contractor.
113, side 2 024:
Lived in Alaska three months when first married. Rented a house in Tacoma. Husband didn't work during the winter.
113, side 2 040: CHILDREN
Sigvald works in Arctic in oil fields. Was married. Phillip married lived in Alaska. Works as a fisherman and mechanic.
113, side 2 054: CHILDREN
Alf was married. Has two daughters. Heavy equipment mechanic in Alaska. Mining business.
113, side 2 065: CHILDREN
Junis lives in California. Was married. Had two children.
113, side 2 080: WORK AFTER MARRIAGE
Part time catering work for parties.
113, side 2 084: WORK
In the kitchen at Skandiagard in Gig Harbor. Head cook for Smorgasbord. 13-15 years. Talks of food and the different owners.
113, side 2 137: ORGANIZATIONS
Joined Daughters of Norway in 1932. Was marshal several times in the Daughters.
113, side 2 158: SONS OF NORWAY
Help Boys Club and those in need.
113, side 2 167: DAUGHTERS OF NORWAY
Go to Pacific Lutheran University for Scandinavian Fair. She makes sandwiches.
113, side 2 172: CHURCH
Kids went through Sunday school. Our Saviors Lutheran now merged with Gloria Dei. She was baptized at Our Saviors. Lists some of the ministers: Ordal, Redal, Strandjord, Shafflin, Williamson.
Organized as an orphanage in Parkland. Moved to Everett. She was preside of the Gild for 2-3 years.
113, side 2 207:
Did some fundraising by making and selling things, arts and crafts.
113, side 2 213: VISITS TO NORWAY
1970. Changes, people change; mountains and streams don't change. Road signs new and confusing.
113, side 2 224: VISITS TO NORWAY
1975-79. Old place still there. Getting little use.
113, side 2 243:
Many tourists especially during Easter. Good place to ski in winter.
Have been maintained. Children learned Norwegian when young. Still do some baking.
113, side 2 260: WORK NOW
She does baking for weddings. Makes cakes and cookies. Makes Kransekake wedding cake. Kranse means wreath.
113, side 2 279: CHILDREN
Ruben works on the Alaska pipeline. Married Pearl Jones. They have one son and a home in Tacoma. Bruce married and separated. He had one boy. He works in a cannery in Alaska.
113, side 2 306:
She speaks Norwegian a little bit.

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Church attendance--Norway
  • Education--Norway
  • Emigration and immigration
  • Fishing
  • Norway--Social conditions--1945-
  • Norwegian-Americans--Northwest, Pacific--Interviews
  • Norwegian-Americans--Social life and customs
  • Railroad travel

Personal Names

  • Espetveit, Anna Malena Jonsdatter
  • Hopen, Alf Magnus
  • Hopen, Anton Magnus
  • Hopen, Bruce Leon
  • Hopen, Phillip Obed
  • Hopen, Ruben Harold
  • Liland, Pauline Amelia
  • Tveiten, Ingeborg
  • Hopen, Anna Malena --Interviews (creator)
  • Hopen, Junis
  • Hopen, Sigvald Dagfin
  • Liland, Ommund Pederson Hampland
  • Lunde, Marte
  • Tveiten, Karl Pederson
  • Tweiten, Anna Malena
  • Tweiten, Ommund Karlson

Corporate Names

  • Daughters of Norway (U.S.) Embla Lodge #2 (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Normanna Hall (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Our Saviour's Lutheran Church (Tacoma, Wash.)
  • Parkland Childrens Home (Parkland, Wash.)
  • Sons of Norway (U.S.) Norden Lodge No. 2 (Tacoma, Wash.)

Family Names

  • Espetveit family
  • Hopen family
  • Liland family
  • Lunde family
  • Tveiten family
  • Tweiten family

Geographical Names

  • Cordova (Alaska)
  • Eikefjord (Norway)
  • Espetveit, Sirdal (Norway)
  • Flekkefjord (Norway)
  • Gig Harbor (Wash.)
  • Hompland, Sirdal (Norway)
  • Liland, Sirdal (Norway)
  • Lunde, Sirdal (Norway)
  • Tacoma (Wash.)
  • Tveiten, Sirdal (Norway)

Form or Genre Terms

  • Oral histories


  • Caterers and catering
  • Domestics