View Full Version : Hangö emigrant hotel

June Pelo
21-07-04, 17:52
Someone sent me this picture which interests me because it could have been the hotel where my father, his mother and sister stayed before they sailed from Hangö in 1909.


22-07-04, 01:50
Great picture, June. Thanks for sharing!
By the way, has anyone heard if plans for an emigration museum in Hangö have been laid? When Don and I were there 2 years ago, one very interested person met us and showed us around the harbor. She had spearheaded the idea, and had high hopes that one of the century old unused warehouses on the old waterfront could be utilized for exhibitions.

Karen Norwillo
22-07-04, 19:12
June, Do you know how long this hotel existed? Wondering if it was there when my grandparents emigrated through Hango in the 1890's. Karen

June Pelo
22-07-04, 22:29

Yes, I'm sure the hotel was there in 1890. And I think there were other hotels as well. I'm attaching an article from Norden newspaper of Oct. 2002 which is about a proposed monument. The top picture in the article shows the old bridge emigrants used to go over the railroad tracks. And here's an article from Norden newspaper about Hangö.


Hangö Remembers the Epoch when Emigrants Traveled to America

A very interesting exhibit was presented before the summer season in Hangö. People there have chosen to present the great American emigration that occurred throughout the city at the turn of the century.

On the floor of Fästnings Museum in Hangö trunks used for the trip to America were lined up. In the background is an enlarged photo of FÖA's emigrant hotel on the boulevard and behind it one can see inside a doctor's reception room where in 1903 medical examinations were carried out. Those traveling to the New World had to be in good health. In another room one could admire both tomatoes and oranges. Luxury articles such as this were already available in Hangö before the turn of the century, but they became more common after the second world war.

Between the years 1865 and 1930 about 400,000 Finlanders emigrated to America. Foremost among those who traveled were people from Österbotten, and over 250,000 of the emigrants journeyed through Hangö.

The exhibit blends facts, charts and pictures in an attractive manner where one can experience the swarm of people who went through the city during the great emigration. Before the emigrant hotel was built, Hangö residents offered lodging consisting of a small hammock with a stove to the emigrants in exchange for ample payment. The market sold soup which could be heated on the stove.

In the beginning there was concurrence between the eleven boat companies who sold tickets, but they began to fight among themselves and used physical force in the competition for the emigrants' business. Gradually the Finnish Ång Steamship Co., Inc. received sole rights to the Hangö-Hull route and passenger traffic, in addition to the export of butter, went through them.

It was not cheap to emigrate. Tickets cost 2-3 month's pay, but often it was paid by previous travelers to America who would alleviate their homesickness by paying for a family to travel to America.

In the beginning of the 1900's FÅA also advertised its passenger line in Russia. As a result of disturbances after the big strike of 1905, there was a rush for America among Russian jews. Hangö was completely unprepared for this mass emigration and there was great confusion when the people took over the city. The emigrants were placed both in the market hall and in a yard in Västerby where there was not an inch of floor space to spare. The problem eased when FÅA purchased the new home of Sanfrid Friis at Nycandergatan 10. The Finlander emigrants would not have anything to do with the Russians.

It was a relief when Finland's first icebreaker cleared the way to Hangö so traffic could be maintained year-round. Ång Steamer Express was Finland's first winter steamer and in 1877 opened traffic between Hangö and Stockholm. There was room for no more than 30 passengers, but over 100 crowded on.

Birgitta Ekström and archivist Marketta Wall have put together a living history about an important epoch in the city's history.

NORDEN 16 May 1996
June Pelo

22-07-04, 23:36
What a wonderful picture, June. Every face in that picture hides an equally wonderful story, I am sure

June Pelo
23-07-04, 02:41
There is another picture of the hotel at:
http://www.genealogia.fi/emi/indexe.htm Read some of the items listed under General in the index at the left - especially F.A.A. Pictures.


23-07-04, 04:44
Wasn't there a campaign to collect money for some restoration effort? I want to say when we had the old format of the Finlander Forum. Was it about the port building or immigrant hotel?

I recall something about wanting descendants of immigrants to donate in memory of their ancestors.

Like Gwenda said in another post, maybe it's just a senior moment, though technically I think I'm too young! ;)

23-07-04, 11:00
I am also technically too young to be having senior moments, but I seem to still have them.:( Someone I know prefers to call them "blonde moments". :)

June Pelo
23-07-04, 22:09
The article states that financing is the problem. It also mentions that anyone wanting to know more about the project can write in English to Major VKA Lange at: kaarle.lange%40pp.inet.fi