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The time came now, for American fever set into my way of thinking and I wrote a letter to Joel Stål in Rochester, Washington State and asked him how it was over there.

He Joel Stål answered that lumber camps have been closed, too much rain, but the rain season is over now and there is work for men now, but he will not give me any advice about what I should do; that is up to me to do what I wish, and that he shall do the best he can for me if I come over there to Rochester, Wash. Joel Stål was one of my neighbors from Sandkulla, Terjärv, Vasa Län, Finland.

The 1910 summer past, but we had a lot of work on the farm at home to get all the hay in the sheds away from home and in the barn, and right after that to take care of the ryefield that was grown and ready to be cut and taken care of. Had a good ryefield and when everything was taken away, the ground was turned over again and fertilized and rye seeds were planted in the month of Sept. for next year's growth, crop for year 1911.

This happened one week before I left my home in Terjärv, Finland and went to America, New York City.

I started on my journey Sept. 15, 1910 from Terjärv, Finland, Vasa Län on a bigger scale of traveling than before. I felt a little lonesome, but was dreaming between the time of sorrowful moments, about the luck that may come on the trip to America. My brother Albert was in New York City and I was going to stay with him and meet him when I came to New York on the steamship.

Many people left Terjärv on the Sept. 15, 1910. At Gamlakarleby we all met and got our railroad tickets for Hangö town. Left Gamlakarleby at 6 p.m. and came to Hangoö the following day at 3 p.m.

It was not so easy to say goodbye to my Dad in Gamlakarleby, just before the train left.

When we arrived at the Hangö Railroad Station we met a man from the Steamship Co. and he gave us the information and orders about what we should do, and to leave all our baggage at the station. The first order after that was to go to a house for Doctors examination and get papers stamped to show that everything was all right. Next after that all our papers, pass and tickets had to be left in and examined and many questions had to be answered.

When all were examined we could go to the hotel and get the room for the night. Paid .50 penni per day for the room. Married family people could stay together in one room, we single men were 12-men together in one room.

Two days past and it was time to prepare for the steamboat trip. Bought ticket in Gamlakarleby for Scandinavian American line steamship, but we were told in Hangö that we could not get any room on the Scandinavian American line, so we had to move to the American Steamship line steamer.

Price for ticket was 242 Finnish mark. The steamers name was "Astrea" that we had from Hangö, Finland to Hull, England.

People that got room on the Scandinavian American Line for New York had to leave the boat "Astrea" at Köpenham and moved to the Scandinavian liner boat "Oskar the 2nd" that went right from Köpenham to New York, N.Y.

First evening on the sea after we left the land, most every one felt a little sick. I was not much sick, but had to throw up a few times that I ate on the land in Hangö. Sweet food should not be used when we plan to go on the sea. Sour and a little salted food is much better than sweet food.

At eleven p.m. I went down from the top deck down to my bunk-bed, but I did not like it the way it was down in the boat - too much odor from the seasick people that was there.

Day after another past and sometimes we Swedish passengers ang some Swedish national songs to cheer ourself a little on our trip.

On Sept. 20th passengers for the Scandinavian American Line had to leave the boat "Astrea" at Köpenham (Copenhagen, Denmark) and we the other passengers started our trip out to the North sea on the "Astrea".

On the North sea I saw that I never had seen before when the steamer was pushed from in-between the waves to top of waves and so on. We had a big storm one day. I was afraid that the boat would turn over and get buried in between the big waves, but nothing happened.

It was not the last day in this world for me yet, it was very frightening. Why it was possible for me and another man and two women to see the big waves on the North sea that time?

We felt good and ran up to the deck, because a lot of passengers got seasick down in the boat, and none of the boat crew or help happened to see us go up to the deck! After a while one of the boat crew man came up to the deck and told us that nobody is allowed to be on the deck in this kind of stormy weather, and we had to go down to our bunk-beds.

When we came near the land in Hull, England the tidewater was so low and we had to wait many hours before the boat could go in to the landng place - dock. When we got off the boat on the dock, our handbags and packages was examined before we could go any further.

Hull, England: After we got through with our baggage and examinations at the dock, we walked a little way and then we got orders to go on a van, horse car. Ladies could go inside the car, but we the men had to go on the top of the horsecar. It was fun when riding the two horss galloping in front to the immigration hotel in Hull.

Stayed over night and at 5 a.m. we left the hotel and went to the railroad station to get on the train in Hull for a ride through England to South Hampton. At the railroad station we got our breakfast and railroad tickets and left Hull at 8 a.m. on the train. When we came to London Railroad Station, they opened the locked doors and let us out for coffee or tea and sandwiches at the station for immigrants. After 15 minutes or so we got orders to go on the train and the doors got locked so nobody could get out on our way to South Hampton, but we did not feel bad, because we had what we needed on the train to South Hampton.

When we left London at noontime the weather was nice and we could see how the farmers work. It was a little better than what I had seen before on the farms, everything was so nice and in good order in the country. After a few hours we came to South Hampton railroad station and a man was there ready to take us out from the train and took us to the immigration hotel and we got a good meal and could enjoy the piano music.

The first evening we were in South Hampton we met a man on the immigration hotel. He was born in Gamlakarleby, Finland (Hoffsted) he was on his way from America to Finland. This Mr. Hoffsted told us to come out and see the town when we are traveling and have a chance to see what there is to be seen. We the following: Hendrik Wiklund, Nils Bygden and I went out with him to see the town. It was a little fun too, for we could see and hear many things. Mr. Hoffsted spent a little money on us too. (You see he came from America.) After seeing some of the town we went back to the immigration hotel. The following day we spent in the hotel talking about one and another matters in this life.

Saturday Sept. 24th was the day to go to the steamer named New York and leave England for America and New York City. We left South Hampton at 12 noon. The first days on the Atlantic ocean I felt a little sick in my head, but it didn't matter so much because I ate every meal like a well person does when he feels good, and one day after another went and at last near the end of the week we started to wish that we could see the land.

The worse thing on the tseamer was, when we could not go up to the top deck, but had to be held down in the lower sections with seasick immigrants.

On Saturday morning at about 9 a.m. we could see some land. Then it turned to be more pleasant to live again, when we could see the land that we had been looking for and welcomed by all. At about 12 and one p.m. Oct. 1, 1910 we came into New York harbor, but could not get into the dock before the following day Sunday, because the steamer did not get into New York harbor before 10 a.m. on Saturday. At 8 a.m. on Sunday morning we got off the steamer and our handbags had to be examined first. After the handbags were taken care of, we got orders to go on the ferryboat and go to Ellis Island and there we had to be examined the last time. It was easy to get through that examination because the Doctor at once took upboth of my eyelids together and I could go. A few minutes after that we had to show how much money, (landing money) we had and again they let us go on the ferryboat that left for New York City to South Ferry dock to the right harbor.

There we could start to be on our own and I was looking for my brother Albert that promised to come and meet me. But instead I met some other men from Terjärv as follows: My cousin Victor Bredbacka, Adolf Häsjebacka, Victor Lytz, Matt Lytz. My cousin Victor came and asked me if I was Hugo when I got off the ferryboat, and I told him yes. He told me that Albert my brother had gone on the ferryboat to meet me at Elis Island, but I left Elis Island before Albert came there. The men decided to wait till Albert would come back from Elis Island.

The men did not wait at the ferry waiting room but instead went away to a salon for some drinks and I had to go with them. It was gainst my will, but I could not do anything, but had to follow them in. I could take soda lemonade what I wanted, they tried to tell me that I should take beer, but I said no, and it was right. If I had taken beer, my brother Albert would have met me as a drunken bum before I got to the place where my brother lived in uptown.

When my brother did not come for some time back from Elis Island, then Adolf Häsjebacka took me for a walk further away from ferry slip and when we came back, my brother had come from Elis Island and the other men did not know where we went, and they left for home, before we came back to the ferry slip.

When Adolf and I could not see the men, and the ferry boat had come back to New York, South ferry, there was nothing else to do, except to leave for uptown where my brother lived at present time, to 2797 - 8th Ave. c/o Joel Johnson, because we could not find the other men. When we came about a block from the house where my brother lived, we met him and I felt happy then. He took me into the house and up to the third floor. There I met many that came to see me to find out about some news from Terjärv, Finland. One of them was my Aunt Emilias husband John Timmerback.

After a while when I got some clothes taken off, they told me to take a bath when the long trip over the oceans were over. Had a good bath and after when I got my clothes on I could go to the table and eat in peace from the noise of the waves on the water. But after that I was told that they want me to come and get some pictures taken of me on my first day in America with the following: Brother Albert, Joel Johnson, Victor Bredbacka, my cousin; John timmerbacka and myself.

Hugo Theodor (Sandkulla) Nelson

Submitted to me by his granddaughter Kristin Nelson.

June Pelo


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