Ann Marie promotes BRITTA'S JOURNEY at the Swedish Institute in Minneapolis:


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Writing Britta's Journey was a grand adventure of research and interviews with my dear neighbor, Eleanor Stone, who had written a chapbook about her family's emigration and homesteading in NE Minnesota.

After losing three children to illness in Finland, Johan Erik Jacobson traveled alone to America in 1900, hoping to send for his family within a year. They never imagined it would be over four years before they saw each other again.

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Eleanor Stone's chapbook about her family's emigration: BRITTA'S JOURNEY,
This is Eleanor's chapbook, published by the Cook County Historical Society in Grand Marais, Minnesota. The cover photo is of Johan Erik and Maria, Eleanor's parents.

I picked up the book in a local bookstore because I knew Eleanor, but when her family's emigration brought me to tears, I knew it was a tale worth retelling to young people. How better to help children understand the trials faced by their emigrating ancestors?
The Jacobson children, photographed before emigrating from Finland to America, 1904: BRITTA'S JOURNEY,
This photo of Johan and Maria's children must have been taken in 1904, just before they left Finland for America, a trip that took many months.
It's no surprise that it took Johan  four years to save enough money for his family of five to come to America, especially given the low wages that immigrants made in the mines. In addition to the fare from Liverpool, he had to provide funds for a train ride to Hango, Finland, a ship to Hull, England, and transport across England to Liverpool.
The Jacobson family on a Finnish train to Vaasa to catch a boat to England, illustration by Gail Alden Hedstrom: BRITTA'S JOURNEY,
The Arcturus, the ship the family took across the Baltic Sea:BRITTA'S JOURNEY,
This illustration by Gail Alden Hedstrom, depicts what the train ride might have been for Britta and her family from their home near Vaasa to the port at Hango. There they caught the Arcturus, shown on the right, which took them on a rocky ride across the Baltic Sea to Hull, England.
Immigrants on board a ship to England:BRITTA'S JOURNEY,
Though this photo may not be of the Arcturus, it shows what travel was like for emigrants traveling third class at the turn of the last century.
The Jacobson's were stranded in Liverpool and lived in a train car all summer. Illustration by Gail Alden Hedstrom: BRITTA'S JOURNEY,
Another illustration by Gail Alden Hedstrom depicts Britta cleaning out the railway car they lived in all summer in Liverpool when they were denied passage on the ship because...well, read the book!
The Jacobson's finally boarded the Baltic to America, three months after landing in England: BRITTA'S JOURNEY,
The family did finally get to board a ship for America, The Baltic, and it was a long, difficult trip. This final illustration by Gail Alden Hedstrom shows Britta at the most terrifying moment of their passage across the Atlantic.
Britta was stranded on the deck during a storm. Illustration by Gail Alden Hedstrom: BRITTA'S JOURNEY,

Click here for
free study materials
links for researching family history.