Letter Written my John about his uncle John:
Uncle John - As Recounted, In Part,
by John M. Johansen
My memory of uncle John goes back a long time - in fact before
I could comprehend he visited my mother who was married to his oldest
brother Christian, my father.
As was common in the era of the second decade in the 20th century
there was a great influx of immigrants from Norway to the promised land.
It was opportunity and the immigrants settled in the part of this new
land that was compatible with their background. The coastal Norwegians had
for centuries been involved in shipping in which Norway was very involved
in the sailing craft which sailed the whole world in commerce. The
inland Norwegians , where contrary to the general belief that Norway is
completely rock and mountainous, ....there are farms of over 1000 acres
in the rolling farm land that extends East. The immigrants from
this area settled in the Daktoas, Iowa and the rich underdeveloped farm
We came from sea-faring family for centuries as is substantiated
in a family tree from my mother's side of the family back to 1620 which was
researched by my cousins wife who lives in Toensberg. Life was rough, families
were large - 12 children very common. Usually after confirmation the
boys went out fishing in the most productive sea food inhabitate in the world.
The North Sea is shallow and very productive....
Uncle John helped his father fishing and his father hoped that
he would return to Sandefjord at Langeby a
very beautiful farm some 6 miles from Sandefjord. My mother lived
Such is the background of John Johansen who born in 1890 was 17
in 1907 when he came to the new land America. My dad somewhat older
had been to this country a number of times before that and in a trip
or two back to Norway-- he had sailed and passed his examinations for
captain of sailing vessels by 1910....
Uncle John was a very hard worker - got along very well with people
and very knowledgeable....
When he was 17 he worked at a sawmill in Ballard and when the
opportunity arose he worked on the "steam schooners" of the day that
would load lumber for San Francisco and also the East coast."
"Uncle John in the twenties started working for Alaska Steam
at Seattle - he was familiar with the passage to Alaska..."
"...working as a longshoreman it as not long until he became
a foreman in charge of loading and duscharging caro. He knew his
"...uncle John got married to a very excellent cook who came from
"...In 1923 uncle John had a fine house built on Earl