A photo treasure by coincidence.

I received a question about an old picture presented in a Facebook group. When I visited the website I also took a look at the other pictures there. I was in for a big surprise.

My friend and distant relative Joyce asked me about a picture she had found on Tresfjord Museum’s Facebook page. In order to answer her question I went to the page and looked at the picture. After I was done I had a look at the other pictures presented there. At one of them, I jumped in my seat.

The picture show a house in the village of Tresfjord in what is now the municipality of Vestnes in Møre og Romsdal county. Many of my ancestors came from Tresfjord so I knew this particular house. The picture is supposed to have been taken about 1905.

The house was built right before the year 1900. The owner was Petter Elias Petterson Marken (b. 1860). According the 1900 census he lived there with his wife Olave Pettersdatter (b.1873) and daughter Ingeborg (b. 1898). Petter and Olave were teachers in the public school in Tresfjord. They were cantors in the church and ran a small farm on the side.

The house is built in so-called “Swiss chalet style” characterised by widely projecting roofs and facades richly decorated with wooden balconies and carved ornaments. We can see this fits well with this house. The style was popular in Germany, Austria-Hungary and Scandinavia in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s.

We must assume that it is Petter and Olave with their daughter Ingeborg who is to the left on the balcony. In both the 1900 and 1910 censuses there are female servants listed. It is reasonable to think that the woman in the white blouse might be one of them.

utsnitt-markenhusetThe reason I jumped in my chair when I saw this picture, is the family to the right. Having studied them closely and considered what I know about our family history, I am certain that this is my Great-Grandparents Karoline and Bård Eidhammer. The child on Karoline’s arm is their daughter Hilda (b.1903). The boy standing in front of them is my Grandfather Martin (b.1901). (Their son Alf was born April 1905)

Karoline was born in the town of Ålesund in 1872. Bård was born the same year in the village of Tresfjord. Sometime in the 1890’s Bård went to Ålesund to be trained as a cobbler. I am planning to write more about this family so I am just going to cut this short by saying that Karoline and Bård married in 1898 and went on to live in Ålesund. In the 1900 census they lived in a rented house”by the town park”.




Here are some studio photos of Bård and Karoline. These are taken in Ålesund about the time of their marriage







The night between January 22. and 23. 1904 the center of Ålesund was ravaged by a big fire. The home of Bård and Karoline burned.

Used by permission from Stiftinga Sunnmøre Museum
Used by permission from Stiftinga Sunnmøre Museum

Here we can see parts of the sorry remains of the town center. Bård and Karoline, along with thousands of other people, all made homeless by the fire, had to flee through the burning town. They carried their children and the few belongings they had been able to grab, and ran for safety.

On foot, by carriage or maybe by boat, they made it to Bårds family in Tresfjord. Very soon they were able to rent accomodations in the house of Petter and Olava Marken. This was very convenient as Bård could have his workshop in the basement. The main road through the village was right in front of the house. The village general store and pier was close by. It was an excellent location for a shoe-repair shop.

The 1910 census confirms that Bård and Karoline still lives at this location. The next year they bought a small farm in Vikebukt and moved there.

Finding this picture was pure luck. As there was not many pictures taken in the early 1900’s I consider this a true treasure.

I will be publishing an article telling how you can find old photos from Norway online. Why don’t you go to the front page and leave your email address under the heading “Subscribe to this Blog via Email”. This way you will get a notice when this blog is updated.

7 thoughts on “A photo treasure by coincidence.

  • September 18, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Your posts are a treasure in themselves. Thank you so much for your continuing posts.

    • September 18, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      Thank you very much. I highly appreciate you kind words. It is an inspiration to continue blogging.

  • September 19, 2016 at 1:26 am

    Very interesting story. that must have been a very frightening event, running from the fire. So glad they all survived. You certainly are!

    • September 19, 2016 at 11:24 am

      Yes, I imagine it was frightening. Unfortunately we don’t know much about events directly related to our family, but the fire in Ålesund is very well documented. I am truly glad I found this picture.

  • October 23, 2016 at 2:41 am

    This is truly amazing.

  • December 7, 2016 at 9:34 pm

    This is a wonderful find. How great is that! It is sad that the fire destroyed the home and the town but it is pretty amazing that you were able to find this photo and recognize your family.

    • December 7, 2016 at 9:36 pm

      Yes, it was really great. Actually I had glanced at theis picture before, but when I studied it more closely I realised that it was my G-Grandparents and my Grandfather.


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