Logging

logging

Erik Andreas Persson

Erik Andreas Persson, father of Eric Holger Pearson, was born May 1, 1897 in Nyby, Sweden. It is believed he left his dead wife's sister Ottalina and infant son Holger to leave for America in 1903. Erik Andreas emigrated to the USA and settled in Portland, OR where he built and maintained railroads for the timber industry. 

Sometime around 1910 Ottalina and young 9 year old Holger emigrated to America.  It is said that she arrived with lace sheets, white table cloths, china and silver. Holger was dressed in a velvet suit with a lace collar. Neither the newcomers nor their belongings fit into the new surroundings. 

Reunited in the new land, the family spent the remainder of a decade in logging camps. These are a few pictures from this period, which in no doubt was an historic time in Pacific Northwest history. In one photo Erik Andreas Persson shows off orphan Black Bear cubs, most likely their mother killed in defense. 

Erik Andreas Perrson, portrait taken at Churley's // 145.5 Third St., Portland, OR. (1903-5)

E. A. Persson pictured before his departure on the family homestead in Lit, Sweden, (1898-1900). I visited here in 1994 and stayed in the big two story farm house. The son of E.A. Perrson's brother, Nils Erik was still living. We drank Swedish beer and gin, ate   Lutfisk and chewed tobacco most days and nights.    

E. A. Persson pictured before his departure on the family homestead in Lit, Sweden, (1898-1900). I visited here in 1994 and stayed in the big two story farm house. The son of E.A. Perrson's brother, Nils Erik was still living. We drank Swedish beer and gin, ate Lutfisk and chewed tobacco most days and nights.  

Novel for the time, melancholic today. Erik Andreas poses with orphan Black Bear cubs. (1903-05)

Persson also designed 3 man houses that could load onto trains and moved to the next logging operation, (1910-12). Link provided by The Oregon Historical Society

Detail from the latter photo. 

E. A. Persson and a work partner standing on newly finished gravity fed water tanks. (1910-12)

Detail from the latter photo. 

The Beginning

This story unearths a substantial collection of Swedish American family history. Over time this blog will chronologically unravel an archive of photographs that depict a family's deep rooted bond with Pacific Northwest life. 

In 1910 Eric Holger Pearson arrived in Portland, Oregon to be re-united with his Swedish father, Eric Andreas. Eric Pearson the elder emigrated in 1903 and began working as a logging foreman who was responsible for transporting ancient timbers by way of railroad to local sawmills. 

Eric Pearson the younger, pictured here (far right) just after his arrival to the new land, lived and went to school in remote logging camps just outside of Longview, WA. The Skookum Terrorists (as they were dubbed on a note pinned to the photo) experienced a rare and wild life in the Pacific Northwest wilderness. These developmental years would later shape Eric Holger Pearson's love and need for adventure as a photographer and climber.