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Nursery or north-westerly bedchamber

Most of the Pellas children were born in this bedchamber, including Pamela and Sven Eriksson’s firstborn, who was named Sven-Cecilie after the Herzogin Cecilie. The last child born in this chamber was Linus and Mery Lindvall’s son, Leif Lindvall. ...

Mery was Sven’s sister and lived only a few hundred metres away from Pellas. The buggy was used to push baby Leif around. Many of the items in the nursery were saved from the fire, including a wardrobe, a mirrored chest of drawers, and a wooden crocodile, which was a souvenir from a voyage to Africa. The dowry chest belonged to Erika Kristina and was donated to Pellas after the fire. Meanwhile, the horse belonged to Erika’s great-grandchild.

Though it was zero hour Pellas was quite awake. […] Ebba brought me that ceremonial drink, prinked out on a tray. The starched, embroided cloth, the porcelain cup, the glimmering silver spoon, the nucleus of sugar cubes, the tiny jug of cream, the variegated cluster of biscuits – though coffee was the last thing I wanted, for her sake, and the sake of the household  gods, I drank it. […] the lamps were extinguished, and Sven lay down on the sofa in the “stuga”. It was the sofa we had made on that last voyage. […] “Österkammaren” where I lay, was a small room, with two double windows, and now I through these the moonbeams flooded in tangled reflections, filling every corner and banishing every shadow.  

Pamela Eriksson in her book The Duchess. The Life and Death of the Herzogin Cecilie.

Herzogin Cecilie and Pellas

Sven Eriksson, born at Pellas in 1903, became known as the young captain of Herzogin Cecilie. It was the flagship of Ålandian major shipowner Gustaf Erikson’s grand sailing fleet. Sven started his seaman career on the barque Prompt. After that, he sailed as a mate on Killoran, Baltic, and Jenolin before becoming the youngest captain of Gustaf Erikson’s sailing ship in 1929.

Sven was Herzogin Cecilie’s captain when the vessel ran aground on the coast of Devon, England in 1936. Sven’s wife Pamela Eriksson was on board on the vessel’s last journey. The couple had met on the boat on an earlier voyage, when Pamela was aboard as a passenger. After the shipwreck of Herzogin Cecilie, Sven and Pamela Eriksson came home to Pellas before moving to South Africa with their two children after the Second World War.

To Sven and the family, the shipwreck was a sad event that cast a shadow on their lives. At that time, a shipwreck was big news, and the spot attracted legions of people who wanted to see the vessel and watch the rescue work that lasted for months. After Herzogin Cecilie, Sven did not act as a captain again but became a farmer, first at Pellas and later on his own farm in South Africa. He died in South Africa in 1954 and is buried in the family grave in the Lemland cemetery. His wife, Pamela, lived the last years of her life in Åland and died in 1984. The excerpt from Lundberg’s book below describes how Sven introduced his wife, whom Lemland’s farmers considered exotic and different.

Ni ska tro att det blir uppståndelse när Stella kommer till Granboda. Som skökan i Babylon i hatt och eldröd sidenklänning står hon i Lemlands kyrka medan prästen läser upp lysningen för henne och Josef. Och Josef njuter, han har slagit hela bygden med häpnad och fått alla halsar att vändas. […]  ”Ja, nog er det en vacker körka, fan ta mig”, konverserar hon […] Och mera i samma stil som ger oss anledning att betvivla att hon är döpt och konfirmerad. Hon använder vad hon har lärt sig av jungmän och matroser, för med Josef och styrmännen talade hon engelska. […] Nu står hon i Simons sal och säger: ”Her har jag bodd i ett tidigare liv. Ner jag kom in tenkte jag att no er jag hemma.

Ulla-Lena Lundberg in her book Stora världen. 


Erika and Carl Gustaf Lundberg

Writer Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s books Leo and Stora världen are based on and inspired by life at Pellas and in Granboda. Ulla-Lena Lundberg’s paternal great-grandmother, Erika Lundberg (“Kristina” in the novels), was born at Pellas in 1851. The tie between the Eriksson and Lundberg families was created when Erika from Pellas married Carl Gustaf Lundberg (born in 1839) from the Hansas farm in the same village. Carl Gustaf was a shipmaster and farmer – a great match for young Erika. Carl Gustaf owned shares of many vessels and was the captain of schooner Leo for a couple of years.

It is said that the marriage was happy. However, they both died at young ages, leaving behind five sons. The two youngest were only one year old when their mother died in 1885 and five years old when their father died in 1889. Their mother’s father, Erik Petter from Pellas, became their guardian. The second-oldest son, Erik, became a farmer at Hansas. He was only fourteen years old when he got possession of the farm after his father, Carl Gustaf, died. Erik was of the same age as his mother’s father, Erik Petter, had been when he got possession of Pellas.

Erika and Carl Gustaf’s oldest son, Carl, became a priest, Erik a farmer, the middle child Algot a teacher, and the two youngest, Gustaf and August, who were twins, became sea captains. These orphan boys succeeded in life, and four of them lived long lives. Sea captain August died at the age of 40 in Cádiz after becoming ill on one of his trips there. In the following excerpt from Leo, “Kristina” talks about wanting to marry “Carl Gustaf”.

Får man fråga vem lilla hjärtat går och tänker på? […] “Eskils Carl Gustaf!” Erik Petter har på tungan att ropa: “Det måste jag förbjuda!” för så ropar fäder när deras döttrar hittar någon som de vill ha. All erfarenhet säger att unga flickor inte kan välja med förstånd. Nu får han bita ihop käften om orden i sista ögonblicket. Eskils Carl Gustaf är sjökapten och arvtagare till en gård som är större än Simons.

Ulla-Lena Lundberg in her book Leo.

People of Pellas

The Eriksson family has roots far back in the history of Pellas. The family’s ancestor Erik Petter Eriksson built the house that is now a museum. Many generations have lived on the farm before and after Erik Petter. The family’s last farm owner, Peder Eriksson (Erik Petter’s grandchild) donated his childhood home, which made it possible to turn it into a farm and family museum. Erik Petter’s offspring have kept running the museum, so the Eriksson family saga continues on the farm.

The Shipmaster’s Homestead Pellas is taken care by the members of the large Eriksson family and a group of volunteers interested in the history of Pellas. Some of the people who participated in the museum’s foundation are still active in the association. Freya Darby, Erik Petter Eriksson’s great-grandchild, has been the farm hostess since the beginning. The association’s chair is Folke Engblom, Erik Petter’s great-great-grandchild. Leif Lindvall has also been involved since the beginning, taking care of various tasks on the farm. Leif is Erik Petter’s great-grandchild. Rita Nordberg, Erik Petter’s great-grandchild, has also been helping on the farm.

Journalist, writer, and Granboda summer resident Kiki Alberius-Forsman has written profiles of four members of the Eriksson family who recounted bygone days at the Pellas farm, where the family spent many lively years. The profiles are fully available to read in the museum guide. Freya, Folke, Leif, and Rita can be seen in the short films about life at Pellas.