Etikettarkiv: Krusenhof

I can see Erik and Augusta in the rowboat

“Rowed over to Loddby and Augusta came back with me to Krusenhof. In the evening, Tante and August came over.” 31 May, 1848

Erik Hjort was 16 years old when he wrote those lines in his diary. Augusta lived at Loddby and Erik and his siblings, Aurore, Nanna, and Axel lived across a small bay at Krusenhof.

I can see Erik and Augusta in the rowboat in the middle of the bay. Erik is by the oars; Augusta is sitting on the stern thwart. The day is calm and you can hear their voices and laughter even though they are still far away. What did they talk about?

Erik’s diaries give glimpses of the daily life at Krusenhof – going to town (Norrköping), to church (Kvillinge Parish), out riding, rowing, walking, driving the carriage, and visiting friends.

Would he and Augusta have written diary entries on the same days and mentioned each other?

Two weeks ago I got copies of 7 pages from his diaries during 1848-1849. Unfortunately, Augusta summarized 1848 in one sentence:

 “I spent the winter and summer of 1848 at home in deepest solitude, sometimes interrupted by a visit from and to Krusenhof.”

In January 1849, Augusta went to Stockholm with her relative, Hanna Schubert, and didn’t return until July. They spent the whole winter and spring enjoying the social life in Stockholm – summarized in just one short paragraph. I am sure she wrote lots of letters to friends instead. The rest of the year also just got a short paragraph – she was mostly living at Loddby, with the exception of a few weeks visiting the Schubert family at Fullerstad and a few days visiting Hjorts at Krusenhof.

But what did Erik write? He visited Augusta almost every other day, and Augusta also visited Krusenhof and spent a lot of time with Erik’s older sister Nanna. In the diary, he sometimes uses nicknames for Augusta: Gufsa and Guss.  Here is a sample of his writings from July 1848:

7th.  Gufsa came over with Nanna.  In the evening, we went to a wedding in Björnwiken and I accompanied Augusta home to Loddby and then got home at 2 in the morning.

11th.  Dressed in Nanna’s clothes, rode to Loddby where Augusta was home alone until the evening when the others came home.

27th.  In the morning, was in town for an errand. In the afternoon, with Nanna to Loddby for Guss’ birthday.

Now, did any other of their friends or family members write diaries as well? And if so, how would one find them?

Krusenhof’s poplars still nod a friendly welcome

Two weeks ago, Kerstin and I visited the city museum in Norrköping. One special exhibition just happened to feature historical buildings threatened to be demolished. And when we walked in, we happened upon a seminar about conserving Sweden’s cultural heritage. Both the exhibition and the talk included Krusenhof, the estate where Augusta’s best friends and neighbors had lived.

Sadly, the Krusenhof mansion, orangery, pavilion, and several other buildings on the property are listed as threatened (Swedish: hotad) to be demolished. However, these buildings only date from the turn of the century and had already replaced the buildings that were present during Augusta’s time. So, what could we still see that was there during Augusta’s time? Trees? Would there still be an orchard?

The next morning, we set off to visit Krusenhof. We tried to envision arriving in a carriage under the tall poplars that Augusta had described as nodding a welcome to the visitor. And yes, there were tall poplars shading a carpet of blue Scilla.

We took a walk down some overgrown terraces to what would have been a lawn. And there stood a single, very old tree. From the dry leaves on the ground, we guessed that it was a linden tree.

A solitary Linden tree on the lawn of Krusenhof
A solitary linden tree on the lawn of Krusenhof

On the other side of the lawn was a beautiful little forest with some blue and purple anemones and violets. There was also an ancient, giant oak tree.

And then we came upon the forgotten orchard. The trees were untrimmed and covered with lichens, but the branches had plenty of little leaf buds. We took a little branch with a bud and 2 weeks later it was blooming – a memory of Krusenhof!


The country side is so wonderful at this time of the year

”The country side is so wonderful at this time of the year.”

Augusta described her country surroundings in the spring – the blue sky, the song of the larch, the warmth of the sun – and Kerstin and I decided that after a winter of research, we should do an outing to Augusta’s home.

Loddby. Ink drawing by Sara Azzam.
Loddby as it might have looked in 1847. Ink drawing by Sara Azzam.

Augusta lived at Loddby, an estate located just outside Norrköping. Her brother-in-law, Gustaf Lejdenfrost, was a textile-mill industrialist who had bought the estate in 1832. Our first stop will be Loddby and its surroundings.

Lejdenfrost’s textile manufacturing was in Norrköping, so the next stop will be the old industrial sites and the city museum.

And then there is Krusenhof where Augusta’s best friends lived. We will visit and see what is left of what might have been there in the 1840’s. The house has been rebuilt and maybe only some very old oak trees might still be there. But, we will at least get the feeling of a country walk in spring time.

Further away, close to Söderköping, is where Augusta’s cousins, the Schubert family, lived and where Augusta met her future husband. It will be exciting to see the estate and meet the present owners.


We will also visit Åtvidaberg and find out more about Augusta’s best friends, the family Hjort. And that is one of the most rewarding aspects of Augusta’s Journey so far – new Facebook friends, old friends, and family members who share our excitement about the journey! We are really looking forward to exchanging information about Augusta and her friends with others who have a similar interests and have other archives.

Stay tuned to our travel log next week.

0h! Everything is difficult, everything changes.

Louis Apol
Passing Through a Forest in Winter  Oil Painting by Louis Apol

Loddby, 2 September 1850

This week we have been at Krusenhof and said goodbye to Eric. Our trips to this, my second childhood home, have begun again ever since my friends at Krusenhof [the family Hjort] have once more gathered in their home. How the road is dear to me and how well I know every single rock and every bush; they are all my acquaintances and each could tell me of events from the golden days. The large poplars by the gate still nod a friendly welcome just as they did 14 years ago when they, for the first time, greeted my 9-year-old self.

Even now, I receive the same friendly welcome at my entrance into the great hall with the old clock in the back and I am still met with the same heartfelt welcome. Nothing has changed, except that the former children have now grown up; that one or another frosty night has touched the roses that – 14 years ago – were mere buds on the path of life – some of them have withered and fallen off; and that the shimmer of light that surrounded those present and those forthcoming, for each year has faded and disappeared. But as a whole, all is still familiar. Every year, the large cherry tree still offers us its abundance of cherries. The small benches on the hill still offer us shade, cool, and rest. The small sofa in study, where we in the dim light spent so many an autumn evening in talk and laughter, still invites more of the same pleasures. My God! How long may it remain so!

Loddby, 9 September 1850

Yesterday was a melancholic day, one of those gray, cold, autumn days that so greatly affects one’s spirits. A day when one would like to have wings to fly far, far away, not knowing where to, but to escape the memory of all the bitter and sad moments in one’s life that during such moments feels overwhelming and which, one at a time, march past the eye of the soul.

One of those days when one thinks that the curtain concealing the future is more impenetrable than usual, when it hangs so dark, so heavy, and so cold, in front of events that one envisions as even gloomier and darker, and when one feels cheated of one’s illusions, cheated of the dream of one’s life. And all these gloomy reflections, they arose yesterday from the notification that the scene of my childhood games, the dear old Krusenhof, was sold.

And the friends?

They bid farewell to the old Qvillinge parish, where we together have had so many experiences – both happy and sad moments. Forever they bid farewell to the places that have seen us grow up. No more Sundays will I travel the old, familiar road; never will I expectantly gaze up at Smältgrind and there notice the old, familiar carriage that for 14 years, every other Sunday, turned by Aspdungen and, with its dear content, stopped at Loddby. There is no one left to entrust one’s sorrows and joy to, no one to communicate with. Here will be so empty, so lonely that I don’t even want to think about it, because then I might be ungrateful enough to complain about Providence which, nevertheless, certainly prevails for the sake of good.

Loddby, 20 December 1850

The family Hjort has left. Krusenhof stands empty, and I felt empty, very empty, when I bade the dear friends my farewell. It is as if death has robbed me of a loved one, and the very memory of the 15 happy years we have lived here together is painful, as it only serves to increase my bitter regret. It is so strange to think that yonder, in my second home where I dreamed so many happy childhood dreams, now other indifferent and unknown people will live and think, treading the ”happy fields, where I walked so many times,” and suffer and rejoice in the same places that so often saw our tears and laughter. It is so empty and strange to not be able to travel there and hear some kind words from dear, familiar lips.

Oh! Everything is difficult, everything changes on the earth where we live. Both joy and sorrow accompany us through life and are alternately our guests but, perhaps, the latter is the most faithful, the least erratic, the one we know best, and the one that most often visit us; that is likely how it has to be.

Stockholm, March 12, 1851

Contemporary watercolor of Stockholm by Fritz von Dardel

Since Saturday evening I am here in Stockholm, our Swedish Paris, the dance-hungry’s Eldorado. Our journey here was miserable; unfavorable road conditions for the sleigh and grey, chilly weather. We ate bad food and slept miserably in cold, unpleasant lodgings, chatted with drunk coachmen, drank mulled wine, and finally arrived frozen and exhausted to our nice and beautiful Stockholm where we took in at Hotel Norrköping on Stora Nygatan. The day after our arrival, we waded through deep dirt to get to our friends on Kungsholmen where we became heartily received, had a pleasant evening, and dreamed us back to winter evenings at Krusenhof.

The view of Riddarholmen and the Old Town as seen from Kungsholmen. Augusta would have walked across the bridge; however, it was still March, so the lakes would have been frozen and the trees would have been bare.

Tante and Nanna have a small, sunny, and agreeable dwelling in the midst of a garden that extends right down to the lakeshore. In the summer, this little place might be a real paradise with flowers and light, fresh air and the view of Lake Mälaren’s blue surface, lush islands, and beaches to soothe the eyes, and glorious views of Riddarholmen and Södermalm and all the steamers that from different directions are rushing to their common goal at Riddarholmen’s quay.

Monday morning I went to visit Ribbingens and Bohemans. They were overly astonished to see me so unexpectedly in the capital city, and in the evening we saw the great opera, ”A Tale of the Queen of Navarre.” There I met Count Figge Schwerin who escorted me home and was quite himself, much disposed to let his lady alone carry on the conversation and himself look like he was sleepwalking.

Mother and I were visiting Ribbingens today where, marvelously, Baron Fredrik happened to keep company and was as decent and agreeable as he can be when he wants to. We departed early, for I had a premonition that Lieutenant Wahlfelt could get the idea to transport his insipid personality to Clara {where Ribbingens lived}, which definitely would not have been pleasant.

We have left Lejdenfrost in the care of Wallenberg and we now traverse to the island of the poppy-crowned god.


The family that Augusta visited at Kungsholmen was the family Hjort. The family had been Augusta’s closest neighbor and the children her best friends throughout childhood. In 1850, the family sold their estate, Krusenhof, and moved to Kungsholmen in Stockholm. The family members were Major Georg Leonard Hjort and his wife, Fredrika Elisabet Älf (referred to as Tante), and their children Aurora, Johanna (Nanna), Axel, and Erik.

Count Figge Schwerin is likely Fredrik Bogislaus (Fritz) von Schwerin who was born in Norrköping in 1825 (close in age to Augusta and from the same town). He was a captain in the army. Later in life, he became a banker, married, and had 2 daughters.

The family Ribbing and Boheman were good friends of the family.

Lejdenfrost was Augusta’s brother-in-law and benefactor.

The island of the poppy-crowned god is a poetic term for sleep – may be alluding to the effect of opium.