Grandpa Stromsoe had already traveled to the land of opportunity seeking better work prospects. He left Grandma and two children behind in Sweden. He sent for his family after saving enough money for the passage on the ship Titanic. When Grandma got the travel money, she made ready to leave Sweden and go to England to catch the great new "unsinkable ship." The children were excited about this trip to a faraway land across the ocean. They journeyed from the northern part of Sweden by train, then caught a boat to England. Fortunately, a missed connection kept them from sailing with the Titantic. There was nothing to do but transfer the tickets to the Lusitania and come on to Ellis Island in America. The ship took almost three weeks to cross the Atlantic in 1912. After being shuttled through the medical checks at Ellis Island, they boarded the train for Denver, Colorado. After settling in Denver, Grandma declared that since they were in America now they would only speak English. Grandma taught herself to read and write by studying the dictionary.
The two children were soon joined by another baby. Suddenly Grandma began to be terribly homesick for the old country.
My mother was their second child, who crossed the ocean three times to finally settle in America. She is no longer living, and I regret not asking more specific questions about those times.
Fort Lupton, Colorado
Back in 1955 a call went out from the editors of the then CAPPER’s Weekly asking for readers to send in articles on true pioneers. Hundreds of letters came pouring in from early settlers and their children, many now in their 80s and 90s, and from grandchildren of settlers, all with tales to tell. So many articles were received that a decision was made to create a book, and in 1956, the first My Folks title – My Folks Came in a Covered Wagon – hit the shelves. Nine other books have since been published in the My Folks series, all filled to the brim with true tales from CAPPER’s readers, and we are proud to make those stories available to our growing online community.