Rough Journey From Poland, Russia, to America

Grandparents’ endured minor ship wreck and one violent storm after another on trip to United States.


| Good Old Days


My grandpa was born in Poland Russia in 1852. He met his spouse in a village where he went for a haircut. She was taking care of children there for $9 a year. At 19, Grandpa married Grandma, 16, and they left for America.

They left Antwerp, Belgium, November 24, 1874. There were 628 Mennonites aboard their ship, the SS Vaterland. This group had an unusually rough journey. The ship was badly damaged due to violent storms. It lost three propeller blades. The first in the English Channel, the second halfway across. They kept limping along till they neared the United States, where the last one was lost. The ship's voyage took 21 days.

When they started out the weather was nice. Everything went fine until midnight, when they collided with another ship. The ship wasn't damaged seriously but needed repairs. They returned to London. After six days the ship was ready to go, but smallpox broke out among the children in eight families. They were ordered to leave harbor at once. The sick children were transferred to a hospital ship, where two lost their lives in the transfer. They sailed out five miles from the harbor and remained there till they were released.

En route the seas became so boisterous and the waves so violent that they clapped together above the ship. The machinery was damaged to the extent they could not continue. Word was sent to London, Liverpool and Antwerp. The damaged ship turned around and started limping back to Liverpool. An American liner came to their rescue. While transferring passengers from the damaged ship to the American, water rushed in to where they thought the ship would sink. The lifeboats were filled. Thirty-five passengers did not find room in the lifeboats and had to remain on the sinking ship.



They cried to God to have mercy on them and receive their souls. During their greatest distress a sailor went down into the ship to see how far they were from filling with water. The sailor came back up and said the ship would not sink. There was another wall that prevented the water from filling the entire bottom of the ship. Their ship was towed back to Queenstown.

Grandma and Grandpa arrived at Hutchinson, Kansas, at 11:00 on a cold wintry night when the temperature was 12 below zero. They wandered about the streets of a strange country-penniless, hungry and homeless-until a man came along and opened an empty store building for their whole party to crowd into.







mother earth news fair 2018 schedule

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE









Subscribe today

Capper's FarmerWant to rediscover what made grandma’s house the fun place we all remember? Capper’s Farmer — the newly restored publication from the rural know-how experts at Grit.com — updates the tried-and-true methods your grandparents used for cooking, crafting, gardening and so much more. Subscribe today and discover the joys of homemade living and homesteading insight — with a dash of modern living — that makes up the new Capper’s Farmer.

Save Even More Money with our automatic renewal savings plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our automatic renewal savings plan. You save an additional $6 and get 4 issues of Capper's Farmer for only $16.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and I'll pay just $22.95 for a one year subscription!




Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265