Ella Dorothea Brevick was one of seven children born to Ida Elisa Anker Larssen and Jorgen Christian Hansen from Breidvika, Norway near Hemnesberget. Her siblings were Christian, Andrew, Peter, Hanna, Louis and Johanna. Their surname in Norway was Hansen or Hanssen (I’ve seen it both ways.) As many immigrants did, they took the name of their home town when they came to the US, thus adopting the name Brevick in the US. Ella was born between Louis and Johanna. I am not sure when her older siblings arrived in the US but from her writings it seems that they were already in Tacoma when she arrived.
She started school as soon as she arrived. Since she saved her report cards, we know that she attended Lowell for 7th grade, Bryant and then Central for 8th grade, Tacoma High School for 9th through part of 11th, Stadium High School at night for parts of 10th, 11th and 12th and Lincoln Park High School for parts of 11th and 12th grade. She graduated from Lincoln in 1915. She was 21 years old. It was the first graduating class in the new school. (BTW: her son, Robert, graduated from Lincoln 25 years later, and grand daughter, Susan, 25 years after that.)
The following is Ella’s writing from March 20, 1911 through December 8, 1913. She writes in English, Norwegian and Pitman Shorthand. Some of the Norwegian has been translated thanks to Silje. I am still researching the Pitman Shorthand trying to find someone to translate it. I have indicated where there are entries in Norwegian and in Shorthand so I can enter the translations as I get them. So far the translations of the Norwegian are pretty mundane. Not sure why she wrote those parts in Norwegian. I was hoping for something more spicy I guess. Of course, writing in Norwegian would not be very secure since all her relatives and friends spoke it. Maybe the Pitman Shorthand entries will offer some secrets!
Diary writing – loose pages
T.H.S. March 20, 1911
As I have not many lessons to do I’ll take the privelege (sic) to write a little for my diary. Everything seemed to go wrong this morning. First Mr. Hickcox wanted us to locate a piece of land about 3 acre in a section. Just a few succeeded so he was pretty cross and showed us the whole thing and wondered why we did not get it. I studied so long on the English, that I had just a quarter of an hour to study the Phy. Geog. I knew I would get a 0. First he asked the best girl in our class to define a system—she could not. 3 of 4 got a 0 on that question. Even a boy who always gets 10. The turn came for my question and I got 0. The first 0 I have got. Every one got 0 except 3 or 4 who came out of it easy. Well I have to study my English now or else I will have the same story over again.
Tacoma, Wash, Jan 25, 1912
Double click on image to see a larger view.
My dearest Cousin Christina,
If I don’t remember wrong I wrote to you one of the first days I started of this term. Well this is next to the last, and I have prepared my last lesson for penmanship.
Do you think I have improved in free-arm writing? My marks in that subject have gone like this: 80—85—90 and last month 95.
I am going to study, German, English, Typewriting & Bookkeeping, English and Geometry, for next term. I am rather glad to think that I have an opportunity to study German, because I like the language so well.
Hanna and her beloved husband and baby are all just as happy as they can be.
Peter is working on a bookcase, a real fine one of mahogany. Place in it for music box. He is going to put a graphophone in it. If he gets time he might make a sideboard. Doesn’t look like he is going to be married. Still it might be many years. He just wants to have every thing prepared.
Well how are you anyway. Hope you have a tip top time.
I must quit soon the bell is going to strike in a minute.
Best wishes from your,
Tacoma High School, Dec 20, 1912
Oh, I am so joyous I really cannot control myself until I have written a few lines. My debate came off this morning. Norman Rostedt gave the first speech on the Negative, I the second and third. Norman also gave the rebuttal speech. Ruth Vigus, Leah Bamford and George Waterworth were the speakers on the Affirmative. The question for debate was resolved that the United States should maintain a larger navy. I have worked hard on this debate and dreaded it but I am glad I had it and when I first got up there, I was nervous but I cooled down, and Miss Alcott, the critic judge, said I gave a good speech. Well, to come to the conclusion, I was so anxious for the returns, the affirmative received two votes and negative received nine, so there was a complete victory. This month I received 89 in Stenography, 88 in English, 85 in bookkeeping. This is the last day of school before vacation, and we will have two weeks of rest. Goodbye.
Tacoma High, Jan 6, 1913
Today is our first day of school but honest I hate this day, it has really been a fright. My head has been so tired so I can hardly hold it up and I have been so dreadfully drowsy, awful hard time to keep from sleeping. If this goes on very long I would not be able to do any work at all. It is near 2:30 and I am mighty glad too so I can get out of here. I guess I will go down and do some typewriting. I ought to at least.
Snow and snow all day I hope we can go out coasting soon. Andrew I think came home today from the hospital. Louis went out to the wood last week to work in logging camps this winter.
I don’t know why I should be so dreadfully sleepy, I went to bed early last night too at 10 o’clock, so I can’t help this.
Herman came home last night, but Mrs. Brandes stayed down there because her father and mother were sick in bed.
That bell has not rung yet, oh what dreadful long hours, just a fright. I am sorry I don’t take such interest in bookkeeping as I did when I first started and of course I don’t learn as much either. The clocks are all wrong today so a person can’t tell what time it is. Well I must let go for this time.
1316 So 7St
Tacoma, Wash, Jan 16, 1913
If plans go as figured this will be the last night in this apartment of ours. Tomorrow we are going to move into our new home. It was the intention that Martha was to move too and Louis but she has changed her mind and does not want to move. They perhaps live in that little house back of Hanna for a while. Well Goodnight Knutie and all.
Tacoma, Wash, Feb 12, 1913
I am going to write a few lines for my diary, something that I will always remember and that is: Social Life is empty, nothing to it.
Work and ambition is that only thing that gives satisfaction. Saturday Martha came to town and we then went over to Valhalla on an entertainment. That was very good. But Sunday yesterday, we were over there on the Vikings Annuel (sic) Celebration but that was simply poor and I regret that I went but I know one thing it will be sometime before I ever go up there again. Marie was along but left early with whom I don’t know. I would have done that same if I have had the chance. But I am now going to tend to my work. OOlason wanted to take Hanna and me to see Ben Hur at the Tacoma Theatre but I am afraid I won’t get any tickets.
Tacoma, Wash, Feb. 17 1913
I must write just a few lines to express my thoughts, I think this world is fine, filled with opportunities to do good and that is really what a person enjoys in the long run. But oh, I wish I could be able to write to express my thoughts in pretty language at this time. We had an assembly this morning, Reverend Warren from Chicago who spoke on the subject of Social Service. He was a very able speaker, and gave us beautiful ideas of how people in better circumstances might help those in lower. How those with an education might help to cheer those with none. Also for Social Help, the workers needed more than sympathy, they needed an education, broadness of thought to be able to solve the many problems that are met in the service of doing good.
I cannot help but think of the splendid opportunity I have here in life. School education, chance to hear lecturers, good plays and also other nice, clean amusements. Then my thoughts wander to those who have none of these enjoyments, who go to poor amusements, fall into temptation which ruins their whole life. Sometimes it would take very little to help them, a word perhaps or a suggestion. Other times more, but it would be worth it. Selfishness does not bring lasting happiness. It only brings misery, a craving for more pleasures which perhaps is at a great expense to some one. It brings dissatisfaction, brings a hollow feeling and really it is just natural. How can a person expect any profit without making an effort? A farmer has to work, sow his seed, tend to it before he expects or gets any result. It would be only natural it should be the same in life, in other ways.
On Str. Sentinel, April 9, 1913, From Tacoma to Vashon
Peter took me down in his automobile this morning. It is rather cold but I like this early morning air. The water is so quiet, not hardly a ripple to be seen and the reflection of the trees in the water makes a most beautiful scenery. Now the sun shines bright and everything is so pretty.
There are not very many people aboard but I judge about a dozen or more. A party of four young people are just playing cards next to me and it is amusing to watch them. There are 3 boys and one girl going to Seattle I surmise. Two girls are sitting by themselves looking out the window and then there are a few older people.
A boy was on the boat from Tacoma attracted my attention. He was young, dark hair, pretty light complection (sic), blue eyes, tall and stately. He was Irish I judge from my knowledge of nationalities. He went off in Olalla, a little place on the mainland.
This boat has been rearranged–new seats put in the cabin which is enlarged considerably. Now we are nearing Colves and I will soon see my cousin and her children. I have several things to carry and I hope they will be down to meet me and besides it is so nice to see them again. Dear little children. I have a little thing for each of them and I know it makes them so happy when they get a little present.
Here starts the diary in Black Composition notebook:
May 2, 1913
From the Norwegian:
Tonight we had a great time. Johanna, Hanna, Marie Lorens and Silberg were up here. So great to have my sister here.
May 4th 1913. At 10:30 pm.
This day is over. I made dinner for Falk’s family and Johanna was here first. Afterwards, Peter took us to American Lake for a ride in his car, and Johanna liked driving a lot. She is a great girl, so happy and nice. Yesterday, Saturday, I received a letter from Olav. Everything was OK with him, but he didn’t like being up there. No fun at all for him. He would have much rather wanted to stay here, in the city, so much nicer.
May 11, 1913
Rainy, rainy and dis-agreeable Sunday. It has been rainy now for a whole week. Certainly hopes it get better next week. Christina my dear cousin came Wednesday evening, May 7. My, it was nice to see her back, she is the same dear girl, no change at all in her. She stayed with me all the time until last night when she went over to Hanna’s house and spent the night. Yesterday we all three went down town and was in a good many stores on “L” St and Pacific avenue looking for hats as Hanna, Christina and I all wanted hats. Christina and Hanna got their hats both at the same store but I got mine at another. We all were well pleased with each others hat and pleased with our own. All hats are rather small and mine has a little rim which is turned up all around with nice blue ribbons on and a bunch of “forget me nots” with a few buds on, on one side. Mrs. Brandes is now making my new tailored suit which will look real pretty when finished.
I went to Sunday school today and had a very enjoyable lesson. Mrs. Reddish is such a splendid lady, one who reads the bible and interprets it in such a way that it is very beneficial to us in our every day life. Today the lesson was about Joseph interpreting the dreams for Pharao. It said that he washed, shaved, dressed himself before appearing before the king. She said that we should always try to be neat and clean in our appearance at all times, no matter what we did and where we were. Miram Jellar and I were the only ones present and we were both glad we were. I regret the day when I won’t have the opportunity of listening to her anymore. I saw her over to the Sixth Avenue car line.
Well I must quit now dinner is almost ready now and I must call the boys. Johanna is getting along very nicely and likes it here first rate. I am going over there this afternoon. Goodbye.
Tacoma May 13, 1913
Today it is a lovely May day with Sunshine and warmth. I started home at 3 o’clock today as I wanted to get home early. I found one letter for me from Ol. He was just fine and dandy, coming down for 17 May Celebration if he can get off.
Tacoma Wash. May 16,’13
If I never wrote anything before I certainly will now. It’s a lesson it is about a lesson that I want to write, which perhaps and I am sure will do me more good than if everything had gone just right in the first place. It is a far and big step toward the ladder of success; it is a resolution that counts. I will not hesitate to tell the whole story starting with the very beginning.
In some branches of study, such as shorthand and bookkeeping we student have been inclined to compare work, one getting help from another. The result, undoubtedly, and I know it from myself has been poorer work. Especially in shorthand, sort of depending on getting a word and a little help from one or another individual. I have done very poor work this quarter and I was in hopes I would do splendidly in a test and then get a good mark at the end of the month. But—there I was disappointed. Yesterday, Thursday, Miss Finch told us to come and take our test and we did. When she said 11a I thought she said 11b and I thought now I just got to get this and I am going to. I got the outlines down, although she went very fast and I had it fresh on my mind. Then I was surprised to hear that it wan not our test at all, and then she dictated to Mamie and me. My hand trembled and I could get only scattered notes, so I did not try to get that out. The first one I got stuck in the middle with a few words and could get none. Oh, how bad I felt. Well, I thought, now I will make it up today and get it and a second trial proved worse than the other. I got every word down but when I came in to typewrite it on the machine, the notes did not mean a thing to me. I could not make them out, what so ever and I failed again. —- The next period in English, Miss Barrett read a short story to us and I sat there, quiet but my mind far away from her reading. It wandered from one thing to another and it stopped and formed a resolution—daily practice on letters and other material at home and entirely independent work entirely and I mean it. A new month begins for us Monday and it is going to be in that respect. No comparing of notes with Carmen or anyone else. Whenever I do it I never hope to, I shall mark it down in this book.
I went down to get my books from there after school and I stopped. Miss Finch, oh, the darling, I really love her, she said kind of sadly,” well Ella what am I going to do with you, failing in two tests?” I said, only thing is to flunk me, that’s all you can do. I certainly have made a poor showing. I would not pass anybody on mercy.” What would you do if you felt you did injustice to yourself then what would you do? “I don’t know” I said. And I did not. I know she likes me very much and she felt very bad over it.
May 18, 1913
From the Norwegian:
Yesterday we went to a May 17th party [Constitution Day in Norway] in Armory Hall. Gov. Lister, Mayor Seymour and Hon. Archtander gave speeches. Norwegian girls in national costumes had a show. And there were the unveiling of the Ibsen statue which will be placed down in Wright’s Park. Johanna, Hanna and Christina; Falk, Arvid, Peter and Louis were all there. O. Olav came to town with his young niece and both of them stayed the night with us. I went to the park with them today. Now they are visiting Hanna.
Here is text of an article from the Tacoma Times Newspaper I found on the internet, dated May 16, 1913 announcing the event that Ella attended on May 17th:
Unveiling Ceremony Saturday
The unveiling of the statue of Henrik Ibsen at the armory Saturday evening promises to mark an important epoch among local Norwegians.
And extensive program has been prepared to present some of the most prominent musical and oratorical talent of the nationality and the hall will probably be crowded.
Governor Lister, Mayor Seymour, J. M. Arntson and Hon. J. W. Arctander and J. A. Sorley will be the speakers. The Normandese Singing society, Johnson’s band and other musical features will enliven the program and one of the interesting features will be a drill in national costume by 28 girls.
Marie Langlow, Anna Langlow, Bessie Storey, Pauline Storey, Annie Christoffersen, Minnie Morton and Esther Peterson will unveil the statue of Ibsen following the address of J. A. Sorley.
For a more recent article on the Henrik Ibsen monument go to http://www.tacomaweekly.com/citylife/view/know_your_public_art_wright_parks_ibsen_monument/
Saturday, May 24, 1913
Last night Christina and I were down in THS and heard the Orpheus Club sing. One violinist played a Norwegian for encore he played Medes bjelder og lakhende bu. It was very pretty. One lady sang and then the whole body of men gave several beautiful pieces. It certainly is fine to hear good music and singing once in a while.
Today we finished our housework and we two girls went over to Hannah’s for a visit. Had a splendid time over there. Falk came home and we all sat out on the porch. Hanna is sewing for herself and Arvid, getting ready for the trip up to Dakota. Dandy for her to get out and so nice for them both Christina and her to travel together. I wish I could go along but no chance. I really hope to go up there in three years though. Johanna will then stay home and take care of Falk cooking and making it nice for him.
There lives a family of Germans in the little house in the rear. The boy came over 2½ years ago and then for about a year ago he sent for his mother and sister. They are very nice people. I talked a little German to the mother but I could not understand her reply so her son translated it and said, “A little bit is better than nothing.” In answer to her question if I could speak German I said a little bit and the above is what se said, so it shows I don’t understand much of the foreign tongue. The boy said I ought to come and see them and he would teach me. Shorthand.
Tomorrow we are going out to Scarbo’s, Trudy and Gudrun are both going.
Godnot. I am so tired.
May 25, 1913
Well, we had a very good time out there.
Wed. May 28
Saturday, May 31, 1913
Hanna became suddenly ill day before yesterday and is in bed. I don’t think it is very serious. Johanna and I were down to the Stadium yesterday, Memorial Day. There was a flag drill by school children. Drilling by soldiers, music, etc. Then Louis took us both to the Empress and we went home.
This morning when I woke up I was surprised to find Andrew here. Tonight we are going to have a party here. We’ll be quite a crowd, are to have a musician and have a few hop about down in Mrs. Brandes’s kitchen, which we will make quite roomy by taking away some furnitures. Well, I must get to work and get the house straightened up. But oh, I don’t feel well at all, so heavy and dizzy so I need a good diet and a great deal of outdoor life this summer.
June 1, 1913
Last night we had the party.
June 1, 1913
Today Sunday. Last night we had a party of some 23 in honor of Christina. Some of the names I might write down though all would be too many. Mr. Silberg, Brasherud, Krogsti Aardal, Magnuson, Strand, Nelson, Johnston, A. Brevick, P. & L. Miss H. Thiting, Scarbo, Elsett, Lawrence, Larson, Mr. & Mrs. Brandes, and few others. We danced down on Mrs. Big kitchen which was fixed up with flowers and greenery, floor waxed, good musicians and we all enjoyed it immensely. Johanna had a fine time as well.
Today I went home in the machine with Peter to Gudrun Scarbo’s home later over to Hanna, saw Hilda down on the wharf and the last and saddest of all was to see the dear Christina go. She has been so much comfort and pleasure and we enjoyed her company immensely.
Down to the depot for awhile, we had the pleasure of seeing Silberg, Basherud and Crogsti, to see her off and now I am home again. Goodnight.
Friday, June 6, 1913
Oh, I am tired and utterly disgusted, but of course, I still must keep up courage, because next week will decide my fate for a whole term. Flunk in Shorthand or not. I am not very good in it, I frankly say that I have done my best, studied hard, all that I was able to at least and I am now in a very nervous, mentally tired condition. Never before have I felt such a strain of school life, the English periods have been dry and very uninteresting and likewise with geometry, which I happily hope to complete this term. Bookkeeping has not been hard, but I got behind during my absence and at other times and I have had to work until 4 o’clock or more several evenings, and then coming home, doing the housework, study some, get up 6 o’clock in morning and study, my strength is almost gone and the vacation is looked forward to as a great relief. Mercy, I don’t think I will like steady indoor work all my life. Well, I must get to work so things will be straightened up by night.
June 10, 1913
Four years ago on this day, I arrived in Tacoma and one and a half week from now will close my four years of school and m prospects are good. I won’t fail in anything now, I dare say, this term, although my marks won’t be high but I must take them as they come.
Sunday night I went to the Princess to see Rip Van Winckle with Mr. S. Dnarts (Strand spelled backward.)
June 13, 1913
Friday morning, of I am so disturbed, I must write about it. Wednesday I was over to Hanna and I asked her if she wanted me along as a nurse girl to Dakota and she said she did not know if Falk could get me a pass. But I know he can if he only would ask. Johanna is going to speak well for me anyway and try to influence them. I would love to go and tonight I am going over there to find out my fate. Shorthand.
Sunday June 15, 1913
I am all alone today Peter and Louis went to Gig Harbor and Mrs. and Herman are out to Lunzer’s. Mr. S. phoned up and said he would be up here soon but he is rather late and I am getting anxious waiting for him.
I was over to Hanna Friday night and stayed there all night. Falk said it was impossible for him to get me a ticket and I am sorry but still if he can’t he can’t and that’s all there is to it. Johanna and I will have a good time here together.
June 16, 1913
Oh what a splendid time I had yesterday. S came just after I had started to write. As it rained a little bit we played checkers, solitary, read Norwegian and English and he is a second tenor, so I got him to sing a few pieces for me. Later we went down on K St. and took in a picture show, did some shopping and walking home, who else did we see but Johanna. Glad to meet her and she went home with us and we three had a nice lunch, strawberries, cakes, bread etc. After the supper she had to go home and S and I continued down town and went to the Princess. The show was splendid and the company good so I enjoyed it immensely.
June 17, 1913
From the Norwegian:
Tonight I went to Hanna and Falk. Arvid came running to greet me, so happy and satisfied. Everything is OK. Johanna and I went to a show tonight. It was a great show. Today I got a letter from O and Christian. Now I have to go to bed. Goodnight.
June 20, 1913
Six o’clock in the morning. Today is the last day of school. I am very anxious to know whether I passed in everything or not.
Yes, I did pass in everything. My average for this year is 83½%. Not very high, indeed, but as I have worked hard this winter and school life has been very taxing on me, I am satisfied that I did no worse.
After school was out, I went over to Hanna, they were very busy as both she and Johanna are going and are to take the baby along. Oh, my dream of going up to Dakota did not come true. I am very sorry but what’s the use. They are to leave at nine o’clock Sunday morning. Mr. Strand was up here Wednesday ad asked if I wanted to go with him on an excursion to the Nisqually Falls and I accepted, but of course if it rains, they will not go at all. It might be nice but it looks very bad to day though, rainy and rainy. But anyway, he is coming up tomorrow morning to see about it. So perhaps I shall have a good time too after all my disappointments. God teach me patience to bear disappointments and sorrow.
June 23, 1913
No more sisters in Tacoma. They are now on their way to North Dakota, leaving yesterday morning on the nine ’clock train. Peter and Louis took them down on the depot in the auto. Well I am sure they will have a good time.
Now to come to my own story. Yesterday morning as soon as I awoke, I looked out and to my disappointment I saw it rain and rain, just pouring down. Fine day for an excursion, all right. But at a quarter to eight, Mr. Strand came and we started off on our trip. There was quite a number of people, filling five big cars. The trip up there was beautiful, going thru canyons, woods and plains. It felt fine to sit on the train to feel it move away with good speed, nicest ride I ever had since I came to Tacoma. We went all around the grand works, saw how they produced electricity and it certainly is wonderful how many great things natures is composed of.
We had no lunch along but happily we got acquainted with a family who had all kinds of eats and we had a good meal. Dancing up there though was not very agreeable. Our shoes were sopping wet and the floor was very rough so we had quite a time of it. I saw a few Swedish boys up there that I knew but I did not see a single girl. Oh yes, I did. I saw a girl who just graduated from the High School that I knew. Mr. S is a very nice and polite young man, good manners and dresses well and is no tight wad, so it is rather a pleasure of going out with him. When we came to town we had dinner and then went up on McKinley Hill to see a good picture show and it was very nice too. The Last Son, a drama played, rather sad, but Strand likes drama very much and I enjoyed it too.
June 28, 1913
Last night Mr. Silberg and Brasherud came up for a visit, but as I was going out with S, they went in a few minutes. Silbers is going to So. Dak. To see his new farm. Tomorrow morning Peter & Louis and I are going to Seattle with Nordlandslaget. I am sure we will have the dandiest time. The sun is shining brightly now so even the weather is in our favor.
June 30, 1913
Yesterday, Sunday, Peter Louis & I were over to Seattle on Nordlandings picnic. A great many people were assembled and we were out rowing racing. Two boys played and we had a pretty good time. But I don’t know I guess I would have been just as happy if I had stayed in town. S. did not go and I missed him very much and poor chap he missed me too. He phoned up two times during the day and as soon as I came home, I left on the 5 o’clock boat with the two musicians. Well I rang him up as soon as I came home and I didn’t really expect to hear that he was home. So he came down and went to the Princess. The show was rather comical but we enjoyed it very much.
July 2, 1913
Andrew came last night and we are all preparing for the great 4 of July celebration.
July 4, 1913
Pretty nice weather today expect a great time.
July 6, 1913 8:30 a.m.
Today is the last day of the carnival and the time for the big races. Peter, Andrew, Louis, Strand and I are going out there to see them at two o’clock.
Well, I think I must tell about all the fun I have had all the previous days. July 3 I sewed all day on my 4 July dress and got it ready. It is soft shade of old rose. A sort of silk material. The 4th I was awakened early by the shooting of fire crackers and Looked out and saw it was. Foster Hammond who was celebrating the 4th as well as his birthday. At eleven o’clock, Strand and I went down to see the parade and we had a good place on 9th St. just above Pacific Ave. The floats were very pretty and what a pleasure to see the Norwegians represented for the first time. The float was to represent the made up South Pole with Amundsen and a couple others on it. Skis and sledges dogs etc were lying about on the ice. Afterward S and I went up to Aaberg Studio and he expected some pictures to be ready that he took last Sunday. So when we were just about ready to leave, he said that we better take one and so we did. First picture I ever took with any boy and he said it was the first one he ever took with any girl. So afterwards we went up to McKinley Hill to visit his sister, a young married lady and I met them all. We had the best chicken dinner with all kinds of things—Strawberry short cake with good cream on etc. In the Stadium at night it must have been at least 60,000 people. Every seat was taken and people were sitting on the steep grass plane. S & I came late so we had to do it digging holes for our heels and hanging on. Cowboys, Indians, horses, cattle and others made it lively down there. Afterwards enormous firework was displayed. Best of all tho was the eruption of Mt. Tacoma. It certainly was good. Saturday morning O came to visit bringing his niece along. But at night we all had a fine time. It was the carnival night of merriment and revelry and Peter, Andrew, Strand & I were down in the auto. The streets were so jammed with automobiles and people that we could hardly move, everybody making noise and throwing paper roles at each other. All was just fun and life, laughing and talking. Sunday to our disappointment it rained, but we went out to the race track in hope that here would be a race, but we as well as thousands of other eager spectators had to go home without seeing the races. On account of the weather it was postponed until Monday at which time we saw it. Cooper in the Stutz car won. He had already won two first and one second prize so this was his third 1st prize. Certainly a lucky young man. Teddy Fitzlaff winner of last year broke his machine and was out of it in the beginning.
Well now the excitement is all over for this year. Andrew left right after the races and everything is back to its old place again.
Wed., July 9, 1913
Last night Marie and Nelson came up here and they left right away as they were going to a party.
July 14, 1913
From the Norwegian:
Peter and Louis were out in Gig Harbor yesterday and Saturday and prepared the house before Mrs. Brandes, Herman and I go out there to stay a couple of weeks. I am looking forward to it. It is so much fun to get out on the country side, out in the open for a change.
K.S. came by yesterday afternoon and visited me. We went for a walk afterwards. Louis came from Gig Harbor and the three of us had supper together. K. and I went for a walk all the way to the end of the Sixth Avenue line and back. The moon was shining so bright, the air was warm and it was a great walk. When I walked into the house, Peter and Martha were here. She came to town to go to her dentist, and she’s left already.
The pictures turned out fine. I never took such a good picture before. Sort of flatters me I presume.
We are going to leave for Gig Harbor on the 5:15 o’clock boat tonight. I am busy so can’t write much. Strand was up here last night and we went out for a walk. He is coming out to GH one Sunday. Good bye Tacoma.
July 28, 1913
In Tacoma again after a very restful and peaceful vacation. Some days we were rowing others berry picking, embroidering, reading and so forth. Yesterday Peter, Louis and Knute came out. We had a dandy chicken dinner prepared for them and everybody enjoyed it. After a bit we went out fishing down by the creek — of course same old fish story, no fish. Afterwards we took the boat for Tacoma, went off in Pt. Defiance, looked around there a while and walked home. Waking up this morning heard the news that Hanna and Johanna and baby are back again, so this evening I went over there. They are all fine and dandy, have a great deal to tell about all so I must go over there again. Johanna is coming up here tomorrow afternoon.
July 30, 1913
I am going out to Vashon tomorrow with Johanna and Marie. L to visit Lokke.
Hanna and Johanna are feeling fine after their visit back East. They have had a splendid time and were extremely glad they went. All the folks back there were in the best of health and humor. Dances up there and buggy, automobile and horseback rides almost daily. So now they will have to get used to streetcar rides occasioned by an automobile once in a while. Arvid too is well and has grown some.
Aug. 2, 1913
Johanna and I are back again and we brought Engvarda along with us. She is to stay one week here. Marie went back to Tacoma the same night but J & I stayed Thursday. I was over in Seattle with Mrs. Lokke and Abe. Now I am getting to be sort of acquainted over there so I think another time over there would enable me to find my way. We went to some of the big stores and she bought clothes for the children.
The weather is lovely and we had a very enjoyable time out there. Coming home Peter took Engvarda & Johanna and Louis out for a ride. I waited for S to bring a chicken for next Sunday’s picnic.
Aug 4, 1913
Well we had a splendid time out to Longbranch. A beautiful place, surely. An hour and a half boat ride toward Olympia passing McNeil island. Johanna was along. Godnot.
Certainly had a fine time. They played for us on the organ and we all sang Methodist hymns. Arthur is getting to be quite a big boy now.
Oh how lonesome I feel tonight, awfully lonesome for you my dearest friend.
Aug. 23, 1913
Thursday S and I were out to Spanaway Park on the Grocers picnic day. We had a delightful ride on the lake rowed about. The scenery is grand. A little island in the middle, narrow harbors leading into bigger and wider places, narrow outlets, and woods all about, make it a very picturesque lake.
Last night Peter took Hanna, Johanna and I up to McKinley Hill to a church social. They sang, played, spoke and entertained in a pleasant way. Afterwards they served ice cream, apple pie and cake. Marie was up there and Mrs. Martin. Peter has got a nice big seat in the back of his auto, so it is much better – takes off some of the hard bumps.
Tomorrow it is Hanna’s birthday and we are all invited there for dinner.
Well I must get to work now. I got a big ironing to do and I have been writing quite a bit today.
Just one more week and school starts again. I sort of hate to think about it, but it’s the best way after all. I have not studied at all this summer when really I ought to have done it. But I have had such a good time as never I expect to get and it is worth while for that because if a person does not get out when young, can not expect it afterwards. I hope to be working next summer. This won’t do any longer — too much of a good time.
August 24, 1913
Today it is Hanna’s birthday, filling 26 years. She has invited us over there for dinner and spend the evening. This morning Peter took us out to So. Tacoma to the Oakwood Cemetery. Mr. Brandes was cremated out there.
On our way home we had a blow out and Peter is having all kinds of trouble with the tire today, even has to put chains on it. I am so very anxious to learn how to drove and I feel sue he will teach me soon. Well now he is ready to go.
How sweet Hanna looked today. She was dressed in her white wedding gown and white slippers and was so happy and content. We had a delicious dinner of fresh caught salmon that Hanna & Falk caught out by Pt Defiance Sat afternoon. After dinner Peter took us all out to the Marrows where we stayed a little while.
Back again, we had chocolate and cake, salad, cookies, etc. Spent the evening talking of almost everything and went home pretty near ten so I must say, I have had a very enjoyable day.
Aug 27, 1913 8 o’clock
Fine Morning Sun shines bright, birds sing and all are happy and gay. Johanna came up last night. She is fine and I think is going to Pt Defiance. I am working on a brown woolen dress for myself. Going to be pretty.
Aug 28, 1913
Yesterday afternoon Mr. Sicker came out to take Mrs. For an auto ride and there was room for me and I was asked to come along. Of course I went and extremely glad I did for we went clear up to Roy, took two solid hours of steady drive up there. Alice Latshaw, now Mrs. Warren lives up there and to my delight, she was home so I could see and speak to her. My, it seemed so nice to see her back again. She has such a nice, cozy home – a cottage fixed up so cute, the prettiest furnitures and everything looks so comfortable. She appears to be very happy. I could stay only a few minutes as they wanted to go back to town.
Coming home who was here but good Andrew in from Gig Harbor, indeed we were all glad to see him back. So this morning I went around down town and over to Hanna with him. He had to go back on the two o’clock boat today. Last night he and Peter went to the Princess and they enjoyed it very much. I went up to KS as he asked me to see him for a change. He played on the phonograph for me and we read a little etc. Oh, I felt so funny yesterday as if I didn’t care whether I saw him or not and I think I showed it too, kind of. Now I won’t see him before Sunday and he has not got a phone any more, can’t even phone to me. I wish he was here tonight. Well I guess I’ll quit now for tonight.
Olga Swanson came up this afternoon and stayed all the time. Took her out for a drive out Six Ave. Fun Time.
Aug 29, 1913
Darling I am longing for you, oh if I could only see you or if you would phone like you used to before. I am so heart sick, I have felt as if leaving him, saying goodbye would be the easiest thing ever but now I feel so sad.
Aug 30, 1913
I feel happy and relieved; everything is all right. We spoke about having a dinner here for the boys and they each should have a girl and so I would be the odd one, but Peter suggested I phone up Strand and so I did. He wasn’t there but I left my number for him to call up as soon as he came in. I waited over half of the day and no call. So at nine o’clock I tried and sure enough he was there and glad was I so I could speak a few words to him. Now he is coming up tomorrow at 2 o’clock. I have worked hard today but I had a nice bath so I shall sleep good and get up rested. Good night.
Sept 1, 1913
11:35 p.m. Labor Day and last day of vacation. Just got home. Knute took me out to Puyallup with the team and buggy today. Certainly had a fine time and the best of it I drove almost all the way too, and back again. I went in and saw Cook’s out there but had to leave right away as it was late.
Good night and thank God for all good times.
Sept 8, 1913
School is fine and I like it very much this year. I will write more about it some other day.
We had a fine time yesterday Knut and I went to Princess Matinee, home here again. Andrew came home just in time for supper and we had a very enjoyable evening together.
Sept 23, 1913
Knute’s sister phoned up tonight and said that he was sick abed and wished to see me. Peter and Louis, who were going up on McKinley Hill took me along. Poor boy had a terrible ear ache as a result from getting water in his ears Sunday when Andrew, he and I were out in Neiderides Bath.
Sept 28, 1913
Hanna, Johanna, & Arvid were up here for dinner today. Falk went to Chicago to see his brother on his vacation.
We had a very enjoyable time here. We stayed in the house as it rained dreadfully outside. After they had gone, I could not resist the temptation to go up on McKinley Hill to see Knute who is still sick. He had been waiting for me all afternoon and was very much glad to see me.
7:45 p.m. This evening I am expecting Knute up here but I suppose I will have to be disappointed as usual. If he was to come up here he would be here now. I am going out tomorrow night so of course I can’t se him then. Well I hope that he does come tonight. I am now studying real hard and going to sue all time I can get to practice shorthand.
October 1, 1913
Today is Anna Lokke’s birthday. It seems as if I am doing pretty good. I have been practicing 2½ hours tonight and 3 hrs last night on Shorthand. It ought to help and I got 87 in my German test so I did not flunk.
This evening was very enjoyable spent up to Olga Swanson. I met Clara __ and Jennie Nordfors whose brother I know real well. He has been in my classes for several terms. Real nice girls.
Mrs. Hager is back from her trip up in Alaska.
Well Knute did not come up last night and has not ever phoned. I don’t know whether he is so sick or what is the matter but although I would like to see him, I won’t go up there. But the poor, dear boy, I am so sorry that he is sick but I should think he could phone anyway. Well I’ll wait and see. Good night.
Oct 2, 1913
Oh, I can’t this any longer, he has not let hear from him. I don’t know what to think guess he has sort of forgotten me now, all right. Young man, I can’t help it. But oh, it seems so hard to think that he does not come up any more. Of course, I realize he is sick but oh he ought to come anyway, when he is able to walk down town he can come up here.
Well he did come, a little while after I wrote this above lines. Doorbell rang and Knute came walking in, smiling and looking fine as ever & I certainly was glad & happy too. He has not been up here for pretty near two weeks. Everything is fine and we had an enjoyable evening together. Good night.
Oct 3, 1913
Johanna came up tonight and to congratulate me with my birthday, but of course it is not before tomorrow. Tonight I am going to see Peter’s girl and going with them down to Princess. Wonder what she looks like.
Oct 5, 1913
Andrew came in this morning and Joh & Hand were this …. Shorthand
Oct 21, 1913
Knute still has trouble with his ears and today he came up to tell me that he was going to the hospital to have an operation. Poor boy. I feel so sorry for him. He seems to be happy and takes it cheerfully just the same. Saturday we were all over on Bahalla where Nordlandlaget gave a Social. Prof. Davis spoke and J. M. Artson. Louis is secretary of that club. Johanna, Hanna, Arvid and Falk are all just fine and dandy. I saw them all a couple of days ago. I have been working very hard on shorthand, taking dictations whenever anybody was home to give it to me and reviewing phrases and I dare say I have done my very best, so if I do not pass this month, I will be very disappointed. I got 87 in a German test. Oh German is fine, I just delight in studying that beautiful language. Well Goodnight everybody. Goodnight my sweet.
Oct 23, 1913
I feel awfully lonesome tonight and I don’t know why but it just looks so hopeless. Everything is disgusting. I do not progress the way I want. I did and it is dark and gloomy. I went to see Knute this afternoon. He has had his operation and is now lying with his head all bandaged up. Poor boy. I feel so sorry for him. He says it was so lonesome to lie there all day, seined such long everlasting hours. It is so hard, he does not hear very well and it seems hard to speak extra loud to any one. I do hope that he gets over it soon. He wanted me to come back this evening but I don’t think I better disturb him. Well I must study my lessons now.
Oct 26, 1913
Oh, tonight I have a feeling that some change is coming soon. Bonnie Peter’s girl was up here.
Knute is feeling better today. Andrew and Louis went down to see him.
Oct 29, 1913
Yesterday was Louis’ birthday, he was 24 years old, quite a man already.
I have been down to see Knute every day he has been down to the hospital and today it dawned upon me what a fool I have been. I understand that he first realized his mistake in selecting me for his chum and of course I don’t blame him either. There are lots nicer and dearer girls than I am and I have always tried to tell him so too that he should not be too rash but rather think carefully. Of course it might all be a joke but he does not care if he sees me or not, hardly asks how I am or nothing, just starts right in about if he only had enough money, he would stay there for many weeks more and see his “Cutie.” I tried to take it as a joke and I did outwardly. I said, “Well why don’t you get her along home as a private nurse?” and he said, “Well if I do that you don’t need to come anymore.”
I think that although he lets on as this is just a joke, he is really infatuated with her and of course I shall drop out right away. It might be sort of hard to do at first but time will soon remedy the emptiness, the hollowness of it all.
So Goodbye. I said goodbye to him and he to me, wait a minute he said and so I did. “Well, you can come back tomorrow and see me if you care to.” All right and without another word I left. If I do not receive any further request from him, I won’t go to see him any more, not I solemnly promise that, Oh I know I ain’t good enough and I don’t know by ______ if he is so much better!
Oct 30, 1913
Knute phoned up to night at 5:30 and I spoke with him. I was quite calm and said very few words, he asked why I did not come to see him today and I said “I went down town.” “What are you going to do tonight?” “I am going over to Falk’s.” “ So you have forgotten me entirely.” “No I haven’t.” “Oh haven’t you?” with a little laugh. “MY cutie has not been around with today.” “That’s too bad., terrible dreadful,” I said sarcasm of course. Well I am going to make him get good and lonesome for me before I go, I believe he is stuck on that nurse and I won’t stand in the way. But I say goodnight my sweetheart. Good night.
Oct 31, 1913
Sweetheart tonight I am longing for you. All my hard feeling has gone away and I wish you were here, well again, and nice and happy as you always were. How cruel I was to you yesterday, but perhaps that was good medicine, who knows. Tomorrow though I hope you telephone and ask me to see you. It is harder than I thought to give a person up and takes a long time to get over it. Well my dear, forgive me as I forgive you and all will be well again.
Halloween Night, and I did not think much about it before Johanna came up here and told that she had been out with some other girls having fun. She is getting along very well with her English. She can tell things and expresses herself quite plainly. Too bad. I think she had got to go out and work this winter to send money to Auntie.
Nov. 1, 1913
Peter told me today that Louis is going to get married soon, perhaps the later part of this month or first of next. He has been going with this girl for nine months, I think. Her name is Martha Elseth, a girl about 21 years and works as a milliner. We are going to move into Louis’ new house that they are building on 25th & Grant St. I hate to move away from here to be sure and the worse of it I don’t know how I will get along with the new Mrs. Brevick. I hope all right, I’ll do my best at any rate. Peter says she is real nice, of course. I have seen her only twice, once at a party here and the second time on the boat to Seattle.
Knute has not phoned up yet so I think that he has really forgotten me.
At last he phoned and asked me to come up to see him and now I am going.
Everything is explained and made up now. He said he was sick and had to joke a little bit, but did not mean it to hurt me and so on. And I believe him too poor boy, I did him injustice but I was badly hurt myself, indeed I never felt so bad. Goodnight.
Nov. 3. Today I went down town with Marjory Stanley and had quite a time.
Nov. 6, 1913
For first time in nearly 3 weeks, Knute came up here and visited.
Dec 1, 1913
Thanksgiving Day, Hanna, Falk, Arvid, Knute, Bonnie, Andrew, Louis, Peter and I had dinner here. Everybody were thoroughly satisfied with the dinner and all turned out nicely. Afterwards Johanna came up. We had a jolly isit together. Arvid is such a lively little boy and was disappointed because he could not stay longer. Knute and I saw Johanna home and on our ay down there we say and automobile accident, nobody hurt, however.
Friday Knute came up and took me up on McKinley Hill and I spent the afternoon and evening up there. Saturday I went up there again and K & I walked down town then we parted and I went into the Armory where they were having a show of Tacoma Made Products. From there I walked over to Hanna and had a very pleasant visit. Came home in time for supper and after doing the dishes, I walked down town where I met Knute and we went to Empress. It was a very good show I thought and enjoyed it very much. Jennie Gordon & Sydney Birks both members of my shorthand class were in there. We met Andrew Appleset, who would like to meet Johanna again. He was dressed up in a brand new suit 7 overcoat. But this is almost the limit, I spent Sunday afternoon and evening up to Knute’s sister. Was up there for dinner and supper. Louis was away too, so Peter got Bonnie to make dinner for him. As K & I was coming up Seventh Street, Peter and Bonnie were walking down and we stayed a while and talked. It is queer sometimes when I am with Knute we start to quarrel about hardly nothing. He sort of teases me and I get out of patience at last and just tell him that if he does not care so much for me get Cutie as he calls a nurse down to the hospital. I know that he is joking but still why could he not find somebody that he like better than me. I think that is very reasonable, and if he does why I shall never make any trouble for him I told him that. And so we talk until at last we sort of realize our unnecessary quarrel and everything is well again. But while I am writing about him, his hearing is almost perfect again. He has been under the doctor’s care and has not been working for six weeks in succession and before that it was two, so the poor boy has two months salary besides having to pay the doctor and hospital bills. He was going to Sather’s today and ask if they wanted him back but he was not sure. Pretty hard I think where a man is not really educated or has a good trade by which he can be sure of Steady work and a good salary. Driving or delivering groceries is very hard work and poorly paid. The worse of all no chance for raise unless he might get a clerk’s job and still there is not much in that.
He seems so undecided as to what he wants to do. Sometimes he says he will try and he has already filed an application for an agent for one wholesale dealer. If he could only get in there he would be all right, gradually work up to good position. Of course if a man has it in him he will always succeed not matter what obstacles are in the way, so I shall not lose confidence in him whether he will be able to make a fair living or not.
I have written a good deal about this but I think that a girl ought to take such things into consideration as a good home and a fair income is one of the essentials of making a happy future with the man she love. Without his ability to provide properly the love is killed through daily wants. Goodbye Sweetheart.
Dec 3, 1913
Tonight is Wednesday night and still Knute is not up here, I wonder why he did not come and still more why he did not phone and let me know how he was at any rate.
Last night Ed Aardal, Magnuson and Hans Sather & Johanna were up here. We had a very enjoyable time. Tonight Peter and Louis are both out to see their girls and I don’t understand why Knute doesn’t at least telephone. It is over 9 o’clock now so it is too late.
Saturday Ded.6, 1913
Now I will write a few lines for the fun of it. I think I have sure proof for that Louis is married today. He left last night at about 8 o’clock. Peter left this morning at 8:30 and did not say very much. I sort of hinted that I Louis went and got married but he answered nothing to that. Later in the day, I started to think about it more and I told Mrs. Brandes my suspicion. I noticed that his new grip was gone, he wore his new blue suit, his best necktie, and Derbie and comb and brush was gone from the bureau, something that never happened before. The towards 3 o’clock, I wondered what Peter was wearing today and went in the bedroom and say that he had on his new black suit, best overcoat and hat. So the whole thing put together is: Peter went down to the dock this morning to meet Louis and Martha. They went over to Seattle, bought the license and got married, Peter acting as witness. If this is not so, I will be very much surprised, but I would bet any amount if I had it. Now it is past seven and of course Peter is still away. I don’t suppose they will be here before late tonight or perhaps not before tomorrow.
Knute phoned Thursday as he was going to the Vikings. He said he was not going to phone before Sunday and surprise me, gut he said he could stand it no longer and had to phone. I think it would have been foolish because I was waiting for him to call everyday. He started to work Monday and said he liked to work now. Poor boy—he has to work a long time before he gets all straightened up again financially. Last night he came up here and Peter, Mrs. Brandes and Herman and I were talking and laughing and had quite a nice time together. He said he would call up tonight to tell me whether or not we were going to the show tomorrow after noon. Mrs. Brandes and I had most of the forenoon and afternoon together. She was up here while I washed the clothes and then we lunched together. We talked about one thing after another, oh dear, I hate to think of moving away from here. She said that she would like to see me go through High School, but I told her how things were and if anyone should have help it ought to be Johanna. She has had no education and I would like to get out working next summer and earning some money. Mrs. Brandes also said if I ever wanted to I would be welcome to come to stay with her and perhaps sometime I would be glad to do it. If I start to work next summer, it might be something that turns up and such an offer is worth a good deal. My how lovely she is and I have much to be grateful to her for.
Well Louis did not get very nice weather on his honeymoon because it is just pouring down. I am up here and then we are going down town.
Dec 7, 1913
Licenses were issued to Louis J. Brevick, 24, and Martha Elset, 21, both of Tacoma.
So there we were correct in our assumption just the same. I wrote all Christmas cards now ready to be sent to Norway.
Dec 8, 1913
Knut telephones up about 1:30 and asked me to meet him down town, and we went to the Princess. The play was the ‘Confession’ and very good too, a splendid play.
After that, upon my suggestion, we walked down to the wharf and stood on the Commercial Dock Bridge for a long time. We watched the lit boats coming and going in the dark evening, the waves roll against the land. I was a wonderful evening, the moon and the stars were shining brightly and standing there gazing at the water brought many memories of the past, of the times when as a little girl I traveled in Norway, and when I came across the Atlantic In a way I wished then that I could go to Norway again, but not to stay. Knute wants to eat super at a Restaurant but I suggested we go home and I think it is so much more cozy. He had never yet mentioned anything about his salary or whether we could get along on it, but yesterday as he was sitting in the front room waiting for me to get the supper ready, he was thinking about it. “Say, Ella, do you now what I was figuring on while I was sitting in there?” “No, I don’t. Please tell me,” I said. “I was wondering how much it would take a married couple to live, excluding clothes just merely, food, light, rent & fuel and I think groceries-$23, $1 light, rent $12.50 & fuel $3, making about $40.00.” “Well, of course I am not so sure just how much, but I think that I would not venture getting married on less than $75 a month, because there are so many things coming up that unless a man has the money it is very disagreeable.” He became rather quiet and sort of discouraged he could not see how a man in his class who was paid for the labor and not his brain power could ever have a chance to made much. He has had no higher education, cannot write English, and in the grocery line, there is little hope for him. The highest the clerks usually got was $60 per month. Knute said he thought I better give him up. I said: “No, I don’t want to give you up, you are still a young man of twenty four and many a man has made good in fact has become wealthy after they had past that age. The thing for you to do is to try to better your education, go to night school and grasp every opportunity for advancement. No, I believe in you, I am sure you are an ambitious boy and will succeed.” He seemed somewhat encouraged, “I believe myself, sweetheart that I shall be able to provide properly for you.” Really I don’t know myself, it is too bad that he has no better position but as I told him I would not give him up for that. I don’t measure a man’s worth by what he makes a day. He told me not to consider him if I saw a better chance. Poor unhappy boy.
You made great headway with this last summer. It looks like you haven’t added any since July. Have you lost interest? Well, congratulations on getting this far. The romance is so intriguing!
Thanks for reading and I’m glad you are enjoying. I have lots more pages typed in to the computer and I “just” have to post it to the blog. Can’t say why I’ve been away from it. More clients? Watching too much TV? There will be more!!!