Over a million Swedish citizens emigrated to North
America from the 1850’s through the 1930’s. With
the formation of the Swedish American Line and the maiden voyage
of the SS Stockholm in 1915 Gothenburg became the departure point
for most emigrants. Several passenger ships were added to the
Swedish American fleet including the SS Drottningholm, the SS
Kungsholm and a number of motor ships carrying the same names
through to 1975.
There has been long standing interest in establishing
a museum and research facility commemorating this important cultural
shift and in 2004 this effort became a reality with the dedication
of the House of Immigrants. The museum and research facility
is located in the same building where officials reviewed documentation
and granted permission to depart for the new world.
For those with ancestors that emigrated from Gothenburg
a visit is especially meaningful. Mounted photographs show faces
full of enthusiasm and hope and occasionally melancholy and uncertainty.
The exhibition brings the reality of the departure to life as
the moment of boarding the ship approaches with the uncertainty
of leaving families, friends and the homeland.
A collection of memorabilia and articles from the
period add to the flavor of the visit, and aggressive plans are
underway that will further enhance the experience. An extensive
research facility provides an outlet for emigration research.
Nelson’s Scandinavia can arrange a visit
to the House of Immigrants by including a stop in Gothenburg
during your Scandinavian adventure. Also a must is a canal and
harbor tour on the famous canal boats of Paddan. A unique intimate
hotel on a quiet street just a short walk from attractions is
the Hotel Albelle, you may wish to ask us for more details.