by Herb Osterberg
My grandfather, Charles Peter Osterberg, born in Sweden in 1857, was a sailor and then a sea captain. He came to Alaska in 1909, with his sons Charles Jr. and Arthur. Charles Peter died in 1936. My father, Arthur, was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1888. He worked as an electrician in the Treadwell Mine on Douglas Island.
My mother, Grace Viola Johnson, came to Alaska about 1908, to live with her aunt and uncle, the Charles Johnsons, when her mother died. She was born in Havelock (now part of Lincoln), Nebraska in 1894.
On Alaska Day, October 18, 1911, Arthur and Grace were married. Dad built a house in Douglas and when they married they lived in it. He also built most of their furniture. I was born in Douglas on May 6, 1913. My sister, Grace Helen, followed on August 2, 1914. She died a few years ago in Tucson, Arizona.
About March 1917, Arthur went to Miami, Arizona, to look for a job to escape Alaska’s damp weather. After he found a job and a place to live, he sent for his family. We sailed in April 1917. The cave-in occurred soon after we left.
Dad died in Tucson in 1956. My mother died in Long Beach, California in 1975.
Another family, the Arthur Fleeks, were neighbors of ours in Douglas. They also moved to Arizona and we ended up neighbors again in Inspiration. Their youngest son Bob lives in Phoenix. An older son, Elroy (Sonny) moved back to Alaska where he was a cab driver. He died quite a few years ago. When we visited Alaska about 20 years ago, his widow Sylvia still lived in Douglas.
Arthur Osterberg, Douglas, Alaska, 1913. Batching, cooking and baking.
Chas. P. Osterberg, going to work at Treadwell Mine, 1913.