Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Nilsson family

When it was 1914 (the year of the Baltic Exhibition and start of the First World War - is that a coincidence?), the Ingemansson sold Villa Bellevue. I haven't yet found out why, after only more and less seven years, they would decide to sell such a house (and in about four they would paint all the windows from red to white!)

The new family was constituted by four family members.
Anders Nilsson, a manager (disponent), was born 1868 and was married to Agnes Maria Björklund (1872).
They had two children. Sten Erik, who was just two, when they moved into Bellevue, and Sonja Ingeborg, who was born instead 1909.
The parish book from 1915

I have been having big troubles finding information about them. Nilsson is such a common surname! So far, I haven't found if there are any descendant or where they are. The research has been quite unfruitful also for what concerns where was he working.
However, I know why they sold the house already in 1919. Unfortunately, Anders got sick and died 1918 of empyema at Malmö Hospital. I suppose this was a sad degeneration of getting pneumonia, back then.

There is though some interesting revelation that I found while digging around them (and yet, I know, I will continue doing so).
During their time here they had three maids.

  • Signe Elizabeth Björklund, moved in with them  and left the 25th of September 1915. She came back the 3rd of November 1916 and remained there until they moved away
  • Ester Svensson, lived in Bellevue with two kids. Tage Assar and Bror Valdemar. The house must have been crowded and especially their room! Tage though left the 26th of February 1915, whie Bror and Ester left the 5th of November of the same year.
  • Anna Jönsson was instead defined as a cleaner and moved in when Signe left the first time, the 25th of September 1915 and with her, she moved out with the whole family in march 1919.
Now, the interesting detail is the following. 
Signe Björklund was the daughter of a famous painter at the time, Emil Björklund, who was from Limhamn, Malmö (the suspect that also Agnes, the house lady, was related to them is also very strong, but I haven't found yet any confirmation to this theory). 

I have always wondered why the painting we have under the stairs was done 1917 and why on the planet a young Richard Björklund would leave a trace in Åkarp, but after I saw the note above everything turned out clear (see this old post).
Richard was Signe's brother (and maybe related to Agnes?), so the young artist left an early paint while he was possibly studying art in Lund.

That raises also another question. If behind the grates that we have under the stairs there was heat coming out, it is not possible that the whole construction was made in wood. The heat would have been too much. Could it be that the whole construction is to be dated 1916-1917 and that hence, the Nilsson, modified the heating system and added the beautiful dado that is in the big staircase?
Unfortunately, I am not sure I will ever get this question but maybe this could be a lead thought...
The staircase (2011)

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