travel, Hawaii, immigrants


I have often been asked, "Why did you and your husband leave Denmark and go so far away . .. adventuring?" We did not go adventuring. My husband was offered a position with a Mr. Unna, an old friend of his father's, who owned a sugar plantation on the island of Maui, one of the Sandwich Islands, as Hawaii was called at that time. Mr. Unna wanted to improve, rearrange, or maybe even build a new sugar factory. He had heard much about a very big, modem sugar mill on one of the islands of the West Indies, which had been built from the large Burmeister and Wain Works in Copenhagen. As my husband was one of the men in their office who had been constructing and drawing plans for this big thing, he naturally had excellent knowledge and experience in such work as erecting the boiling house and a mill for grinding the cane. Mr. Unna offered him the position of going out to the Islands as Chief Engineer to superintend the erection of the new machinery which had been ordered and made in America and sent out to the Islands. He also wanted him to stay to see that the whole new mill was in good running order for the entire season. The job would be likely to take two or three years, but the offer was very good, with fairly good salary (for those times) and free traveling expenses. It would give my husband valuable practical knowledge, and also, we were young, newly married and, with the prospect of seeing and learning a great deal of the world, we accepted the offer. Of course, it meant that we must give up seeing all relatives, friends, and our home in Denmark, but after all, three years did not seem such a long time when one was only twenty-five, so off we went. The foreword is only to explain why we ever left Denmark and went so far away.