Article Title

A Boyhood at Ashland


Hjalmar Kjems


Ashland Folk School, Danish immigrants, travel


At last the train stopped at Grant in Michigan and Father said, "This is where we get off." The sun was shining in a cloudless sky, and friendly people gathered around us and bade us welcome in Danish, but a Danish that had a strange sound. Outside of the station, there was a wagon to which was harnessed a wonderful little horse. It was yellow with a black muzzle, mane, and tail. Never in our lives had we seen such a beautiful horse. Father said it was ours and we were to ride on it, or with it hitched to a wagon, each day. That day, we rode on an unusually wide roadway where the track wound in and out between very large tree stumps. The roadway was fenced by these tree stumps, which were laid with their root systems facing out toward the road. We turned at a right angle, crossed the railroad tracks, and, off to the left, saw several small houses, a larger building, and a large garden. This was Ashland Folk School, and here we were to live. In the garden, there were fruit trees with which we were not familiar, peach and apricot trees. There were also bushes with large red berries. We tasted them but found them not to be to our liking. They were tomatoes, and only after a while did we begin to value them.