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Ship Atalanta, J. A. K°hler & Co. Main Page >>

BurdenBuiltShipowner or operator Dimensions
264 cl 1868 at Sikeň, Sweden by O. P. ┼berg J. A. K°hler & Co., Stavanger, Norway  
 1869 Captain B. A. Reinertsen  from Stavanger May 18 to Quebec June 18  Passenger list: Passenger list 
 1871 Captain B. A. Reinertsen  from Stavanger Apr. 25 to Quebec June 23  Passenger list: Passenger list 
The information listed above is not the complete record of the ship. The information was collected from a multitude of sources, and new information will be added as it emerges

The Atalanta was built in 1868 at Sikeň, in Sweden. She was owned by K°hler & Co in Stavanger. She was rigged as a ship, and had a tonnage of 264 Norwegian Commercial lasts. Her master was Capt. B. A. Reinertsen.

In 1869 the Atalanta departed from Stavanger on May 18th, and arrived at Quebec on June 18th. She was sailing in ballast, and was carrying 204 steerage passengers and one cabin passenger. All was reported to be well when she arrived at Quebec. Master in 1869 was Capt. B.A. Reinertsen, she had a crew of 16. In 1871 the Atalanta departed from Stavanger on Apr. 25th, and arrived at Quebec on June 23th. She was sailing in ballast, and was carrying 10 cabin and 294 steerage passengers. When she arrived to the quarantine station at Grosse ╬le on June 19th, five were sick with smallpox. She was held in quarantine for four days before she was released and proceeded to Quebec. Also this year mastered by Capt. B.A. Reinertsen with a crew of 16.

From Susan Phillips Assmus we have received a terrific story about the crossing in 1871. The story was told by her great uncle, Ole Larson Lee [Storeli] who was traveling with his wife Malinda Maria Johnsdtr Runestad. Ole was born in 1836 on the Storli farm in S°vde.

"We left Stavanger, Norway on April 25th 1871 with a sailing vessel owned by Petter Kyllet & Co, [K°hler & Co] mastered by Capt. Reinertson [B. A. Reinertsen] of Stavanger, heading for Quebec, Canada. The voyage lasted for 70 days, including the journey from Quebec to our final destination - Leland, La Salle County, Illinois, where we arrived on July 3rd 1871.

Well, now back to where the story about the voyage starts. As I said earlier, we sailed from Stavanger on April 25th and everything went nice and smooth until April 30th. On that date we were hit by a storm from south-east, and had very high seas. One of the waves that washed over the deck, smashed the tank which represented the main water supply for the voyage. From now on all the passengers got only half rations of water every day.

A few days after the storm was over, one of the passengers were climbing in the rig on the big mast, and he fell down, hitting the hull of a small boat before going into the sea. Fortunately he managed to grab on to a life-buoy that was thrown to him, and stayed afloat until the crew could pick him up. We all thought he would be more dead than alive after such a fall, but he was totally unhurt, strangely enough.

Now I have nothing to comment before we came near the Newfoundland banks, where the crew measured the depth to be 60 shot of chain. We had been sailing for 13 days from Stavanger now, and many of the emigrants thought that this would be a remarkable quick crossing. Many wanted to have more of the rations they had been obliged by Kyller & Co. [K°hler & Co] to bring with them for the voyage, and started eating as much as they could, thinking it was to bad if the food was to be thrown away when they arrived in Quebec. I brought to their attention that it could well take quite some time yet before the ship arrived in Quebec harbor.

Not long after we were hit by a hurricane from south-west which lasted for two and a half days. Two and a half day days with very high seas, as always when it is a hurricane, and many of the emigrants were losing their courage. Now our place as emigrants was in the hold, on the between deck. Everyone had a chest of food, a keg of milk and one of beer, all of what was stored in the mid of the deck, held in place by ropes, all except for one keg of beer, which a man from Rennes° near Stavanger, had placed by his head in the berth. As the ship rolled heavily in the hard storm the keg fell out of the berth, the man grabbed it as it was falling, and was thrown out of his berth riding on the keg of beer, colliding with the supplies in the middle, making the ropes loosen, and everything started to roll from one side to the other on the deck, and the man with it. On the second time the man crossed from one side of the ship to the other, he let go of the keg and grabbed on to a berth, and the next time the ship rolled over he managed to get hold of the keg again.

Now we were all curious to know if the man had been hurt, but it was nothing to bother about, and we all had a really good laugh, despite of our situation.

The ship was in for a hard time in the storm, and was taken way off course, as she could not use use too much sail. After this storm the wind was unfavorable and we had headwind, and due to this we took 19 days to reach the point where we had been before the hurricane on May 8th. Now the supplies were starting to get short, especially for those who had thought they had brought too much earlier.

When we were close to the American coast, off Cape Breton, we had sailed in thick fog for 4 days, and I don't think the Captain was sure of the ships position. As I said, we were near Cape Breton, and still we were covered by thick fog. Early in the morning, by break of day the man on look-out yelled out "LAND STRAIGHT AHEAD" and the ship would have been smashed against the rock, but fortunately the crew managed to brace the ship in the last moment so it went just clear, and they had to save the rig from scraping along the side of the massive rock.

We came up to the St. Lawrence gulf, and the wind disappeared, and we drifted back to St. Paul, and the ship almost stranded. The crew used oars row the ship, which is very uncommon on such a big ship, fortunately we had some wind again and were able to proceed by sail unhurt.

Now the supplies of wood for cooking and heat was getting short, and we had to start burning parts of the equipment aboard the ship, equipment that was dispensable.

At last we reached the quarantine place, and stayed there for a few days to clean up and to get rid of lice. So we arrived to Quebec according to our contracts, but Capt. Reinertson sent our train away, trying to persuade us to go by steamship to Chicago, several of the passengers were persuaded, but I and my folks were not, and demanded that he should arrange for us to get another train, which he did. We got a "Box car" which had been used for cattle, and in this way we traveled to Detroit, Mich. where our luggage had been sent and was cleared by customs.

When this was over we were brought to an immigration house where we had a delicious meal, pork legs, our first meal in the United States. When we had eaten we were taken to the railway, and because they were out of box-cars we were given an old worn-out passenger car."


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A selection of articles dedicated to help you in your genealogy search for your Norwegian ancestors. Transcripts and pictures of historic documents in connection with the ships and emigration. Also including articles about Pioneers & Norwegian Settlements Around the World
Articles about selected ships ships and special events in their history. Descriptions of some of the great maritime disasters involving emigrant ships, like the wrecking of the steamer Atlantic of the White Star Line, sinking of the ocean liner Empress of Ireland and the Thingvalla line steamer Norge disaster. Check this section if you have an interest in shipwrecks.
This section contains articles describing the transatlantic voyage, the condition of the steerage accommodations and the experience of an ocean travel on an emigrant ship. You will find in-depth studies concerning the emigration process, statistics and facts, and information about the immigration processing centers line Castle Garden and Ellis Island.
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