A 75-Year-Old

J. Jakobsson, Östanmossa, Norberg, turns seventy-five years old on Saturday 10 November….

Mr. Jakobsson was born in Norberg parish and has lived there his entire life. He spent his formative years at Nyhyttan, Norberg, and has since his 12th year supported himself. Already at the age of 18, Jakobsson started working in the mines and became a foreman at the age of 21. — 1917 newspaper clipping1

Jakob Jakobsson

A newspaper clipping found among our family keepsakes goes on to state that Jacob Jacobsson, my great-grandfather, worked within the local mining authority for 47 years. During that time, “he was mine foreman in the Tremänning, Hackspett, Hedberget, Kärrgruvan and Kolningberget mines. At the latter he served for 27 consecutive years. He ended his service there in 1908.”

Jacob’s hometown is in central Sweden, about 100 US miles northwest of Stockholm. The town sits on abundant iron-ore deposits, part of a mining district called Bergslagen which is “a historically, culturally, and linguistically distinct region….”2 A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Norberg and several area museums can help in understanding what Jacob’s daily life might have been like during those 47 years in the mines.

The northern part of Norberg is called Kärrgruvan, where there are many relatively small open-pit iron mines. Gruven is Swedish for “mine.” One of the mines where Jacob was foreman gives the area its name: Kärr-gruvan translates as “the marsh mine” or “the swamp mine.”3

The Hackspett mine, another where Jacob was foreman, was presumably at Hackspettbacke. Hackspettbacke and Östanmossa are two rural neighborhoods within Norberg’s mining district that are recorded residences for the Jacob Jacobsson family. Hackspett-backe translates as “Woodpecker-hill.” Östanmossa is where Jacob was living on the occasion of his 75th birthday.

The celebrant will spend the anniversary in his home in Östanmossa, Norberg.

Norberg, 2018: A brief account of my visit to Norberg, Västmanlands län [county], with photos.
Historical Mining Resources
>> “Bergslagen mining district, Sweden” at minedat.org: (https://www.mindat.org/loc-122548.html
>> “Engelsberg Ironworks” at World Heritage: https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/556/
>> “Östanmossa mine, Röberg ore field, Norberg, Västmanland County, Sweden” at minedat.org (English version); includes interactive map of historical mines in the district. https://www.mindat.org/loc-1

This work by Bruce E. Jacobson is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Last Updated on 7 May 2024.

  1. “Västmanland, Norberg, A 75-year-old. Homestead owner J. Jakobsson, Östanmossa,” undated clipping, calculated April 1917, from unidentified newspaper; privately held by Carl R. Jacobson, Middlesex, North Carolina. Inherited 1997 from the estate of Dorothy H. Phillips (Jacobson). English translation held by Bruce E. Jacobson, Seal Cove, Maine. (File name: pub0002_JacobssonJ_19170400_75-bday-newsclipping.pdf.). All quotes not otherwise attributed are from this clipping; photo of Jacob Jacobsson published with article.
  2. Hudson Institute of Mineralogy, “Bergslagen mining district, Sweden” at minedat.org (https://www.mindat.org/loc-122548.html : accessed 14 December 2023). English version.
  3. Wikimedia Foundation, “Kärrgruvan” at Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ K%C3%A4rrgruvan : page last edited 08 October 2019, accessed 11 December 2023). English version.