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In One Ear: Where’s Oscar?

British woman looking for long-lost Astoria relative
By Elleda Wilson

The Daily Astorian

Published on January 19, 2018 12:01AM


Kerstin Colliander-Metzler of Blencogo, Cumbria, U.K. is looking for information about her maternal grandmother’s youngest brother, Oscar Ström, born Dec. 12, 1876. She is pictured, with some of his papers.

“(He and my grandmother) had an exceptional bond, and when he ‘had to’ emigrate to the States she, and their mother, were devastated,” Kerstin wrote. “This happened at the turn of the last century, so the chance that they were ever seeing each other again was remote. Well, they never did.”

“He was born in Eskilstuna, Sweden,” Kirsten explained. “He traveled out on a liner from Liverpool and came to Ellis Island, then joined his brother in California for a while. He went on to Oregon, and the last letter came in 1908. Whatever happened after that, we never found out … I know from his letters that he wanted to go back home more than anything in the world.”

For a while, in the early 1900s, Oscar lived at 2659 Ash St. in Astoria. While here, he worked for Hammond Lumber as a tallyman. His older brother, Evald, lived in San Francisco during the great earthquake of 1906, and he’s buried in Sacramento City Cemetery. But what became of Oscar? Do you know? If so, please contact the Ear at 503-325-3211, ext. 257 or ewilson@dailyastorian.com

“I’ve sworn that I’m going to do everything I possibly can in my life to find out what happened to this man,” Kerstin declared. “If I ever find him,” she added, “… I swear I’ll get myself over to the States once more, to visit their resting places. They have to know they were never forgotten. Soppy, I know! But that’s how I feel.”



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