Algot Skarberg was bom in Trangsviken, Sweden on May 31, 1896. His parents were Otto and Brita Skarberg and he was one of five children, three boys and two girls.
Justina Ohd Skarberg was born Trangsviken, Sweden on April 24, 1896. Her parents were Per and Anna Ond and she was one of nine children, eight girls and one boy.
Justina and Algot were childhood friends in Trangsviken, Sweden. They were confirmed in the Alsen Church and were married there in 1920. To this union was bom a daughter, Britt Alice, in 1921.
Algot worked in a sawmill in Trangsviken, Sweden, but the economy was poor and the mill closed. Algot’s uncle, Gustav Skarberg and his seven children, had immigrated to the United States and settled on Whidbey Island. As the children grew up and married, they all lived on small farms where they raised cows, chickens, berries, and worked at the Crown Lumber Company in Mukilteo, one of the largest mills in the northwest.
Soon Algot received letters from his cousins in America, telling about the prosperity in the U.S.A., urging him to come to Clinton. It was a difficult decision for Algot and Justina to think about leaving their parents, family, and friends.
In 1924, Algot decided to immigrate to the United States. Justina and Alice stayed in Sweden, until Algot could earn enough money to send for them.
Algot traveled by ship, went through immigration at Ellis Island, and journeyed on to Whidbey Island. He stayed with relatives in Clinton and worked at the Crown Lumber Company in Mukilteo. He later purchased an old ten acre farm with a beautiful view on the Anderson Road. It is now owned by the Jack Nagus family.
Within five years, in 1929, Algot returned to Sweden to bring Justina and Alice back with him to Clinton. In March, 1929, they boarded a ship in Goteborg, Sweden for the long trip to America. It was a very difficult voyage. The ship was overloaded with 1,000 extra passengers. They boarded a train in Montreal, Canada; their destination was Vancouver, B.C. They went through customs at Blaine, Washington and arrived in Clinton in August, 1929, approximately three weeks after departing Sweden.
They moved into the old farm house in Clinton, with no electricity or indoor plumbing. There was a hand-pump to get water from, outside. There was no road to the farm.
They lived near relatives who spoke Swedish to Justina, so it took time for her to learn to speak English. She credited Captain Ash, their closest neighbor, who only spoke English, with teaching her the language. Justina was thirty-three years old when she arrived in this country.
Alice was eight years old when she started school in the fall at Deer Lake. She learned the language quickly, being that young.
Upon returning to the United States, Algot returned to work at the Crown Lumber Company in Mukilteo, with his cousins John and Karl Skarberg. Having been back to work only a few months, the lumber mill closed down, due to the Great Depression of 1929.
After finding himself unemployed, Algot decided to farm in earnest, with Justina working by his side. They raised loganberries and strawberries to sell at a market in Everett. They also sold strawberries in the ferry lineup at Columbia Beach. They had many fruit trees, a large garden, cows, chickens, and a pig; so there was always ample food.
When times improved, Algot turned to building. He has left his mark as a carpenter, many places in Clinton: working on Chips Boat Works, (Clinton Food Town), Knaplund’s Hardware (Nick’s), the Clinton water tanks, and many homes; one in which Algot’s daughter and son-in-law are living in at the present time.
Algot took part in many community activities; among them The Scandinavian Fraternity, The Progressive Club of Clinton, and a Male choir.
Algot died in 1960 and his wife Justina died in 1979.
Their daughter, Alice, maintained her Scandinavian heritage by performing Scandinavian folk dances and songs. There was a group of five girls, who were related; among them were Betty Erickson, Myrtle Johnson Thorsen, Hannah Mattson Osborne, Dolores Skarberg Simon and Alice Skargerg McDonald. Their leader and pianist was Ester Moe. They sang and danced at many functions; with a performance for Governor Langley, and singing on the radio.
Alice graduated from Langley High School in 1940. There she met and later married her high school sweetheart, Irvin McDonald, on May 10, 1942. Irvin worked for the Washington State Ferry System for thirty-eight years and retired in 1982.
They have one daughter, Connie, who is a registered nurse. She was married to Seth Mackie in 1968. Seth was born to Enid and Clayton Mackie in Maxwelton. They are presently living in Vancouver, Washington where Seth is employed by the Department of Natural Resources, as a Forestry District Manager. They have two children, Brent and Lisa.