Gottfrid Pettersson 1898–1964, died of tuberculosis

The last farm tenant, bringing the past to the present.

In the 1930s, Gottfrid Pettersson was living in Derras. He was 33 years old at the time, and the youngest inhabitant of the hamlet.

Gottfrid was the son of Petter Olsson and his second wife Johanna Ljunggren, who was 33 years younger than her husband.

Petter and Johanna had two sons together: Carl and Gottfrid, who was the youngest. Johanna had previously had a daughter out of wedlock, Mathilda, whom she had when she was 22 years old.

Carl emigrated to the United States, where he died of Spanish flu at the age of 24. Their sister Mathilda also died young, only 23 years old.

Johanna and her son Gottfrid remained on the farm. Eventually Johanna also died, and Gottfrid then became the freeholder of Derras.

He was a very helpful neighbor, and a man of nature who was happy in his isolation. He was a real original who spoke a pronounced dialect, and had many good stories of fights and poaching to tell.

Among them was the one when he and his hunting partner manufactured their own dumdum bullets for their shotguns. And the time he shot an elk with just that kind of bullet and it still didn’t drop. He had to follow the elk, which took him all the way to Tostared. There it charged him, and he had to shoot it again! When the elk still wouldn’t die, Gottfrid had to rush forward and stab it with his hunting knife. He had to skin it and butcher it on site, take one back part on his shoulders and haul it back to his own lands, turn around and fetch a new piece of the elk, and then bury or hide what was left over...

When everyone else in the hamlet – the brothers Aron and Albin, the siblings Anna-Brita and Johannes in Jönsas, and Hanna Höök in Bengts – finally died, Gottfrid lived alone and unmarried in the hamlet, almost until his death in 1964. He died of tuberculosis, 66 years old.

There are still many who met Gottfried and can tell stories about him; ask us in the Café.