Nils Brogren 1913–2012
Nils was like a son of the hamlet, though he was born and grew up in Släp. It was actually Anna-Lina who roused Nils’ interest in Äskhult.
Anna-Lina worked for Nils’ parents in the early 1900s, and for his grandmother in Släp after that. Nils had eight siblings, and as the second youngest was cared for by the thoughtful Anna-Lina.
She often told Nils about her old hamlet, and encouraged him to collect old odds and ends, an interest she realized he had at an early age.
When Nils’ grandmother died in 1929, Anna-Lina moved home to Äskhult again, to her niece and brother-in-law at Bengts.
In the summer of 1930, Nils – then 17 years old – rode his bicycle up to Äskhult to visit Anna-Lina. She showed him the village, where he got to meet all her neighbours. He was completely taken with the fine old hamlet, and would later ride his bicycle the thirty kilometers to Äskhult several times every summer. He became so well-known to all the neighbours that they called him Anna-Lina’s “boy”.
Nils realized the value the hamlet had for posterity. His persistence and knowledge are the strongest reasons for the fact that we have kept the hamlet as a cultural reserve. It is also his fantastic memory that gave us most of the wonderful stories we can now tell about the hamlet.