Memories

I decided to write this so that my children, grandchildren, etc. might know something of their forebears and of life in the 20th century.

I was told that my grandfather, Charles Augustus Johnson ran away from his home in Sweden at the age of13 and came to America where he went to work for his uncle, John Augustus Johnson, who owned a shippiing line working out of Boston. By the time he married his cousin, Margaret Johnson, he was a sea captain, sailing mostly in the China trade.

My father, Charles Herbert Johnson, was born in Boston or thereabouts,I know they later lived in Jamaica Plain. His early years were spent on the sailing ship. He told interesting tales about various ports. One I remember was of an Australian port, I believe it was Sydney, where there were so many ships docked they had to walk across other ships to get to the pier. As he got older he and his mother stayed home so he could attend school, Boston Latin School and later MIT, to become a Civil Engineer.After finishing college he worked on the Boston Subway system.

In 1907 he was working at the Jamestown Exposition in Jamestown, Virginia, demonstrating a model of the Panama Canal which was in the process of being built. While there he met Clara Lindberg of Nebraska who was demonstrating for Bakers Chocolate. They were married, I believe, in 1908. (He ate Bakers Sweet Chocolate all his life) and went to Egmont Key, Florida where he served as a civilian employee of the Navy at Fort Dade. As I remember he was in charge of building houses, etc. Among other things were cypress rain water tanks  When we visited the area in the 20s (via Capt. Hamlin’s boat) some of the latter were still standing. They are all gone now.

A son, William A. Johnson, was born to Dad and Clara while they were on Egmont baut he only lived a short time and was butied there. I understand he was allergic to milk and starved to death becuase no substitute was available. (That trait stills shows up in the family) On a recent trip to Egmont we were shown the stone from his grave. The remains were moved to Pensacola Naval Base.

During their stay at the fort they were planning for a permanent home and bought property on Sarasota, just south of the fairly new but growing town of Sarasota in an area known as Red Rock for the outcroppings of red stone along the shore. Before settling down there they went to the US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. where Dad continued to work as a civilian employee of the Navy. While there another son, Carl Eric, was born. A year or so later Clara developed tuberculosis which at that time was practically a death sentence. They moved to the house in Sarasota, as Dad put it when telling me about it, “for Clara to die.” He raised chickens and did a little farming while taking care of her and Carl. After she died, when Carl was about 4 years old, Dad and Carl returned to Cuba. Shortly after that my mother comes into the picture.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

  

  

  


*