Ebba på motorcykel
Carl och Ebba Struwe
From Skyttetorp to Skyttåsa Forest
In the late 1800s, Skyttåsa Forest was a forest ranger’s residence called Skyttetorp and was inhabited by the ranger Gustav Lindstrom. At that time, there were three houses standing in a row. Two of them are still standing today while the third was demolished in the early 1900s. In 1904, a man named Hjalmar Jansson started farming 14 acres of land here and it was he who changed the name of the farm from Skyttetorp to Skyttåsa Forest. It was also Hjalmar who had the current white farmhouse built, in 1915.
“The Chief’s Retreat”
During the second half of the 1900s, the farm came to be called, somewhat jokingly, “The Chief’s Retreat”. The chief was Carl Struwe: father of the current owner: Göran Struwe. Carl and his wife Ebba bought Skyttåsa in 1964. Carl wanted Skyttåsa as his “retreat”, a place to escape to from a world he no longer felt at home in.
Carl Struwe was something of a “self-made man”, though it had not always been so! He had a strong desire to succeed in life and there is no doubt that he achieved this. He was born in Finspong in 1897 and grew up under difficult circumstances in a working-class, industrial family as one of many children. Already as a twelve-year-old, he tried to support himself by collecting pine cones and other combustibles. At sixteen, he walked on foot to Norrköping, where he signed on to one of Grängesberg’s ships . For several years he worked as a stoker, shovelling coal into the furnaces of vessels that shipped ore to various destinations around the globe. In this way, Carl travelled not only the ‘seven seas’, but saw different parts of India , China, Europe and USA. Carl was also gifted with technical and mathematical aptitude and on board he studied mathematics via various correspondence courses. He subsequently applied for entry to the Navigation School in Göteborg and eventually became a marine engineer and chief engineer. Hence the little playful nickname “The Chief”.
A man of the world.
In 1935, after 22 years at sea, he went ashore for good. He was 38 years old and started working at the waste water treatment plant at Lovö. The head of the plant had a wife named Ebba who was twenty-five. Ebba wanted to learn English and because Carl had “travelled the seven seas” and was a “man of the world”, he was hired as a private English teacher for Ebba. Within a year, Ebba was divorced, and married Carl. For obvious reasons, neither Ebba nor Carl remained at the plant, which is why Carl took up a position at the Veterinary College in Stockholm instead, where he became engineer in charge of heating, water and electricity. Around 1960, he became chief engineer. .
You must be able to count
Göran was born, the youngest of three children in 1944. He grew up at the Veterinary College where his father had an official residence. Daddy Carl had clear social goals for his children: they had to be able to count! This was because, as a youngster, Carl had not been able to. And they had to sit the Swedish matriculation exam, which they did.
As far away as possible
In 1957, Carl and his family set up house in a villa in Sollentuna. But already, by the early 1960s, the municipal council decided to expropriate the entire area. This made Carl so furious that he decided to find a place that was as far away as possible from everything that had anything at all to do with municipal officials! And that was how he found Skyttåsa Forest. Skyttåsa became “The Chief’s” retreat. In 1963, when he retired, he lived there alone, while Ebba remained in Stockholm, first in the villa and then in an apartment where she had a small dressmaking business. Carl wrote many long letters to her, in which he tried to persuade her to come and join him and eventually she too made the move.
Carl lived until he was 89 and Ebba until she was 96. They lived on Skyttåsa until 1985 before moving to Eskilstuna. Carl had hardly settled in before he was hospitalized. He died soon after.