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Steam Boats on Unnen Lake


vega.jpg (67438 bytes)

Vega was built by Captain Ram in Bolmen in the 1880s and was a complete home construction from the wooden hull to the iron hardware. Vega was already sold in 1893 to a company in Södra Unnaryd where even the railway was a partner and transferred to Unnen, to operate between Södra Unnaryd and Unnen Station when the side railway spur from Åsen opened in the summer of 1893.
In 1897, Vega had burnt one night to the waterline, and was replaced by Freya (also called Kvick [Agile] and Bravo). Vega was rebuilt and Freya was layed up.
The company did not last long and in 1903 the shipping company was taken over by Frans Andersson of Loshult, who was also called Franse. He is said to have been a really strong man who could lift a hundred kilogram sack in each fist.
One time when Frans went aground with Vega outside of Moanäs, he would try to move the boat off the bottom. Said and done with his full back against the machine, he stepped down on the bottom and with all his force moved Vega off the bottom. Because his back was against the machine, the boat began to sail from Frans, but luckily he got hold of a rope and was able after many tries to pull himself on board and did not have to be ignonimously abandoned by a skipperless steamer.
In 1918 Vega was laid up for the winter in Södra Unnaryd but sank, probably because of ice damage. Franse hade nu börjat ägna sig åt virkeshandel, och därför fick Vega bli liggande.
Franse had now begun to engage in timber trade, and therefore Vega remained laying.
After a time the wreck was purchased by the brothers Frans and Simon Björk, who re built the hull and installed a new boiler. Vega was now only a timber towboat and no scheduled passenger traffic was undertaken. In 1929 the Vega and timber towing was taken over by David Lorentsson in Dyhult who drove the traffic up to 1940. When the last timber floating was performed in 1940 there were big problems with the boat. "I prayed many prayers," David said as he met the floating workers in the morning. This was told to me by one of those who were there, Johan Svensson in Södra Unnaryd. Vega was then unused until 1943 when she was scrapped.

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Vega in 1941 with the steam sawmill's chimney in the background. Photo: Törnblad.

Freja Kvick Bravo

In the bow Alfred Magnusson and son Ove Magnusson in the stern a Vret östergård

The boat trafficked first Bolmen and was called Freya. She was transferred to Unnen, replacing Vega which was hit by fire.
When Vega was back in traffic Freya was laid up, and the hull was purchased by Captain Rams sons, Arvid and Oskar. They built a new steam engine, and refurbished the hull. In 1905, the boat was ready for launch and was now called Kvick. As early as 1907 she was sold to Karl Danielsson in Solsjön at Bolmen. He retained Kvick for only three years, when Severin Hjelmkvist in Södra Unnaryd bought the boat and brought it over to Unnen for timber towing. Probably there was a hull replacement and fitting with a wooden superstructure. In 1925 Alfred Magnusson in Vret Östergård took over the boat, and renamed it Bravo. Eventually trucks took over transportation, and in 1937 Bravo was scrapped. The old steel hull from Kvick was moved to Bolmen and became a pleasure boat and was fitted with a petrol engine.The old steel hull from Kvick was moved to Bolmen and became a pleasure boad and was fitted with a petrol engine.

A Julin: Annerstad förr och nu [Annerstad Before and Now] p.299
J Rosengren: Beskrifning öfver Sunnerbo Härad [Description of Sunnerbo County] p.342
L.E. Gustafsson: Ångbåtarna på Smålands sjöar [Steam Boats on Smålands Lakes].
Sture Andreasson Varberg (Franse's son).

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Copyright © Rolf Carlsson.
Translated Eric Swanson.
Updated: 29-apr-2016.