Hans Pederson, Pioneer Seattle Contractor




I just spent a week in Seattle, joined by family and friends, to celebrate the coming publication of my memoir,

The Mysterious Builder of Seattle Landmarks The Search for my Father

The following link shows bits of the story, but only if you have access to Facebook, I’m learning.  https://www.facebook.com/mysteriousbuilder/

It rained some—what else do you expect in Seattle in March— still, the sun shone brightly for three days!  We took in lots of northwestern eye candy. Especially snow covered mountains and glaciers— Mt. Rainier and the Olympic Peninsula.  First a ferry through the islands to Victoria, then a pre-season tour of the beauteous Butchart Gardens,  a convivial dinner with Canadian kin at a craft brewery. Many totem poles that made us wish we had more time to learn about First Nation culture,  and a celebratory high tea. Later, after brunch at the Seattle Space Needle, we wandered slowly through the other-worldy Dale Chihully Glass Museum. Two of our younger members went hiking.









Northwest Immigrant Ancestors

A Danish couple that I met blogging have become good friends—in fact, my Danish  family. All you blogging travelers could learn much about Danish life, history, and European art, from mariaholm.com (Maria is also an expert on baby care). Her husband, henryhogh22.com describes a wealth of family history. I wish I had the treasure trove of old photos that both of them have preserved.

My father, Hans Pederson, emigrated from Denmark to Seattle in 1860. Many unanswered questions remain from the research I’ve done on his life. At least until Henry joined me in the search. A genealogist, Henry found several articles about my pioneer father, well known in Denmark, and also my mother, in Danish newspapers. Next he looked into Ancestry.com

Two pages are posted above from Henry’s recent 42-page blog documenting Hans Pederson’s family history from 1840 to 1949 in both Danish and English. I’m technically challenged and have problems with translation. But you can see from these pages what detailed histories you can find if you develop an interest in ancestry and genealogy.


Circling the Sun, Beryl Markham, by Paula McLean



Beryl Markham circa 1930 courtesy Wikimedia creative Commons

Circling the Sun,by Paula McLean is a novel featuring the adventures of Beryl Markham the aviation pioneer who flew solo from east to west across the Atlantic.

British born Beryl Markham spent her life in Kenya as a member of the pre-World War II colonial European expatriate society — the British in Africa, India and China; Dutch in South Arica and Indonesia, (called the Dutch East Indies); Vietnam, (French Indo-China); and China (Europeans and Americans).

I spent my early years in China also as an expat — part of the Far Eastern crowd where my adopted father worked as an agent for the Standard Oil. Several servants cared for us. My Shanghai amah had bound feet. This may be one reason why  I couldn’t put the book down.

Paula McLean brings Beryl Markham’s adventurous years in Kenya to life. Neglected by her father, she is raised as a warrior by her African neighbors. One time she places a dead black mamba in her governess’ bed. Among her many adventures, she is mauled by a lion.

Publishers weekly states that “McLean paints an intoxicatingly vivid portrait of colonial Kenya and its privileged inhabitants.”


Elephants at Amboseli National Park against Mt. Kilimamjaro courtesy Wikimedia Creative Commons

A woman ahead of her time,Beryl Markham became a racehorse trainer, a courageous adventurer, and a writer of her own autobiography, ”West with the Night.” Under Paula McLean’s pen, Markham takes up flying shortly after her lover dies in a plane crash. Assuming the same risks seemd the only path left for her when she says,

“We can only go to the limits of ourselves. Anything more and we give too much away. Then we’re not good for anyone.”

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