The family and staff gathered at Näs in 1915: Samuel August, Hanna, the children, the farmhands and the maids
In 1895, Astrid’s paternal grandparents took over the leasehold of the vicarage at Näs and moved into the red house with white corners. That is where Astrid grew up. Samuel August took over the leasehold from his father and ran it for almost half a century until his son Gunnar in turn took over the responsibility. When the farming stopped in 1965, the animals and equipment were sold at auction. Astrid and Gunnar bought the properties and the land nearest the houses.
“There were two things that made our childhood what it was – security and freedom. There was security with those two who cared so much about each other and who were always there if we needed them but otherwise let us clamber freely and happily around the fantastic playground we had at our childhood home Näs. Our upbringing was of course one of strict discipline, as was the custom of the time, but when we played we were wonderfully free and never supervised. And we played and played and played so much it’s a wonder we didn’t play ourselves to death. We climbed like monkeys in trees and on rooftops, we jumped from piles of boards and haylofts so our insides complained, we crawled through dangerous underground tunnels in the big heap of sawdust, we swam in the river long before we could swim, completely forgetting our mother’s orders not to go further than the belly button. But survived we did, all four.”
From Samuel August från Sevedstorp och Hanna i Hult (Samuel August from Sevedstorp and Hanna in Hult, in Swedish), 1975