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Ellen and Gabe Skaar

Photo by Phil Mello

ARRIVED 1960 (Gabe),
1963 (Ellen)

“They say that Norwegians were born with skis on their feet, but on the coast, the snow didn’t last that long. So on Karmøy, they were born with seawater in their legs.”

“My father was here, my husband was here, and I had an aunt that was here. I was one of the lucky ones. I came first to a new furnished apartment. And with a bathroom and a kitchen. And a tv, and a refrigerator and heat that you just pressed a button to get. So I thought I had come to heaven!”

“With so many people coming from the same island when I walked down Purchase Street I thought, are you here too? Are you here too? A lot of people that I knew were from back home. New Bedford was, well it was nice. It was adventurous, but it wasn’t scary. There was so many people that you recognized.”

Gabe (C) with Arnold Jakobsen (L) and Kaare Ness (R) picking the pile on a scallop boat in 1965.

Photo from “Karmøybuer | New Bedford og Fairhaven”

Leaving Norway

“The herring had disappeared off the coast of Norway. And there was no money in it. There was a lot of people that came from the Western part of Norway, former fishermen, including my father. Because there was no work. And here was opportunity.”



Ellen and Gabe’s son, Jeff, captains the F/V Thor.

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