The Swedish Dickson Society's gathering at Sparreholm
5 and 6 of July 1999.


Who is Who?

Swedish version

Our chairman, Archibald Dickson (2:1:3:1:4), was as usual responsible for this very giving and nice gathering of the Swedish Dickson Society, this time with the help from Mari-Ann and Hans Skiöldebrand (2:3:1:1:2) and Margaretha Wachtmeister (2:3:1:1:1) from Sparreholm. Around 70 of the 175 members had the possibility to attend.

Yours truly, Christina Fermheden, who am working daily at the Dickson castle Tjolöholm and thus has the privilege of being a member of the Society, hereby would like to leave an "account of travels" from these so interesting and giving days.

Birgitta Lundin and myself started already on Friday for another assignment. We were to visit Claes and Agneta Bonde (2:1:1:1:2:3), who also belong to the Swedish family and with whom we have had a good contact. Claes uncle, count Thure Bonde, (2:1:1:1:4) has donated the beautiful Julius Kronberg paintings Triptyken to the Tjolöholm castle. This year, through Claes Bonde, we have been offered to buy and take over by deposition, some items, that were earlier at Tjolöholm during the time when his grandfather, Carl, and grandmother, Blanche Bonde ( 2:1:1:1), lived there.


Ann & Welam Wachtmeister
The Bonde couple now lives at Ekenholms residential estate, situated close to Sparreholm. We were invited to fetch "our" items, as we were going up for the family gathering. At our arrival we were invited to a lovely supper, which at the dessert ended with a glass of port from James Fredrik Dickson's (2:1:1) wine cellar at Tjolöholm, served in glasses with the Dickson Arm. This was a historical moment for me - a memory for life

We arrived late Friday night to Sparreholms Castle and installed ourselves in our room in one of the wings, where Christina Dickson (2:1:3:4:3) and Martin Kiel merrily bid us welcome.

Christina, the family's genealogist, has done a fantastic work making a "family tree", based on the first two immigrants Robert (1) and James (2) Dickson. At these gatherings there are always some "leaves" with question marks, which can be sorted out.

At 10.30 on Saturday morning we gathered in the second wing, where we were offered coffee and were bid welcome by Archibald with his wife Maud, Mari-Ann and Hans Skiöldebrand and Mari-Ann's sister Margaretha Wachtmeister.

 

After that Hans Skiöldebrand told us the history of Sparreholm. Sixty years ago he visited the castle for the first time, then inhabited by the grandfather of the sisters Mari-Ann and Margaretha. His name was Emil Dickson (2:3:1), the oldest son of Robert Dickson (2:3), who in his turn was the son of the immigrant James Dickson. Emil Dickson was a very popular lord of the castle, who cared for his employees and founded pension for them. His way of committing himself in social matters reminds us a lot of "our" Blanche Dickson (2:6:1) at Tjolöholm.

Sparreholm, this beautiful castle, with its two wings, situated in Sörmland at a peninsula in the lake Båven, you reach after have driven through a very long and high (thirty meters!) old lime tree avenue. Just before the approach to the castle is Hyltinge church with the beautiful crypt of the family, designed by the famous architect Ivar Tengbom, who among other things has designed The Concert House in Stockholm.

 
Mari-Ann & Hans Skiöldebrand, Margaretha Wachtmeister
Foto: Beatrice Stael von Holstein

The property got its name from the family Sparre, who where its owner from the end of the 16th century. One of then was Göran Bengtsson-Sparre, married to the maid Anna Jonsdotter. These two lived from 1634 in the house on the estate, which is now owned and inhabited by the couple Skiöldebrand. In the middle of the 18th century the widow De Geer bought the property from Löfsta, who married Johan Wilhelm Sprengtporten. In 1759 they built the present castle of stone in two floors under mansard roof after drawings made by the architect J.E. Rehn. The one floor wings and the garden were constructed some ten years later after the drawings of C.F. Adelcrantz.


Foto: Beatrice Stael von Holstein

Sparreholm came to be owned by Dickson’s through the above mentioned Robert Dickson, who left it to his son Emil. Emil was married to Anna Lewenhaupt, who died at only 42 years of age.


Foto: Beatrice Stael von Holstein

Emil and Anna had the daughter Ann (2:3:1:1), who married Carl Welam Wachtmeister. They had the daughters Mari-Ann and Margaretha, our hosts today. They both live at the property. Margaretha's sons, Johan and Carl Lewenhaupt, owns and runs the estate.

The castle and the park is today owned by Helge Karinen, who told us about his work to restore the castle, and about the new and reconstructions, that he has had made. The activity, consisting  of conference with lodging, parties and museums, are run by Helge's daughter and son in law Anna Karinen and Sven Ericsson. 18 bedrooms are available, some in the wings and some in the castle itself.


Emil Dickson


Anna Lewenhaupt

 

At the place, where the 20 years earlier burnt down greenhouse was, Karin has had a car museum built, which contains an eminent collection of cars in different ages and sizes. The old coach house has been rebuilt into a caoch- and technical museum. At the bottom floor is the pietetfully renovated collection of coaches of Siv von Rosen and at the upper floor the project to make the technical museum with e.g. old jukeboxes is at hard work.


Foto: Beatrice Stael von Holstein
After this showing we were invited to lunch in the riding house by our hosts. After the lunch we were guide by Mari-Ann and Margaretha. Mari-Ann told us about horses and coaches and she showed us an impressive collection of harnesses from her grandfather Emil's time, everything so nicely maintained and preserved.

Margaretha informed us about her sons and his wife’s, Gendery Lewenhaupt, newly started "Camp Sparreholm". Johan is a trained environmental journalist, wilderness instructor, etc. and Gendery a trained chef and children’s nurse. The camp is of American model and can receive children between 8 and 14 years old for ten days. They live in tents for fourteens persons and have one teacher per group. The camps have become very popular and are booked for many summers to come. Even grownups can come in connection with special conferences.

Later in the afternoon the Dickson Society yearly meeting was held in one of the wings and some hours later it was time to meet at the castle. After being guided around by Hans Skiöldebrand we were invited to a nice dinner in the magnificent dining room. The guests of the evening were Malin and Sven Öberg from Vibyholm.

 

Maud & Anders Jägbring, Karl Dickson, James Ramsey, Martin Kiel, Archibald & Maud Dickson
Foto: Christina Dickson

In honour of the evening Mari-Ann and Margaretha  had arranged an exhibition with memories from the family, photos, and beautiful china. Family portraits had been hung on the walls in the dining room, e.g.. of the grandparents Emil and Anna and of the grandfathers father Robert (2:3).


Anders, Maud & Peter Jägbring
Maria & Marcus Nordenborg
Foto: Beatrice Stael von Holstein

On Sunday the 6th of June the members could choose to visit either Skeppsta Gård or Vibyholm Castle.

Skeppsta was bought by Oscar Dickson (2:5) in the year of 1881. Here he fenced in some hundred acres, where he kept fallow deer and red deer. He also let imported Canadian dears into the run, the biggest dears in the world. They can grow up to 450 kilos. Oscar did not live at Skeppsta but his youngest brother  Axel (2:6) with his large family did. His oldest daughter was Blanche Dickson (2:6:1), who married her cousin James Fredrik Dickson (2:1:1) and who had Tjolöholm Castle built.

Vibyholms Castle is situated in the commune of Flen in Södermanland. The castle in stone with its forward going wings was built in 1662-26 after drawings by Casper Panten. Originally it was in a very richly decorated Dutch renaissance style, but was never fully completed. After a long period of deterioration it was restored in a simpler style in the 1730's. Vibyholm got its present appearance at a reparations around 1800 after drawings by C.C. Gjörwells. The castle is since 1730 owned by the countly family Bonde and include amongst other things a large collection of portraits. (Source: National Encyclopaedia).


Foto: Christina Dickson
Birgitta and me choose to visit Vibyholm, where we were welcomed by Malin and Sven Öberg, the son of Axel and Malin's mother, Maud Bonde. It is Malin and Sven who runs Vibyholm today. They took over after Malin's grandfather Carl C:son Bonde (2:1:1:1:1), who died 1990.

Malin is the daughter of Gustav and Maud Bonde at Hörningsholm. Gustav Bonde (2:1:1:1:1:1) was the grandson to the countly couple Blanche and Carl Bonde. Blanche's parents were James Fredrik and Blanche Dickson at Tjolöholm.

The Vibyholm estate is three thousand acres large, has ten tenant holdings, seventeen houses and forty crofts. The castle has around thirty rooms. We were gathered in the drawing room, where most of the impressive collection of portraits are hung. The family Bonde has founded a trust, which owns and is responsible for the portraits. Around 80 of the totally about 300 hundred paintings are at Hörningsholm. There Malin's mother Maud Bonde lives and Malin's brother Carl with his wife Caroline, who runs the farm.

Sven told us about all the necessary restorations at Vibyholm, that the family has had done successively. The castle has recently had a new roof and the heating system has been repaired. The Dutch tile stoves are being seen to one by one so that they shall function. So far eleven out of thirty seven has been done!

In the staircase well to the second floor are the three portraits by Carl, Blanche and the son Carl C:son Bonde, hung painted by Julius Kronberg.

These were earlier at Tjolöholm Castle and we were allowed to borrow them back for our Kronberg exhibition last year.

After our visit to Vibyholm the Dickson Society meeting is over for this time and we thank the Öberg family and say goodbye to all relatives.

The next family gathering will be at Gothenburg, when the family will have a 200 year jubilee. 1802 the first Dickson immigrant came to Sweden and Gothenburg. It was Robert Dickson, the head of "the older line". It has become a tradition to meet every third year, so what could be better, than to meet at Gothenburg. I hope that we here at Tjolöholm can contribute with some program item.

Birgitta and I finally visited Årdala churchyard, situated close to Vibyholm, to plant a rose on the family Bonde’s grave. There rest Blanche Bonde with her son Thord (2:1:1  1:2) and his wife, and the youngest sons Nils (2:1:1 1:3)  and Thure (2:1:1 1:4). Count Thure died August 1998. We will always be grateful to him for all he has done to enrich Tjolöholm.

Many thanks to Archibald, Maud, Christina and the rest of the committee and “relatives” from a very grateful “immigrant” to the family.

TJOLÖHOLMS SLOTT, november 1999

Christina Fermheden

 

Webmistress: Maud Dickson