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A Family Saga

Two small houses from the suburb Enerhaugen – Johannes gate 4 (1925) and Stupinngate 10 (1954) – is now reopened. In these houses we tell the story of a family living there during the period 1909 to 1959.

This story is primarily based on a collaboration with Thorill and Jørn Hilton who lived there as children. and are great-grandchildren of the original inhabitants Marius and Augusta Andresen.

The Courtyard

Johannes gate 4 and Stupinngate 10 have a common yard, with access from the street. The yard is partly planted. In addition to the dwelling houses there is an outhouse with a privy. The yard originally also had a shed, but this has not been re-erected at the museum.

  • An elderely couple with grandchild. Johannes gate 4. Enerhaugen
    Augusta and Marius Andresen witj their grandchild Kristian. Johannes gate 4. Enerhauegen. Ukjent fotograf / Norsk Folkemuseum
  • Three generation women at Enerhaugen
    Martha Olsen with her daughter Elsa Hilton and her grandchild Thorill in front of Johannes gate 4 at Enerhaugen. Carl Jørgensen / Norsk Folkemuseum

The houses are from the 1840s, and consisted of two separate residential units. Marius Andresen moved into Johannes gate 4 with his wife Augusta in 1909. He later also bought Stupinngata 10. From 1916 to 1940 the two houses were occupied by the same family. The joint entrance was erected prior to 1920, and linked the two residences closer together.

In 1925 Johannes gate 4 and Stupinngata 10 had 13 residents. Enerhaugen often had a large number of residents in each house, and in the 1920s the area was characterised by cramped living conditions. Yards and outhouses were often used for home-based trade, for example by carpenters, tinsmiths and cobblers.

In Johannes gate 4/Stupinngata 10 most of the residents had jobs outside the home, and the yard provided a much-needed space for laundry, wood chopping and maintenance work. The yard was also used for recreational purposes by the numerous residents. Here the children of the family would play, often joined by neighbouring children. In their spare time the adults would gather to talk and relax on the bench, and if necessary bring out chairs from the living room and kitchen.

The yard is the first thing that greets visitors to Johannes gate 4/Stupinngata 10, and it was important to the family that it should be presentable. The residents worked hard to upgrade the yard, both for practical reasons and in order to make it look nicer. In the corner between the two houses there was a small flower bed with hollyhocks and nasturtium. A vigorous honeysuckle plant climbed the fence facing the street. The yard was a much-loved meeting-place where the large family and their friends and relatives could all come together.