Jørgen Stubberud (1883-1980)
Stubberud participated on Roald Amundsen’s expedition 1910-12 to the Antarctic on the Fram, and he was the last surviving of the expedition members.
Jørgen Stubberud was born on 17 April 1883 at Bekkenstein by Bundefjorden, part of the inner Oslofjord, close to the house that Roald Amundsen bought in 1908. Living beside the fjord, he learned to love the sea. He worked from an early age on his father’s farm, as well as learning carpentry. Other jobs included gardening, lumbering, ship transport of sand and bricks, and six years of daily driving with horse and cart to Oslo to sell farm products at the market. During the winter he had to find other work. Then he rowed very early each morning to Nesodden to participate in sawing out blocks of freshwater ice to be sent abroad by boat. In addition to sawing, he also had to haul the ice blocks up from the pond so they were ready when the sledges came to fetch them.
When Amundsen bought his house Uranienborg, Stubberud and his two brothers, Hans and Harald, worked on the modernisation. Stubberud asked Amundsen if he could join the North Pole expedition (that went to the South Pole) and Amundsen agreed, but wondered what Stubberud's wife Sofie would say as they had two small children. After some time she gave him her permission. Stubberud was asked to build the prefabricated house that Amundsen needed for his South Pole expedition (at the time said to be going to the North Pole). Together with Olav Bjaaland, he rebuilt the house – Framheim – on the Antarctic ice-shelf where it served as the base for the expedition to the South Pole.
Stubberud went on the dog-sledge expedition eastwards with Kristian Prestrud and Hjalmar Johansen to survey King Edward VII Land for two months, while Amundsen and his four companions were away on the Pole journey.
Back in Norway, Stubberud helped with the building of the Maud which Amundsen was to sail north in 1918. He was engaged to supervise the construction, but he did not like this and he therefore participated in the actual building work. He was to have joined the Maud expedition, but he did not feel well enough and he stayed at home. He worked at various sawmills, and in 1920 and 1921 at the Solberg water-power plant in Askim. His job was to construct a dam across the Glomma river. When HM King Haakon VII came to inspect the works, Stubberud met Prestrud again for the first time since the South Pole expedition. Prestrud was then the King’s aide. Editor Domaas in the Fram Committee then got Stubberud a position in the Customs, where he started in the carpentry workshop, but after a while he had the responsibility for all the goods that were loaded and unloaded from the ships in the harbour.
After working at the Customs for 23 years, Stubberud retired as a pensioner in 1953 at 70 years of age. He still wanted to work and he applied to be caretaker at Fred. Olsen’s shipping company. He was there for eight years. His big hobby was the building of model ships. Stubberud finally lived at a home at Romsås in Oslo and he died in 1980 as the last survivor of Amundsen's antarctic expedition.