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Fjellheim

Cabin for rent

Tukthuset marina

Marina

Galleri Nisa

Art Galleri

Coop Marked Meløy

Grocery store

Storvatnet

Storvatnet

Mona Tvenning Trana

Mona Tvenning Trana

Galleri GC

Redesing- and photography exhibition

Bremnes

Meløytinden

Art Design Flores

Art Gallery

http://www.meloya.no/art-design-flores/

Meløy Skjærgårdsferie

Cabins for rent

Meløy Skjærgårdsferie: http://www.meloyferie.no/

Meløysjøen Hytter

Cabins for rent

Lille Herstrand utleie

Cabin for rent

Lille Herstrand Utleie: https://www.facebook.com/DaloyUtleie/

Prestegårdsfjøsen

Pub, restaurante and room for rent.

Ørnes Trading Post

Welcome to Ørnes Trading post, what's left of it anyway. At most there were 12-14 buildings here and the landscape was quite different. Actually if you stood were the hotel is now, you would get your feet wet. Trading posts such as Ørnes emerged from the latter part of the 18th century. In these places the so-called "Nessekings" ruled supreme. These were privileged traders, who had received permission from the king to trade. At most, there must have been around 200-300 places like this from Brønnøysund in the south to Vardø in the north. To put it bluntly, the trading post had the same functioned as a city in older times. Business-wise and administratively. As a city would have done, they helped rebuild Northern Norway, which had gradually fallen into rather deep disrepair. The operators of the trading post were called Gjestgiver, and they quickly formed an upper class in northern Norway. They pretty much gathered all threads of the society together, and were a kind of chief in their local community. They also invested in ships, so that they could sail south to sell fish when the price was at its best.

My name is Fredrikke Sophie Dass Klæboe, born here on Ørnes in 1844. It was my great-grandfather, skipper Elling Pedersen, who first received privileges to run trade at Ørnes in 1794.

Out on Meløya, Elling and his sons conducted, trade and shipping, so Ørnes was not the highest priority. This responsibility fell on his daughter Karen Andrea Klæboe. Elling was a old man when he started at Ørnes, and already in 1802 he died. His wife then moved here to help her daughter, but unfortunately she also died, only 2 years later. After this, the son, Hans Klæboe Ellingsen, moves here ans took over. But it didn't go well. Already the following year, the trading post was hit by a major fire.

 

A few years later, Hans sells the business to his great-uncle, Ole Ellingsen from Meløya, and moves to Støtt. Sadly Hans was not a lucky man. At Støtt, he was hit by both a fire and a shipwreck, and in 1824 he was bankrupt and went out of business.

In the beginning, the trading post's operations were modest, but during the 19th century, the fisheries experienced a strong and long-lasting boom. Like other trading posts, this was the time when Ørnes Handelssted began to grow. And Ole Ellingsen was the man who made it happen. In addition to starting with shiping, he bought up large tracts of land and ventured into farming. It must be said that this was the start of the trading post's heyday.

 

In 1845 Ole Ellingsen dies. Anders Dass Klæboe, marries Ole's daughter and takes it over the place that his Grandfather had to sell. Father was a capable man. He continued in Ole's footsteps by buying up surrounding areas and started a larger farm.

It was a great time. Large herring had made many trading places rich and Ørnes was no exception. I can remember from when I was a child that there was always a lot of activity on the farm. We had 5 servants and 5 maids.

When Anders suddenly passed away suddenly in 1873, my husband took over. He bore a great name my husband, John Nikolai Myhre Bernhoft. As well as being an capable man with great origins, he was a good man. You will never see a warmer smile than that on my John Nikolai.


Unfortunately, society was changing and our basis of life was no longer as secure. We had already lost the trading monopoly while dad was running the place, but now our ships were no longer good enough. Now everything would be steam. These were large expensive boats that no merchant could afford to buy. Well, apart from the big man Zahl on Kjerringøy, of course.


We had a good life at Ørnes and our lord blessed us with 5 healthy children. 3 girls and 2 boys. My youngest, Sigurd, was not yet a year old when we were struck by illness. There was a powerful darkness that settled over us, and when it finally lifted I was no longer the mother of 5. Only Sigurd and Johanne survived. They say that as a result I have spoiled Sigurd. But they can say what they like. When love for 5 is to be divided between 2, of course there will be plenty to go around.

 

In 1918 my life on this earth was over, but John continued to watch over the trading post and our children. Johanne grew up and married into a great family, while Sigurd stayed here at Ørnes. He had gone to shipping school in Bodø, so when he took over the trading post in 1927, he was well trained. He had also married a girl from the south. Elise Klementine Finne Bernhoft.

 

Although the golden age of the trading post was long gone, Sigurd still carried himself as if he still was the lord of the land. Maybe a little high on himself, but he took care of the village. Sigurd and Elise gave away parts of their land in Ørnes for business development, and contributed to positive growth in the area. The same development eventually ate into their private plot boundaries, and after their death the area became increasingly unsuitable for private use.

 

Sigurd and Elise also had some difficult times. In 1942, during the war, the old main house caught fire and they got any children either. So when Sigurd passed away in 1958, Elise's nephew, Fredrikk, moved into his aunt's house.

 

Sigurd and Elise also had some difficult times. In 1942, during the war, the old main house caught fire and they got any children either. So when Sigurd passed away in 1958, Elise's nephew, Fredrikk, moved into his aunt's house.
 
 
 
In 1976, the heirs moved out, and the trading post was then sold to Meløy municipality. After this, the buildings were used as offices, shops and other businesses. Still, they were mainly empty until the Nordlandsmuseet took over operations in 2004.
 
 
 
The buildings have been restored and are today the center for the Nordlansmuseet's operations in Meløy. It is used for offices, teaching and as a cafe in the summer. In 2 of the buildings there are also exhibitions that people can experience.
 
 
But I must say. Even though it's great that history has been preserved, I wonder if it was necessary to make an exhibition in my bedroom and display my best underwear for public viewing?
 
Its shameful…

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voice:  Miriam Sollie Iversen

Editing: Helge seim


Musikk og Lydeffekter: freesound.org

 

Sources:

Documents

  • Kyllingstad Røyne (1959) Det store eksamensarbeid, Handelsstedet Kjerringøy Norges Tekniske Høgskole
  • Fulsås Narve (1983) Voksten og fallet til ein nordlandsk handelstad. Kjerringøy i K. Zahl si tid, 1850-1900. Hovudoppgåve i historie Tromsø
  • Gulowsen Jon (2008) Hundre år i utakt s.178-185 nytt norsk tidskrift bind 25.

 

Books

  • Knutsen Nils M. (1988) Nessekongene Gyldendal norske forlag
  • Kiil A. (1940) Nordlandshandelen i det 17.århundre Trykt for Fridtjof Nansens fond
  • Ytreberg (1941) Nordlandske handelsteder  Bruns Bokhandel forlag
  • Engelstad Eivind S. (1954) ”Hos Bernhoft på Ørnes”, i Norsk Hydro
  • Moe, Knut (1981) Gård og grend: Meløy: Bind 2
  • Stamtavle over Slægten Bernhof, Emilie Bernhoft, (1885) Chr. Gundersens Bogtrykkeri
     

Interviews

  • Klara Sletten, Spildra, 15. september 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen
  • Liv Strand, Ørnes, 15. september 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen
  • Rolf Dybvik, Dybvik, 11. oktober 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen
  • Gerd Myrvang, Glomfjord, 8. november 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen

 

The museum is run by Nordlandsmuseet

 

If you have any questions about  Ørnes Trading post, please contact Helge Seim: +47 91 00 92 53  or by e-mail: helge.seim@nordlandsmuseet.no

The old Bakery

The trading posts were more than just a rich estate. In addition to being an innkeeper and local trader, the innkeeper was also a processor, dealer and exporter of fish products. He was a merchant, postman, shipowner, moneylender, financier, landowner, proprietor and large farmer. In order to be able to accommodate all these social functions, quite a number of buildings were eventually built at the estate. At most there were 12-14 buildings at Ørnes trading post and the bakery is the oldest.

Hush! Can you hear it? I thought I heard giggling….


In my time there was no oven in the bakery, it was where the maids lived. The young men in the area were fully aware of their present, and from time to time there was an occasional courtship. Well, It was hardly marriage they were looking for.
 
 
During the day the maids were so busy with work that no major watch was necessary, but at night it was worse. In order to keep track, we had our bedroom on the west side of our house. I had the bed under the window you see on the upper left. From there I had good view of both doors into the bakery.
 
In my time Children born out of wedlock wore a sin and I wouldn’t tolerate it under my watch.
The bakery has been at Ørnes Trading post for a long time. And even though we call it the Bakery, it has not always been used for baking. It has been built in several stages and it seems that the oldest part has been moved here from another place. This building had only 2 rooms and 1 floor.
 
During the 19th century, this small place gradually began to become more prosperous. They invested in new land and the estate kept getting bigger. With increased activity and more people at work comes the need for more living space. The bakery was expanded during the first decades of the 19th century. It was extended to the north, west and east and an upper floor was built. During this time, the building was mainly used for storing food and clothes, but also for sleeping.
At this time there was no heating in the building, so I'm sad to say the maids were terribly cold in the winter. This was improved at the end of the 19th century when a chimney was built.
 
 
In the 20th century it gradually became clear that the best years of the trading post had passed. The bakery was then rebult for something more usable. It was at this point a baking oven was installed, and the upper floor was used as an office. The last baker was called Aksel Johansen and came from Lofoten.
 
Today, there is little evidence of the old baking oven. During a condition assessment ahead of extensive restoration work in the 80s, it was written that you could see the baking oven in the basement. Most likely, the last traces disappeared during the restoration work.
Just like 100 years earlier, at the beginning of the 2000s there was again a need to change the building into something more usable. The Nordlandsmuseet, which today operates the facility, uses the bakery for exhibition of operation musketoon. An exciting story from the days of the war.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voice:  Miriam Sollie Iversen

Editing: Helge seim


Musikk og Lydeffekter: freesound.org

 

Sources:

Documents

  • -Kyllingstad Røyne (1959) Det store eksamensarbeid, Handelsstedet Kjerringøy Norges Tekniske Høgskole
  • Fulsås Narve (1983) Voksten og fallet til ein nordlandsk handelstad. Kjerringøy i K. Zahl si tid, 1850-1900. Hovudoppgåve i historie Tromsø
  • Gulowsen Jon (2008) Hundre år i utakt s.178-185 nytt norsk tidskrift bind 25.

Books

  •  Knutsen Nils M. (1988) Nessekongene Gyldendal norske forlag
  • Kiil A. (1940) Nordlandshandelen i det 17.århundre Trykt for Fridtjof Nansens fond
  • Ytreberg (1941) Nordlandske handelsteder  Bruns Bokhandel forlag
  • Engelstad Eivind S. (1954) ”Hos Bernhoft på Ørnes”, i Norsk Hydro
  • Moe, Knut (1981) Gård og grend: Meløy: Bind 2
  • Stamtavle over Slægten Bernhof, Emilie Bernhoft, (1885) Chr. Gundersens Bogtrykkeri

 

Interviews

  • Klara Sletten, Spildra, 15. september 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen
  • Liv Strand, Ørnes, 15. september 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen
  • Rolf Dybvik, Dybvik, 11. oktober 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen
  • Gerd Myrvang, Glomfjord, 8. november 2010, av Håvard J. Nilsen

The new center in Meløy

From olden times, Meløy and Rødøy had been 2 parts of the same unit, but over the years they had gradually drifted apart. There were several reasons for this, but it was primarily about distance. In 1884, Meløy officially split from Rodøy. The choice of where the center should be was easy. It had to be the place that had been the center of the parish for hundreds of years. It had to be Meløya. Time passed and after the Second World War the old buildings on Meløya were no longer good enough. Again, the administration was to be moved, but agreeing on where it should be would prove to be a challenge.

Time passed and after the Second World War the old buildings on Meløya were no longer good enough. Again, the administration was to be moved, but agreeing on where it should be would prove a challenge.
 

In the early 1950s, there were relatively heated discussions about the relocation of administration from Meløya. The dispute was between Vall in South and Ørnes in the north. The owner of Grønnøy, Fredrik Kristian Meyer, had inherited more than just the name from his father. He was also very committed and was willing to go to great lengths for the administration to be put in his district. It is said that he was willing to move both the steamboat quay and expedition to the other side of the bay if necessary. Sigurd was no worse. He had begun showing his age, but his heart still burned for his village. He had already secured both the old people's home and the dairy and perhaps this was finishing touch of his career
 
One might wonder why the choice was between these 2 places. They are both conveniently located in relation to shipping, but far from perfect. There are probably other places that geographically would have made more sense. The fact that both places had a trading post was probably decisive here. Both Grønøy and Ørnes had a strong leader who was keen to protect his district. And the people were used to following them.
 
The trading posts heyday was indeed long since past in the 1950s. In Meløy, these were the only who still remained and they wore but shadows of their former greatness. Nevertheless, they had great influence and large areas of land. As the administration constantly had new needs for various services, Grønøy and Ørnes had made land available. Both places also had regular public transport routes.
Why the choice ultimately fell on Ørnes is hard to say, but much of the reason probably lies in port conditions and the accessibility to the industrial site of Glomfjord.
 
I think this was probably an example of a tug-of-war between old elites. But even if Fredrik Meyer was determent , social development had transformed Grønøy from the center to the outskirts. The road network was undergoing extensive development and was well on its way to taking over as the main thoroughfare.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voice:  Miriam Sollie Iversen

Editing: Helge seim


Musikk og Lydeffekter: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Swensen P. , Torsvik U. og Schulz H.(1984) Jubileumsskrift Meløy kommune 1884 - 1984

 

Grønøy Trading Post

Grønøy is located a short distance from today's center in Meløy. Throughout history, the place has had various variations of the name, but always with the same meaning. Namely the green island. This is a very descriptive name for this beautiful place. Here lies the old trading post surrounded by green fields and forest, beyond the knolls stand groups of crooked pines, and inwards to the east the Svartis mountains blue and mighty.

They say they have a long history on Meløya. Phew! Haven’t we all?

Like here on Grønøy for instance

Admittedly, Christen Albrecht Angell did not get an innkeeper's license on Grønøy until 1788, but by then trade had already been carried on for a long time. At the census in 1701, there was full activity on Grønøy. The owner was the 74-year-old Trondhjem resident Jens, who had been trading and shipping on Grønøy for a long time.

 

Christen Albrecht Angell was married to his cousin Maren Hvid Blix and had 10 children with her. The trading post grew and at the turn of the century Christen had 2 transport ships and employed 11 people. In 1824, his son Hans Christensen Angell, takes over. Hans has 6 children, but none of them wants to take over the family business form their father.

 

In 1844 Grønøy trading post was thus sold by auction to Ole Augustinussen from Nesna. He was married to Oline Zahl, but they had no children. So when Ole died barely 50 years old, the widow was left with the business.

 

In 1860, the area was bought by Anders Meyer for a whopping 3,500 spesidaler. This was a time when an ordinary residential house was valued at 50-75 spesidaler. That really says it all.

In addition, Anders Meyer had to pay a fee for the madam and housemaid Anne Heide. The corps scheme was a kind of pension scheme. This fee was a kind of pension scheme. It was established when a child or others took over ownership of the land. The award gave the former owners fixed benefits in kind or money.

 

Anders was the brother of the fabled L.A. Meyer at Mo i Rana. Lars Aagaard, which was his real name, eventually built up a company that was to become one of the largest companies in the entire region.

Even to this day, one remembers the saying: All the crap the world owns, can be bought at L.A. Meyer.

 

Anders, like his brother, was a competent business man and most of the buildings at the trading post were built in his time. Only 5 years after the purchase, there were 11 servants on the farm and a large operation both on land and at sea.
 

In 1899, his son Fredrik Meyer, takes over the business of Grønøy Trading post. Just 3 years after this, Fredrik went into politics. And just 6 years after this he was elected mayor. He was not a greatest of politicians, but he felt it was his civil duty.
His greatest accomplishment in politics was providing Meløy with supplies during the First World War

 

As you know, Grønøy is very well situated in the shipping lane, so it was even predetermined by nature to be a melting point for travelers. The steamships also had port here.  And from 1912 the Hurtigruta actually docked here 6 times a week. The depth conditions off the trading post were not sufficient for large ships, so steamboats docked at Jektvika. But then Sigurd Bernhoft went ahead and built a deep-water quay at Ørnes and thus stole Hurtigruta from us. After this, more and more were moved, and today it is Ørnes that is the central hub, and Grønøya has become an outlying area.

 

In 1939, Grønøy trading post was inherited by Fredrik Meyer, who was named after his father. The golden age of this trading posts was over. The owners had managed to become the new elite in Northern Norway, but now they had to fight if they wanted to their position. 
One of the tasks of the owners of the trading post was shop operations. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that for most places this was only a small secondary income. The big money came from fishery in Lofoten.
 
 
On this point Grønøy differed slightly from the others. In the shop that remained on the south side of the island, there was activity right up to modern times. Lots of small items were sold here. Some even stocked up with equipment for the Lofoten fishing. Some fish was bought, but it was not from Lofoten. The fish came from a fishing village called Valvær approximately 10 nautical miles west of Bolga.
 
The trading post also had a speedboat of 36 feet with a 20hp engine, which was used as a shuttle. Imagine owning such a large and beautiful boat, going fishing would be like a dream.
 
In 1974, Fredrik (the younger) transferred the deed for Grønøy to his son Thor. The farm was then separated from the business and run by Thor's brother, who also went by the name Fredrik Meyer.
 
The old main building on the farm dates from 1890 and stands there to this day. It was built after a major fire in 1887 which destroyed most of the buildings. With its simple empire facade, it is a beautiful and venerable building.

And let me tell you. Of all the places I have traveled in my time as a fisherman, Grønnøy is the most beautiful. I truly mean that.
 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices:  Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Sources:

  • Swensen. (1990) Årbok nr. 6: Fredrik Meyer Meløy kommunes tredje ordfører Meløy Historielag
  • Moe K. (1981) Gård og grend i Meløy
  • Ytreberg N.A.(1942) Nordlandske handelssteder. Virke,hverdag, reiseliv, fest

"The Black Ice"

But...Its not black at all!

There are probably many who have wondered why I am called Svartisen, which directly translates to `the Black Ice`.

I especially remember those who came here before color photographs wore invented. One time, there was a little boy who stood and stared at me for a long time before turning to his mother with a confused look on his face. 

'But it's not black at all! Not even a little! It could at least have been gray!'...

Yes, I chuckled to myself at that time to. However, my name doesn't come from my color, at least not directly. Let me explain.


If you get really close, it can actually look like I'm a bit gray. But that’s just dust, dirt, and fine sand particles that wind and water have brought along.

Throughout the entire summer, small streams of meltwater flow down my body, and the particles that aren't washed away remain in small and larger pits that are clearly visible against the blue-white ice. But it's not the dirt that gave me my name, that I must emphasize.

In this part of the country my name means glacier ice. The glacier ice is darker than the snow next to it. In cloudy weather, the glacier ice looks gray from a distance. In clear weather, it appears greenish and blue. But it always looks dark compared to the snow.

So, the name means the (blue) colored or dark glacier ice, in contrast to snow or new ice.

This color change was actually something people in the past used as a weather forecast. By observing my color, they could predict the upcoming weather. Maybe not for the next days, but at least for the next few hours. If the ice appeared dirty and gray, it meant mild weather and rain were on the way. If, however, the ice was light and the blue color clear and pure, it indicated good weather.
This must have been quite useful when you were unsure of the weather in the midst of harvest.

 

 

 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Myrvang, A. (2000) – Med Svartisen som Nabo.

 

Rendalsvik

In bygone days, tranquility reigned, 
Nature's melody, the symphony sustained.

But hark, the industrial overture began, 
Seagull cries silenced, a new era ran.

Gone, the babbling brooks, the gentle hum, 
Replaced by dynamite's deafening drum.

The waterfall subdued, structures ascend, 
Beneath the mountain's shadow, changes blend.

Oh, God, bear witness to this altered scene,
 Where progress unfolds, and nature's hymn convene.”


Some of you may think I'm talking about Glomfjord. And I would understand you if you did. If you hear talk about hydropower and industry in Meløy, it's easy to lean in that direction. Nevertheless, let me tell you that once upon a time, that wasn't the only industrial community here in Meløy.

Let me tell you about when modern world came to Holandsfjorden. 
Let me tell you about Rendalsvik.

I dag ligger Rendalsvik øde og forlat. Og ser man bort fra et og annet nedrustet anlegg er det lite vitner om den aktiviteten som en gang var her. Likevel skal det nevnes at en gang i tiden var dette et pulserende kraftsamfunn som kunne rivalisere Glomfjord.

Den første som var registrert bofast i Rendalsvik, het Peder Rafaelsen, i året 1667. Siden da bodde det sammenhengende familier her som livnærte seg av fiske og små jordbruk.

 

Industrialiseringen startet da det ved overgangen til det 20. århundre ble det oppdaget grafittforekomster i området. Dette var et "nytt" mineral i Norge, og prosjektet må ha fortonet seg spennende.

 

Likevel skal det nevnes at det gikk rolig i starten. Det skulle faktisk ta tett på 30 år før man begynte å dra nytte av forekomstene.

 

Det tyske firmaet A/S Minerals begynte sommeren 1931 å ta ut prøver og ut på våren 1933 var man i gang med oppbyggingen. Og allerede fra første spadetak var det ca. 50 mann i arbeid. Med tanke på at firmaet var tysk er det ikke overaskende at mesteparten av produksjonen gikk til Tysk krigsindustri. På grunn av sin seighet var grafitten fra Rendalsvik spesielt godt egnet til batteriene i stridsvognene.

 

De første årene var driften sesongbasert, men fra 1935 gikk maskinene kontinuerlig. Vannkraften ble i 1938 bygd ut med en turbin på 400 hestekrefter og ganske snart fikk alt av hus og hytter elektriske lys. Dette var i en tid da de fleste andre steder i Nord-Norge måtte nøye seg med oljelamper.

Stedet vokste og fikk etter hvert både brevhus, butikk, lokalbåtanløp og telefon. Distriktslegen hadde kontordager her og stedet fikk egen skole- og stemmekrets. Her var sangkor, ungdomslag og bridgeklubb. Likevel skal det neves at tiltros for at de etter hvert ble ganske mange fastboende, var pendlerne i flertall. Med en arbeidsstyrke på 200 mennesker var dette det største i Meløy…. Ja, foruten om Glomfjord selvsagt.

I starten hadde A/S Minerals et norsk hovedkontor i Mo i Rana, men når Norge ble okkupert i 1940 tok det tyske regimet direkte styring. Produksjonen under andre verdens krig var betydelig, men da tyskerne måtte kapitulere opphørte driften.

Etter krigen var over hadde Rendalsvik mistet sin største kunde, likevel var optimismen stor på at driften ville starte opp igjen.

Det skjedde ikke og allerede vinteren 1946/47 ble det klart at eventyret var over for godt. Folketallet begynte å dale allerede i 1945, men det var først da skolen ble nedlagt i 1963 at fraflyttingen for alvor satte fart,

I dag har naturen tatt området tilbake, og Rendalsvik et nok en gang blitt et stille og fredelig sted…

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

Pettersen K. (2002) Årbok nr. 18: Setvik gård Meløy Historielag

 

Fonndal Farm

Not far from the mighty Engenbreen lies Fonndalsbreen. In terms of size, it may never have been able to compete with its big brother, but when it comes to beauty that’s a different story. At the turn of the 20th century, it extended as far down as 95 meters above sea level, was 3.5 km long, and had a width of nearly 1000 meters. But the real magic was the color. It was an almost luminous blue in the ice walls. And the color became darker and almost ominous within gaping crevices and magnificent caves. And just below Fonndalsbreen, you'll find the Fonndalen farm.

Fonndal gård er en karakteristisk nordlandsgård fra ca. 1880 med nesten intakte bolighus. Gården har betydelig miljømessig verdi og innehar viktig kunnskaps- og kildeverdi knyttet til byggeskikken i landsdelen.

 

Med uendelig arbeidslyst og kun ved hjelp av enkle håndredskaper som hakke, spade og spett har bonden på Fondalen gjennom flere generasjoner ryddet sig en boplass, som det står respekt av.

 

I tillegg til å ha vært en alminnelig gård har den hatt en viktig funksjon som losjisted for turister i Saltfjellet og på Svartisen og motsvarer Vestlandets trehoteller i sveitserstil fra samme periode. Ingen gård med tilsvarende funksjon er bevart i Nordland.

 

Gården ligger ved inngangen til en storslått fjellverden, Saltfjellet og Svartisen nasjonalpark. Bak gården ligger dalen med bratte fjell på 8-900 meters høyde til hver side og Fonndalsbreen innerst. I mer enn hundre år har gården vært et utgangspunkt for brevandringene på denne delen av Svartisen.

 

Da gården ble overtatt av Adolf Johansen i 1882, gjorde Johansen hovedbygningen om til pensjonat. Dette var i tiden da turisttrafikken tok seg opp. Soverommene i andre etasje har fortsatt nummer på dørene.

 

Det heter seg at all ting har sin tid i solen. Fonndalen gård er intet unntak. De siste seksti årene har breen trukket seg ca 400 meter lenger opp i dalbunnen og breen er ikke lenger like tilgjengelig eller attraktiv.

Likevel var ikke fonndalen død og begravet. På grunn av sin bygningshistoriske og kulturhistoriske betydning og dens sentrale funksjon som pensjonat ble anlegget fredet i 1997.

 

Denne fredningen har i ettertid blitt debattert. I 2003 vedtok kommunen en reguleringsplan for uttak av grus på eiendommen. Men når grunneieren ikke ønsket å avstå grunn til dette frivillig og kommunestyret ikke ønsket å ekspropriere grunnen, så ble videre uttak av grus skrinlagt.

Prosessen med å avfrede gården etter reguleringsvedtaket ble derfor heller ikke gjennomført, og Fonndalen gård er fremdeles fredet.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Kulturminnesøk.no

-Myrvang, A. (2000) – Med Svartisen som Nabo

The Old Tourist Hut

Tourism eventually became something that sparked significant engagement from the majority of the local population. They organized excursions, created souvenirs, and facilitated the area for visitors. In addition to the guesthouse in Fonndalen, a stone pier, road, and of course a tourist cabin.

Most people from the district didn't have much contact with the people on the two farms near Svartisen when they visited. They usually arrived in their own boats, took a stroll, and had their packed lunches. The tourist cabin that the people of Fonndal set up in 1927 was only open when cruise ships docked, but during those times, anyone could buy souvenirs, coffee, and Porridge made of sour cream.

I particularly remember a time when Alfred Enga from Engavågen was here on a Sunday outing aboard the boat "Bina," I think it was shortly after the first World War. They stopped by Grønøy and picked up the innkeeper Fredrik Meyer, along with his wife and a Swedish artist.

They landed at Fondalsøyra and hiked up to Fonndalsbreen, where they stood admiring the beautiful scenery.

*Laughs

The Swedish artist was so impressed that he painted a picture that supposedly hangs in an art gallery in Stockholm today. I believe they called him Carsten Hvistendal, but I can't be entirely sure. It is as you know, quite a long time ago.

Anyway, back at the farm, they unpacked their picnic basket and had coffee before ending the day with games, song, and violin music.

Initially, in addition to the Tourist Cabin, there were two tents in the same area, a writing tent where tourists wrote their postcards, and a stamp tent where postcards and stamps were sold. The frames of the tents stood all summer, covered with tent cloth during visits. When the season ended, everything was dismantled. In later years, all sales took place indoors.

Albert Knutsen from Holandsfjord had his own tent where he sold model boats. The boats were carved from solid alder wood rigged with sails, equipped with everything, and painted in the correct colors. Knutsen also made beautiful walking sticks with painted Svartisen motifs.

Tourists often bought a walking stick on their way up to the ice, and upon returning, boat purchases were made. Several others also sold small items around the tourist cabin area. However, it should be noted that the people of Fonndal did not become directly wealthy from cruise tourism. The amount left by tourists was limited.

By the end of the 1960s, the tourist engagement of the people of Fonndal had come to a crossroad. If they were to continue, significant investments were needed. Ultimately, the decision was made to close down. Fonndalsbreen was already in solid decline, and the fact that hosts Edel and Johan Dahl were getting older did not help either.

So, when the last tourist ship glided out of Holandsfjorden in late summer 1966, it also marked the end of hosting cruise tourists in Fonndal. In 2005, the tourist cabin was demolished, marking the end of an era.

 

 

 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Myrvang, A. (2000) – Med Svartisen som Nabo.

-Steinar Johansen intervjue 2.11.23

Breestua

About 1 km from the pier, on the west bank of the lake, you'll find Breestua. From here, there's a magnificent panoramic view of the glacier. From June until the end of August, Breestua has regular opening hours and serves simple dishes for lunch and dinner. Breestua has around 100 seats and a large outdoor terrace facing the glacier. Two of the rooms have been named after prominent individuals who have visited Svartisen, and here you can see pictures and read stories from their visits.

Turism has indeed been a big part of daily life under the glacier for both Fonndalen and Svartisen farm. In the early years, the farm buildings were used for this operation, but over time, that changed. In 1985, all operations were moved to the newly built Breestua.

To find the background for the construction, we don't need to go further back than the year before. In 1984, there was a big stir in the area when the SS "Norway" announced that they would be visiting. When the ship was completed in 1962, it gained attention. At 315 meters, it was the longest passenger ship the world had ever seen, a record that stood until 2003 when it was surpassed by the British passenger ship RMS Queen Mary 2.

 

The visit in August 1984 unsurprisingly led to a lot of positive PR. Olav Gåsvær, a local politician, visited and suggested building a pavilion where people could seek shelter if the weather was bad.

This initiated the construction of Breestua. They began in December 1984, and after a steadfast effort, Breestua was ready for use by July 1985.

 

The location was determined after much contact with the tourism industry. Alf Erik Hansen, marketing manager for Diplomat Hotel, and Børre Gjeldstad, marketing manager for SAS hotel, had frequent visits to the area. The chosen location was where they used to gather groups before and after glacier visits.

Svartisen farm was responsible for operating Breestua. However, it gradually proved to be overly challenging to combine it with the daily operation of the farm. The tourism is known to be most busy in the summer, which is also one of the busiest periods on a farm. In 2003, two of the farm's daughters took over the operation. They brought in some investors and started the business. Unfortunately, things didn't go quite as they had envisioned, so just two years later, they withdrew, and the investors were left with the operation. In other words, Svartisen farm operated Breestua for 20 years.

 

The investors ran the facility until the local goverment stepped in and purchased the companies in 2011. The reason behind this was to ensure access for the local population and to open up for more local commercial players. This was because the local government in Meløy considers Engabreen as a beacon for the local tourism industry.

I would have liked to provide you with some practical information about opening hours and such, but since they can change a bit from year to year, so instead I include a link to their website. You can find it in the text.

Svartisen.no

 

 

 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Steinar Johansen intervjue 2.11.23

Home of the fog

1070 meters above sea level, south of Glomfjord and southwest of Holandsfjorden, you'll find what was in 2014 declared as Norway's least accessible cabin due to harsh weather and challenging hiking trails. Step into the heights, enter the enchanting realm of Tåkeheimen.

Tåkeheimen that directly translate to, “the home of the fog”, is a so-called trekking association cabin located on Helgelandsbukken. It is operated by the Bodø and surrounding trekking association and is one of the most popular trekking association cabins in Nordland.

Although general tourism in the area has a long history, Tåkeheimen is actually relatively new. Its story began in the 1970s when preliminary studies were conducted for the power development project at Svartisen.

Two triangular cabins were erected for the surveyors to stay in while working on the glacier. The cabins were also used for a long time by glacier courses organized by the Bodø and Surrounding Trekking Association on Svartisen, as well as by other hikers.

After some years, when the decision was made to eliminate the cabins, ownership was assumed by the trekking association. In 1994, the association built a new cabin in the same location. Tåkeheimen now has the capacity to house 17 people and is open from May 2nd to September 30th.

Some may find it strange that the cabin is closed in winter, but I assure you there is a good reason for this. This time of the year the already challenging weather conditions becomes even more unpredictable. In fact, during winter, the cabins may not even be visible, let alone inhabitable.

Its excellent location high up on a ridge just below Svartisen makes it one of the highest cabins in Northern Norway. There are several trails leading up here from both Engabrevatnet and Fonndalen. One can also traverse Svartisen to Storglomvatnet and further to Beiarn. In winter, skiing from Holmvassdemningen over Vesterisen to Tåkeheimen is possible. The safest route is probably past Engabreen, but it can take a significant amount of time, as you need a boat transfer from Holand to Engen.

The two triangular cabins on the site are named Tåkeheimen and Institutt for uhensiktsmessig vær, which translate to home of the fog, and the Institute for Inconvenient Weather. Both of these names indicate that weather might not be the main attraction when people choose to come here. However, if you happen to be lucky enough to visit on a day when the sun is shining, the wind is calm, and the fog is absent, then you can expect an unparalleled view. A long mirror-like fjord, a lush archipelago, and in the background, the endless open sea.

It's no surprise that the cabin has become a "must" for most outdoor enthusiasts.

If you are interested in renting the cabin, I'll include a link on the side. 

You are welcome to visit!





 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

Store Norske Leksikon

 

 

I am a living creature

I am alive. Let me tell you my story...

Long time ago, Saint Olav was on his way north to convert the people of Helgeland to Christianity. The chieftain of the Sami in Misvær, a powerful sorcerer, wanted to put a stop to this. He intended to block the passage by creating an ice wall over the sea from the mainland in Rødøy. If successful, Saltdalen and Misvær would be spared a visit from Saint Olav.

The chieftain filled a large box with magical flies (gandfluer) and put his most powerful spell upon them. Then, he had another Sami carry the box on his back up Misværmarka to Rippevagga. When he arrived, he opened the box and release the flies, which set off in the strong east wind towards the sea. However, just behind the swarm of flies, it began to snow heavily, filling the valley and the surrounding mountain tops with snow for miles. After a while, the snow compacted and turned into hard ice.

Meanwhile, Saint Olav had arrived at Bliksvær, and upon seeing all the snow, he immediately understood that there was sorcery involved. He made the sign of the cross with his sword and bound the mighty forces in the name of the lord. At that moment, the swarm of flies fell into the sea, and the snow only reached as far as the coast. 

If the flies had reached the sea on the other side of Rødøyløva, the passage would have been blocked by ice and the Sami chieftain would have won. Now, the ice only lay as far as the swarm of flies flew: from Rippevagga to the coast in Rødøy, where it remains to this day and is called Svartisen (the Black Ice).


This is one of the two legends about how I came to exist, but as you might understand, it's not quite how it was.

Like other living beings, I also can't remember precisely when, but at some point, I too was created. Some believe that I originated from the last great ice age, which was at its coldest around 20,000 years ago.

Granted, I am no longer in my youth, but it's not as bad as all that. The ice that was here during the ice age gradually retreated, and about 2,500 years ago, there was nothing here. 

After this warm period, a cooler one began, leading me and others to start growing. Year after year, I grew until I reached my mightiest state in the mid-1700s. This was before I was split into the two parts you see me as today.

Since then, I have generally been getting smaller and smaller, but it wasn't until 1923 that things really started to go downhill.

Not everyone remembers it, but at one time I actually had an arm that extended down through Fonndalen. It might be hard to picture, but if you analyze the name, you'll know it to be true. "Fonn" actually means "pile of snow". It's often used in relation to small glaciers. Unfortunately, today it has all but disappeared.

Engabreen, which is my other arm in Hollandsfjorden, has also retreated in recent years, and who knows how long it will take before that one is gone too. Nevertheless, you shouldn't fear for me. For even though it may mean I become less accessible and, not least, visible, I will continue to live in good health for many, many years to come.

 

 

 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Myrvang, A. (2000) – Med Svartisen som Nabo.

 

Life below the Glacier

I olden times, Engabreen and Fonndalsbreen were often referred to as the twin glaciers. Close to the ice wall, people have lived for generations, intimately acquainted with these fascinating natural wonders. Come, let me tell you about some of my neighbors!

I don`t actually remember the exact moment when people settled here. You know, the older you get, the harder it becomes to distinguish the years from each other. Nevertheless, I believe it was around the Middle Ages.

A shared challenge among those who settled here was dealing with the glacier's edge. It changed from year to year and from month to month. Cracks appeared only to later close. Occasionally, caves and glacier gates opened before disappearing as well. Large and small ice blocks tumbled out and disappeared. It rumbled, cracked, and grumbled on its journey. It gurgled, splashed, and roared.

*Laugh

Yes, even though it might not be easy for everyone to understand, none of my neighbors doubted that I was a living creature.

I'll skip talking about Fonndalen farm for now, as I'll cover it in another post. Instead, I'll tell you about Storsteinøren farm. Well... There isn't much to say about it really, other than they might have been a bit too bold when deciding how close to the ice cap it should be. As I mentioned earlier, I was growing until the 1750s. Consequently, Storsteinøren farm had to surrender to the ice. Actually It's said to have been buried by the ice early 1720s.

*Psh! But personally, I think that's an exaggeration. I understand that the large amounts of meltwater may have posed some challenges regarding drainage and frost damage to crops, but I certainly did not bury anyone!...

Next, I want to talk about is Svartisen farm. It's not far from where Storsteinøren was, but it's not the same.

The farm has had many names. Engeøyra, Fonnstrand, and before that Fonnøyr. And even though it didn't suffer the same fate as Storsteinøren, there were still challenges with meltwater here aswell. In the land register protocol from 1723, one can read that "Funnøyren is daily damaged by River and Ice Flow."Nevertheless, the farm survived. 

In 1892, Hans Larsen bought the farm from Ole Jakobsen. The first few years they operated the farm together. It should also be noted that these two gentlemen were the ones who started organized tourism on Engenbreen.

In earlier times, Norway was a community who focused on self-sufficiency. To survive in a harsh world, it was important to have several sources of income. The most common combination was agriculture and fishing, but beyond the 1900s, it gradually became common to combine farm operations with jobs in local industries. In this area, I'm referring to the industrial adventure at Rendalsvik. It was however a short-lived affair, but enough about that.

Regardless, when an increasingly significant part of the workforce shifted from food production to other jobs, it became clear that those who still produced food had to do so in much more efficient ways. Gradually this meant that the society shifted from a duel income to focus on just one.

Ultimately, this also began to affect the tourist engagement, but I'll that’s a story for another post.

 

 

 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Myrvang, A. (2000) – Med Svartisen som Nabo.

-Steinar Johansen intervjue 2.11.23

 

Tourist history

The people of this region have always sustained themselves through a symbiotic relationship with the vast glacier. It has provided an abundance of clean drinking water as well as watered the farmers' crops along the fjord and into the narrow valleys. In addition it has since 19th century, attracted long-distance tourists who wanted to see my beauty with their own eyes.

Once upon a time, I was a home for hunters and Sámi reindeer herders. They were so familiar with my body, that they could cross me on foot whenever needed. The Sámi people also served as glacier guides for the explorers who came to the Arctic landscapes in the north.

In the early 1880s, the Sámi Johan Abrahamsson led the French mountaineer Charles Rabot and his men all over the glacier and deep into Sweden. Later, Fritjof Nansen, Emperor Wilhelm, and many others came to explore the mysteries of the ice.

 

Today, Engabreen is known as the major attraction, but in the past, Fonndalsbreen was quite popular too. Those who initiated this effort were Ole Jakobsen and Hans Larsen at Svartisen farm in 1892. This continued until 1914 when Hans Larsen's wife, Marianne, passed away. She had served as a sort of hostess, and after her death, none of the other family members manage to fill her shoes.

The focus then shifted to Fonndalen farm. They had gradually started tourism after Adolf Johansen converted the main house into a guesthouse in 1882.

In 1912, for example, there were 20-30 German tourists staying on the farm for several weeks.

 

Yes, unlike today, tourists back then had plenty of time. It actually wasn't uncommon for tourist ships to be in the fjord for several days.

And when the tourist ships had to stay in the fjord for such a long time, they needed things to experience. From 1932 to 1939, one of the attractions was a so-called "reindeer swim."

Tourists hung over the railing as they watched the exotic animals swimming around the ships. It's uncertain who came up with the idea, but it's claimed that the Sámi people themselves were in Oslo and received approval from the old tourism chief Bennett. The main responsibility for the reindeer swimming belonged to the Sámi, Trygve, and Anders Christensen from Hemnesberget (father and son).

 

That reindeer swimming around tourist ships was a clever idea, worked well, and clearly sparked enthusiasm, there is no doubt. However, this soon came to an end. In the summer of 1940, the war had reached our shores, and tourist traffic received a temporary setback. It also marked the end of reindeer swimming at Svartisen. After the war, attempts were made to revive this attraction, but it was unsuccessful.

By the end of the 1960s, tourism shifted its focus back from Fonndalsbreen to Engabreen. There were several reasons, but the significant retreat of the glacier was probably the most important.

From now on, tourists would once again land at the neighbors, Svartisen farm. Here, they built a new pier and a road from the sea, along the north side of the lake towards Engabreen. And at Svartisen farm, they were pleased that tourists now could take this opportunity to see Engabreen up close.

 

An activity one can still experience is glacier hiking. This is far from a new activity, but it should be noted that safety has become much more crucial in recent years. Tied together with ropes and equipped with crampons on their feet, climbing harness, ice axe, and helmet, the guide takes up to 9 people at the time onto the glacier.

In modern times, knowledge seekers also came in hopes of unraveling the glacier's deepest secrets. They dug 200 meters into the ice, reaching places no man had reach before.

 

 

 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Myrvang, A. (2000) – Med Svartisen som Nabo.

 

Svartisen National Park

After a half-century struggle between advocates for nature conservation and those for energy development, substantial portions of Saltfjellet were designated as a national park in 1989. Today, this extensive contiguous natural area consists of the national park, three landscape protection areas, and four nature reserves. These protected areas contribute in various ways to preserving the nature of Nordland, from deep fjords and sharp peaks in the west to vast landscapes and wide valleys in the east. This makes Svartisen National Park, along with adjacent protected areas, the most intact and diverse natural area in the entire country. It is also the only area in the country with continuous nature protection from the coast to the Swedish border.

Svartisen National Park is situated in the heart of Nordland county, between Bodø and Mo i Rana. It encompasses a diverse range of unique landscapes, extending from open fjords in the west to vast plains in the east, and dominating the scene is me, the majestic Svartisen glacier, like a blanket draped over the mountainous terrain, serving as a distinct contrast between these two natural extremes. The park is also home to an outstanding assortment of Sami cultural heritage.

Saltfjellet and Svartisen area is considered the oldest and most significant region for Sami cultural heritage south of Finnmark. Numerous traces of Sami settlements, such as stall foundations dating back to the Middle Ages, have been discovered. The tradition of reindeer herding, as seen today, has roots dating back to the 15th and 16th centuries, leaving behind cultural landmarks such as tent sites, shelters, storage chambers, and Sami sacrificial stones and animal graves.

 

The national park features well-marked hiking trails, including the historic telegraph route between Rana and Saltdal, established in the 1860s to connect northern and southern Norway with a telegraph line. Today, it serves as a 61 km historical walking route with several cabins along the way. The route begins near the E6, close to the historic site of Bredek, following the 1000 pole foundations where the telegraph line ran and passing by the old stone huts used during the 1860s construction. The telegraph route is the trail that allows you to cross Saltfjellet on foot, including the Arctic Circle.

While Engabreen is the main attraction in the west, it's not the only glacier area on Svartisen. On the east side of the glacier, north of Mo i Rana, an old trail leads up to Austerdalsbreen. The easiest access is from Svartisvatnet by boat, and then following the path up to the glacier on the opposite side of the water.

 

Located on the southern side of the national park, there is a cluster of historical mountain farms that are easily accessible yet definitely worth exploring. Granneset, Inner-Bredek, and Stormdalsgården are unique mountain farms from the 1800s, all within a day's hike from the main road. The area offers a trek through untouched nature, with rushing waterfalls and suspension bridges over swift rivers. Both the "Bredek Round" and the hike to Stormdalsgården are delightful trails that lead you into the national park and past the old mountain farms. The Bredek Round is an 8 km circuit passing by the historic Bredekgården and the impressive Bredekfossen waterfall. Stormdalsgården is further into the valley, following the initial route but with an 8 km detour from the Bredek Round. The hike to Stormdalsgården has been chosen as one of Norway's most beautiful natural gems!

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voice: Marit Emilie Meidelsen Øvrebø

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

-Visit Helgeland

 

Ringtun from the year 400

The society in Norway during the older Iron Age was a war culture where disagreements between families could have major consequences. Blood feuds were not uncommon. It was therefore important to have a neutral place where they could meet to decide who was right.

Grandma:

In this area are the remains of 4 buildings.
 
 
Child: 

Where? I can't see anything.
 
 
Grandma:

Hehe, yes, the ravages of time have done their part to hide them. Look for some elongated tufts that look a little too straight.

The way they are placed as well as finds in the area, indicate that they wasn’t residential buildings. When doing an archaeological dig, sometimes what you don't find is as important as what you actually find.

Around inhabited houses you usually find remains of cooking utensils and other things that a household in the Iron Age needed. Far too little has been found here for this to have been a place where people lived. It is a ringtun, and the researchers believe that this may have been a “Ting-sted”
 
 
Child: 

What is a “Ting-sted”?
 
 
Grandma:

A “Ting-sted”? was the place where people in the Iron Age agreed bet to discuss laws and punishments.
 
 
Child: 

Like the Storting in Oslo? They decide the laws laws in modern Norway?
 
 
Grandma:

Yes, in many ways, like the Storting in Oslo. There they decide which laws we must follow, but when it comes to punishment, it is separate courts that decide what sentence criminals will receive. In many ways, we can say that places like this is the cradle of today's Scandinavian democracy. To this day we still have a Thing. The framework has changed, but the goal remains the same. Representatives from the various places in the kingdom meet to discuss and decide what the kingdom should prioritize.
  
 
Child: 

Democracy? But didn't you say it was a war culture. I thought the Vikings were brutal savages who killed everyone they came across.
 
 
Grandma:

Well, it was actually here before the Vikings came around. That was first around the year 800. This site is 400 years older. But yes, the Vikings could be brutal, but they were not savages. Their way of life was not based on chaos. It was a chiefdom with democratic elements. The Vikings came from Norway, Sweden and Denmark. Today, these countries are known to be among the world's most democratic.

So from history's most brutal warriors come the world's most democratic people. That's something to think about.

Subject text: Helge Seim og Gøril Pedersen 

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Astrid Margareth Sollie og Lean Iversen Hansen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

Kunnavalen

The big mountain that lies all alone is called Kunna. Kunna or kunnr means landmark and have probably been used as such for a long time. During the earlier Iron Age, there was a powerful chieftain on Øysund. The name Øysund itself is not very unique. It just means the Island by the strait. But in Gildeskål there is an name that is special enough too be a chieftain worthy. The name Brudanger, which means the bridge between the coves, is no longer found on the map, but it is theorized that it may have been the name of the once powerful chieftain's seat here on Øysund.

Grandma:

During the earlier Iron Age, there was a powerful chieftain on Øysund. The basis of this power was its location. The ships passed right by here and laid the foundation for customs revenue. The fact that the boats of the time were ill-suited for open water combined with the dangerous area on the outside of Kunna, meant that people went on the inside of Kunna. This made it easy for a chief to make sure that everyone who passed paid.
 
 
Child: 

The inside? You must be kidding grandma. It is impossible to sail over land.
 
 
Grandma:

Yeah, it might sound a bit strange. But it is true. It was possible because almost 2,000 years ago, Kunna was an island, and it was possible to sail between Kunna and the mainland. The sea level at the time was approximately 1,5 meters higher than today.
 
 
Child: 

What? how is that possible?
 
 
Grandma:

Its because of the land uplift. It happened after the last great ice age, which was for approximately 100,000 years ago.

At this time, the northern part of Europe was covered by a thick layer of ice. Some places it were as thick as 3 km. It is so much that every square meter on the ground had 3,000 tonnes on it. With so much weight, the whole mountain was pushed down.
  
 
Child: 

How much of the mountain was under water?
 
 
Grandma:

If you look at Kunna and divide it into 6 equal parts. Then the bottom part would be under water. As the ice melted, the land gradually began to rise. The land uplift was quick at the start, but gradually slowed down. Even today it is happening, but it is so slow that we do not notice it.

Towards the end of the first part of the Iron Age, the land had risen so much that it was no longer possible to sail through it. Then they dragged the boat overland on sticks instead.
 
  
Child: 

That sounds like a lot of work. Wouldn’t it just be easier sailing on the outside of Kunna. How bad can that be?
 
 
Grandma:

Yes, with today's modern boats it is unproblematic, but it has not always been that way. I remember the old local boats from my youth. It could take as much as 1 hour to get past Kunna. You were thrown up and down and from side to side, while you were marinated in a sickening smell. It was a mixture of diesel, sweat, tobacco and vomit. The stench would have sent the devil himself running.
 
  
Child: 

Yuck!, Grandma!

Subject text: Helge Seim og Gøril Pedersen 

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Astrid Margareth Sollie og Lean Iversen Hansen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

Klipfish

Klipfish is salted and dried fish that is preferably produced from cod, but other fish like haddock, can also be used. Klipfish is a more refined product than the traditional dried fish. Compared to dried fish, it is a relatively new industry. Still seemed like they started early here. As early as 1880, three men drowned here on the way from Åmøyhamn to Bolga "belonging" to a klipfish vessel from Trondheim. And fish was probably dried here for quite some time before this.

When the fish arrived here in Bolga from Lofoten in the transition between April and May, it was already both split and salted. The vessels were moored with the "Fartøyskjæret", and the fish were transported ashore in smaller boats, washed on the seashore and laid in layers with a pointed "hat" on top.

 

When the weather was favorable for drying, the fish were laid out on the rocks. In case of unsafe weather, such as rain or bright sun, the fish were collected together and placed in piles. When the weather improved, it was put outside again. This continued until the fish was dry enough. It was then loaded back into the vessels and sailed south to Kristiansund or Ålesund for packing and export.

The first place where fish was dried was on Bortherholmen. But since the rough weather made it dangerous for vessels and there was little rock for drying, it was eventually moved here, to what we today call “Klippfiskbergan”.
 
 
The proximity to Bolga and its many islands meant that there was a good supply of labour. It was mostly women and children, but also some men who showed up for this kind of work. To summon workers, a white flag was raised on top of Bursøya. This was visible at Helmine's house in Nystuen. When she saw it, she also raised a white flag on Stuhågen, and the whole area was then alerted.


 
Clipfish work was a very important source of income for many families, and it was common for all family members to give the main breadwinner what they had earned. In 1912, adults received 3 kroner for a full day's work, while children had to make do with 50 øre. This sum gradually increased and by the time we reach 1920, a whole family could earn as much as 15 kroner in a day. It must have helped a lot in the tight economy that was common at the time.


 
There was a lot of activity here at times. In some years, as much as 120,000 fish were dried. This meant that several vessel arrived in one season. Among those who have dried fish here were Teodor Eiken from Hardanger, Ludvig Sørensen from Nusfjord and Leanger from Gildeskål.

It is said that everything has its time in the sun, and by the mid-1930s the klipfish era on Bolga was over. Nevertheless, the name remained and works as a reminder of a time when this was a busy place.
 

Subject text: Per Swensen, Anne Marie Johnsen, Tone Lise Lyngeng

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voices: Tone Lise Lyngeng

Editing: Helge Seim

Soundrecordings: LydBerger Sunflower Studios.

 

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

  • Fygle S. (1991) Fiskerihistorie for Meløy 1850 - 1991
  • Moe K. (1981) Gård og grend i Meløy, bind 1
  • Interveiw with older people before 1980

Fellestunet

Right from the Middle Ages, most people on Bolga lived in a village-like fashion. Here they lived close together, next to each other in small houses, with fields and fields scattered around in a so-called “fellestun”.

The old fellestun was around the road junction between Øverveien and Nerveien, up towards Stuhågen. Further delineation is difficult, but the road possibly runs through the farmyard. When excavating in the area, there was, among other things, found fragment of a stamp with an inscription, “salvekrikke” made of burnt clay and a seam smoother made of glass mass.
 


Already from the 14th century, all land on Bolga was owned by the Catholic Church. After the Reformation in 1537, it was taken over by the king and later sold on to various landowners. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that those who bought the land rarely farmed it. Those who lived here only rented the land and were thus so-called tenant farmers.

The tenants at Bolga farmed the land jointly. They did not have separate farms but used the different plots of land in turn. The other rights, such as egg collection and peat digging, were distributed according to how large a part the individual rented.
 

In 1868, the fields at Bolga were divided between the farms and gradually the houses were moved from “Fellestunet”.

Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the community persisted. A farm board consisting of all the farmers was created. It was the board's task to ensure that all resources were still fairly distributed. 

 

This was a tradition that continued well into the 20th century. When there was to be a meeting, each farmer had his own chair or stool, as there was not enough to sit on for everyone.
From the middle of the 19th century, the tenants began to buy the farms, and became freeholders. The last farm was bought by the user in 1913.
Subject text: Per Swensen, Anne Marie Johnsen, Tone Lise Lyngeng

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voices: Tone Lise Lyngeng

Editing: Helge Seim

Soundrecordings: LydBerger Sunflower Studios.

 

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

  • Hutchinson A. (1997) Disse tider-Disse skikker
  • Moe K. (1981) Gård og grend i Meløy, bind 1
  • Utskiftning for Bolga 1867
  • Interveiw with old people before 1980.

Toponyms on Bolga

The name Bolga undoubtedly has its origins in the description of the shapes of the mountain that rises up from the sea,and comes from the Norse word bolg or bellows. Such a descriptive name is very old. Bolga is among the oldest types of Toponyms preserved in Norway. The name was probably sat on the island for more than 2,000 years ago, even before people settled here. The mountain has been a landmark to orient yourself traveling the coastline. The first time the name Bolga is written is in Aslak Bolt's land map from 1432. There are many other Toponyms here that are almost as old. Let me tell you about some of them.

One of the oldest is Alberget, or Alveberget as we originally said. The Name is over 1,000 years old and come from older Norse mythology. The elves are beings that dwell underground. Even after Christianity was introduced in Norway, people kept faith in them. Thus, right up to the previous generation, there was great faith in, and not least respect for, those who lived in the pile.
 
 
Another place name associated with Norrøne is Vethågen. The name is derived from the word vete. Here was one of the two old cairns in Meløy. It was Håkon the Good who around the year 950 established a warning system to summon the war fleet. The warning consisted of lighting fires at certain places along the coast, so that the light from the fire was visible from one place to another. It was said that it took 7 nights to warn the country from south to north. The last time we know that the cairn at Bolga was manned was in connection with the Great Nordic War in 1719. The important task assigned to Bolga went into oblivion after this, but the name of the mound lives on.
 
 
We also have Valbergshågen. It is probably derived from the Norse word valr, meaning falcon. A falcon had probably had a nest here. Falcons and hawks were very valuable for training for hunting.
 
Just behind, and above the old “fellestunet”, is Stuhågen. And since all the houses on Bolga once stood on “fellestunet, the name is very descriptive. That is, the hill by the houses
 
 
Finally, we have Kjellerhågen. The name comes from when it was common to have underground cellars. Here they dug the cellars down to approx. 3 meters in hard sand, and put a roof on. When the cellars started collapsing, they just dug a new one. It was only when the potato entered the household in the 18th century that frost-free storage like this was needed. The last cellar was in use in the 1930s.

Subject text: Per Swensen, Anne Marie Johnsen, Tone Lise Lyngeng

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voices: Tone Lise Lyngeng

Editing: Helge Seim

Soundrecordings: LydBerger Sunflower Studios.

 

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

  • Holberg E. (2015) Før vår tid
  • Hutchinson A. (1997) Disse tider-Disse skikker
  • Moe K. (1981) Gård og grend i Meløy, bind 1
  • Utskiftning for Bolga 1831
  • Utskiftning for Bolga 1867
  • Tolkning av navn, i samarbeide med Finn Myrvang, leder av Stednamnprosjekter i Nordland før 2004.

 

Bolgværet

It is said that in the archipelago around Bolga there are more islands than there are days in the year. And as fierce as that may sounds, it's actually an understatement. If you put together Flatvær in the north as well as Snývær in the west and of course Bolgvær in the southwest, the total number islands is over 500. And we know that 21 of these have been inhabited for a longer or shorter time. Come, let me tell you a little about what treasures is hiding out here.

Even before my time, the islands has been a resource for the community. Here there were fishinghuts and quills which were used extensively in connection with fishing and hunting, but also in the important collection of eggs and down.

They were also used for grazing. And in 1831, the largest islands in Bolgværet were assigned to the individual farms on Bolga. This led to the individual user being able to rent out to people out on the islands.


The oldest settlement on the islands around Bolga was on Snyvær, furthest to the west. The main island was already settled in the 1620s and later also Vessholmen and Beitålen
In comparison, the first settlement on Bolgvær was only in 1842. Then Anders on Tollevøen sent his daughter to school. Beyond the 19th century, settlement accelerated and by 1865 three islands were settled. 10 years later, 12 families live on 9 islands. All are tenants, and most come from Rødøy and Lurøy. The work obligation for tenants was usually 3 days’ work on the main farm at Bolga.
 


In Bolgværet you could have the necessary agriculture and of course there was great proximity to fishing. Here you could also hunt for the valuable otter skins and fatty seal. It could be harvested from nature's abundance of bird eggs and mulberries. Nevertheless, perhaps the blessed eider bird was the most cherished. Many of the islands had several hundred nesting eiders. These yielded plenty of eggs, and not least the valuable down, which was worth its weight in gold. The egret was well looked after.

Yes, even the cat had to be on a leash during the egg period.
 


The most important and active period in the island's history is the large herring fishery in the 1870s. Several hundred men fished with nets, and there was also a large number of seine farms with close to 200 men. At most there were close to 50 sailing vessels that bought and salted the herring. The peak year was 1873, with a total of 632 registered people fishing in the islands.

In 1900, there were 33 people living in Snyen, and 5 of them had now become landowners and were thus masters of their own island. Nevertheless, there were still 12 tenants on the total of 15 inhabited islands. In total there were then 106 permanent residents on the island, while there were 103 on Bolga itself.


Contact with the outside world was important for those who lived out here. Mail shuttles and school shuttles started in the 1920s. And the telephone was developed in the mid-1930s.
After the second world war, however, development went in the opposite direction. People now began to move from the islands. The decisive turning point was when electricity was to enter the many Norwegian homes. For those who lived out here, the choice was between electricity and relocation allowance. Only Brattinden and Ruskøy had electricity developed, the others chose the latter.
 

Apart from a minor upswing in the first half of the 1960s, when fish farms and trade were established on Snyen, the development continued in a negative direction. And already at the transition to the 1970s, Snyen was also deserted. And with that, 350 years of settlement were over.

Subject text: Per Swensen, Anne Marie Johnsen, Tone Lise Lyngeng

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voices: Tone Lise Lyngeng

Editing: Helge Seim

Soundrecordings: LydBerger Sunflower Studios.

 

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

  • Fygle S. (1991) Fiskerihistorie for Meløy 1850 - 1991
  • Moe K. (1981) Gård og grend i Meløy, bind 1
  • Interview with people before 1980.

An old Farm

Bolga is one of the oldest places in Meløy where people settled and began to cultivate the land. A farm was probably established here as far back as the Iron Age, some 2,000 years ago. At least five probable burial mounds have been found here, all in the area around known as Yttergården. But unfortunately they have been leveled out. There are many indications that this place was of great importance, and that the people who lived here were powerful people. Discoveries made in this burial mound tell us that the woman found here at Bolga was one of the most prominent women in the whole of Nordland.

Is there anyone there?
 
I thought I heard footsteps. Just come closer, don't be afraid. I do not bite.

You may not know it, but I've been here the whole time. And ever since I was buried in the 8th century I have watched over all of you.

Unfortunately my name has long since been forgotten, but once this was my kingdom.

A lot has happened while I've been resting. Society has developed and experienced both ups and downs, and so has the population.

But this was once one of Meløy's most important places. The time I was Queen at Bolga.
 
 
The first description of the burial mounds at Bolga is in Gustav Petter Blom's travelogue "Reise Nordlandene" from 1827. The author Jens Edvard Kraft also writes in 1835 in the great work "Kongeriket Norge" about the "mighty burial mound" that has been excavated at Bolga. A number of objects were found here, but these were not kept.

They still didn't find my burial mound. It was first discovered by chance in 1895. It was located in a low sand pile, just east of the house in Yttergården, roughly where the barn bridge is today.
 
 
Based on the objects that were found, it did not take them long to realize that this was a woman's grave. And not just any woman's grave. There were weaving equipment, a needle house and a knife made of whalebone.

They also found two oval breastplates. These were decoration that only the most wealthy could afford. Precious pearls were also found, and a fine brooch of bronze, decorated with animal heads. It had originally been an attachment to a holy casket or a book,and had been turned into a brooch for the costume. It originated in Ireland and it is theorized that my husband took it with him from there on one of his Viking voyages. But I won't tell if that's true. That's my secret.
 

Anyway, it's not the best looking item I got. It was the whalebone plate. They are very rare and the one they found in my grave is one of the most beautiful that has been found. It is said that this was one of the ruler symbols of the håløygätta, the earl clan that ruled in Hålogalang.
So maybe I was one of them, or maybe my husband was. But that is for me to know and you to wonder...
 

Subject text: Per Swensen, Anne Marie Johnsen, Tone Lise Lyngeng

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voices: Tone Lise Lyngeng

Editing: Helge seim

Soundrecordings: LydBerger Sunflower Studios.

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

  • Holberg E. (2015) Før vår tid
  • Blom G.P. (1832) Reise i Nordlandene året 1827
  • Kraft J.E. (1835) Kongeriket Norge
  • Interview with Hans Olsen

The old School

Being able to read and write is a modern ability here on the coast. The first teacher in Meløy did not arrive until 1779, and back then there were no schools. The teacher traveled around to the different villages and used one of the local farms as a teaching building. According to the first preserved school protocol from 1833, the school at Bolga states on 13. June that year, with five pupils.

As Bolga’s population was increasing in the latter half of the 19th century, the population demanded that a permanent schoolhouse was to be built.

The letter to the municipality states:
"The only house that can be rented for a school is so low under the roof that it is difficult to endure, at the time of the year when the windows and doors must be closed".

Yes, it can be difficult enough to learn what is written on the blackboard. Especially if not enough light is let in for you to even see the blackboard.
 
In 1891, construction began and already the following year the new school was finished. In addition to the fact that everything had now become state-of-the-art, a permanent teacher was employed.
This was a so-called boarding school with the possibility of overnight accommodation for both the teacher and the children who had to be transported in from the surrounding smaller islands. There was a dormitory for the girls and one for the boys, each with 6 beds.

It was all well and good, but still the population at the time was so high that students often had to sleep two in each bed.

In addition, there was a dining room, kitchen and a classroom on the ground floor. Until electricity came in 1951, the only source of heat was a tall round wood stove.
 
Since the children from the islands lived at the school, they brought the necessary clothes, bedding as well as food for cooking.

In the beginning, the teacher was the only adult in the school, and since his focus was primarily the academic variety, the older children had to look after the younger ones.

 
This changed when the teacher moved out of the building at the beginning of the 20th century and left the bedroom to the newly hired female caretaker. She was called “pedell” and was responsible for both the building and the students well-being. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the big boys usually had to help her bring in water from the well and fetch wood from the outhouse.

In the early days, it was the parents who had to transport the pupils from home, but this changed in the 1920s when municipal school transport was introduced. In that period, a stone quay was also built by the Yttersjøen, to facilitate the disembarkation of the school children.
In the school year 1938-39, the youth center was used to teach the youngest pupils. 

But it was a short-lived affair. A few days before Christmas in 1939, there was a violent storm that damaged many houses and barns. Yes, the wind was so infernal that it lifted the Youth center off its foundations and carried it to the other side of the road.
 

After the ravages of the storm, the church was put into use for the younger classes. This became common practice and was just as such until the new school was finished in 1956. This school is the one been used today.

Subject text: Per Swensen, Anne Marie Johnsen, Tone Lise Lyngeng

Screenplay: Helge Seim

Voices: Tone Lise Lyngeng

Editing: Helge seim

Soundrecordings: LydBerger Sunflower Studios.

 

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

  • Braseth P. (2006) Skolen i Meløy, tiden før 1860
  • Swensen P. , Torsvik U. og Schulz H.(1984) Jubileumsskrift Meløy kommune 1884 - 1984
  • Kommunestyre og formannskap protokoller 1884 - 1945
  • Interveiw with older people before 1980

Naustuft

Once there was a boathouse here big enough to have housed a large ship. In total there were 11 boathouses in the area, but today this is the only one left. On the outside, the boathouse was about 15 meters long, 8 meters wide and on the inside it was 8-10 meters long and 2.5 meters wide. On the other side a number of excavations have been carried out, and many exciting Iron Age discoveries have been made. When somebody die nowdays, we like to dress them in nice clothes before putting them in the coffin. Maybe they get a piece of jewelry or something else they loved. those who were laid to rest in burial mounds got quite a lot more. We have found weapons, jewelry, tools, clothes, animals, food, boats and sometimes even a servant.

Child: 

Why did they build a boathouse up here? It's over a hundred meters down to the shore.
 

Grandma:
That maybe the case today, but we must remember that the sea was somewhat different before. During the earlier Iron Age, the water most likely stood directly below the road here.
 

Grandma:
The boathouse that once was here would have been able to accommodate a fairly large ship.
During road works, two other boathouses wore sadly destroyed. A net sinker and some quail bones were then found, but nothing was kept.
 

Child: 

That`s sad

 

Grandma:
Agreed, but a number of discoveries were made on the oter side of the water. And they wore kept. 
Among other things, in 1978 they found a skeleton lying in a fetal position in a boat with his head resting on a shield. At his feet lid a dog, which was probably his faithful companion.
Something interesting is that the man had a large hole in his head. Investigations were carried out and the hole does not appear to have been inflicted on the man during battle.
 
 

Child: 

Did they drill a hole in his head!? Why?
 

Grandma:
I most likely was an attempt to operate on him. Similar cases of such attempted operations have been found elsewhere in the world.
 

Child: 

So exciting, were there any treasures found?
 

Grandma:
Many different things have been found. The most known is of course the Øysund jewellery, which we think originally was a decoration on a box. But the most unique thing is the Amber bear.
 

Child: 

Amber bear?

 

Grandma:
It is a Bear figurine made of a material called Amber. The bear is in a strange position. With its front it grabs his own rear, thus forming a circle. It is approximately 4 cm in diameter. The amber bear was found together with a skeleton, refinished iron fragments and 18 pearls. The grave appears to have been a woman's grave.
 

Child: 

What is Amber Grandma?

 

Grandma: 
Amber is fossilized material from conifers. Since amber is not found naturally in Norway, we know that this has come from afar. Analysis at the Tromsø museum has revealed that the Amber Bear has its origins in the Baltics. This is tangible evidence that people traveled a lot during the Iron Age.
 

Child: 

Cool

Subject text: Helge Seim og Gøril Pedersen 

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Astrid Margareth Sollie og Lean Iversen Hansen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

  • Utdrag fra rapport av 1978 i Topografisk Arkiv, Arkeologisk avdeling. Tromsø Museum. Ivar Oftedal: “Naturen i Farger; Steiner”. Aschehoug. 1991. 
  • Morten Romstad: Ravfunna på Melkøya” I “Ottar”, Tromsø Museum nr5, 2002 
  • Kulturminnesøk.no 

The Meloy Estate

At the turn of the millennium, it was decided that each of the municipality in Norway should chose a site that in some way was important for the nasion. The millennium sites were to have a national significance, while at the same time having a local importance. The idea was that people from all over the country should be able to feel a connection to the place and have a basic understanding of it. In Meløy, they chose the Meløy estate, Meløy church and the menhir on Meløya. These three are close to each other and form a naturally coherent unit. For several hundred years, the church has been the spiritual center, while the secular authority was gathered in the Meløy estate. Here was once the center of public power and authority. Many fates were decided here, both for better and for worse. If the walls could tell, the stories would probably fill several books.

It is difficult to say exactly when the place was formed. It is equally difficult to say anything concrete about who built it. Even when Ermegard Benkestok, was born in 1610, Meløygården was an old and venerable estate.

There is no doubt that people have lived on Meløya for a long time. The first Noble name that can be linked to the area is “Gran”. This was as early as the 15th century. Sometime in the 16th century, Trond Tordsen Benkestok moved north and became the owner of Meløy estate.

Under their leadership, there were good times at Meløy. Their prosperity created security for those who lived in the village. But nothing lasts forever. In 1687, the estate was hit by a major fire, and most of the old buildings were consumed by the flames.

 

After the fire, new bouilding were built, but where the old once stood and what they looked like is lost. It is said that so much was built, that there were at most 13 farmhouses here. Until the middle of the 19th century, it was common for people to live in a close cluster surrounded by land that they worked together. In 1865, this arrangement was discontinued. The land areas were mapped, marked and divided into 13. With this, the estate's heyday was a thing of the past, but the place was still important.

As part of Rødø municipality, Meløya had long been the place where the local population received information about various sorts. So when Rødø was divided into 2 municipalities at the end of the 19th century, it was no surprise that Meløya became the center of the new municipality which was named after the island. The municipality had already bought the estate in 1872. The 7 buildings located on the common yard today are Almuestua, Kjeipen, Tortrupgården, Nerstua, Anders Larsa-huset, Dybvikhuset and Banken. After the purchase, these were used for various municipal purposes.

 

After a while in the 20th century, the buildings began to show their age. A number of restoration works were carried out, but it gradually became clear that the old buildings did not meet the new needs of a modern society. Questions were also raised about whether Meløya should continue as a municipal centre. Society had changed and what used to be the natural center had now become remote.

During the 19th century, the many trading posts in Meløy had gradually become the local centre. The Great Herring era increased wealth and their influence. Although these trading posts lost much of their power over the course of the 20th century, they still had great influence. The trading posts on Grønøy and Ørnes had long worked to get as many of the municipal functions as possible into their immediate proximity. So when it was to be decided where the main center would be place they of course join the discussions. In 1952, the choice fell on Ørnes. Incidentally, I can add that the person who once sold the estate to the municipality was Anders Dass Klæboe, of Ørnes trading post. This says something about the position the traders had at this time.

After this, Meløygården went into hibernation. The only building with significant activity was the bank. It was merged with Bodø sparebank in 1981, before the business on Meløya was closed in 1997.

Today, the Meløy estate has been handed over to the " Stiftelsen for vern av Meløygården". Some of the buildings are privately owned but are included as part of the communal yard. Like a shadow of its former grandeur, it lies there, quiet and peaceful.
But, if you close your eyes and listen, focus on the wind and the birdsong. Maybe you see it before you. Busy servants runing across the courtyard, creaking from a badly greased carriage wheel, handsome nobles in their finery, small squabbles on the church hill and mighty sounds from the bell tower.
 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices:  Bente Sørgård

Editing: Helge seim


Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

Source: 

  • Moe K. (1981) Gård og Grend I Meløy Meløy Kommune
  • Myrvang A. (2001) Fra maktens sentrum til kulturhistorie
  • Swensen P., Torsvik U. og Schulz H. (1984) Jubileumskrift meløy kommune 1984 Nordland Boktrykkeri

Meloy Cemetery

When you know that there has been a church on Meløya for many hundreds of years, it is reasonable to assume that there also has been a burial ground near the church. Unfortunately, there is no dating of the cemetery. In older times, it was largely coincidence that determined which area that was to be used as a cemetery.

When our time on this earth is over we all must be buried, but of course even in death there is a difference between a nobleman and a ordinary man. While the lower class had to make do with the cemetery, it was possible for the wealthy to secure a more noble and beautiful burial place. These burial sites were often marked in a more special way.
 
This was also the case on Meløya. In connection with the demolition of the old church in 1868, a total of 7 different burial chambers were discovered. Some were built of stone while others were of timber. A total of 71 coffins were found under the church floor. Some of these had strips of paper with names and time of death. The oldest was from 1741.
 
There are a number of old memorial plaques in cast iron in the cemetery, but they are not particularly old. The oldest memorial stone is a tall soapstone. It has incised writing on both sides. The year of death for one is 1802, and for the other 1825. This type of memorial stone is very rare.
 
 
The cemetery has been expanded a number of times.

The first time was in 1867. Around the older part is a beautiful large cemetery wall which was most likely built during the extension in 1867.

The second extension took place in 1886. The following year, a beautiful and expensive gate made of iron and with ore pillars was also erected.

In 1903 it was extended for the third time. In order to limit the use of the old part of the cemetery, it was decided the following year that the graves there had to be paid for, the new part could be used freely.

In the 1920s, Meløy was hit hard by the Spanish flu. The enormous number of deaths in a short time resulted in the cemetery having to be expanded once again in 1933.

After the second World War, the cemetery had begun showing its age. maintenance of the cemetery had not really been prioritized and was limited to what the next of kin and the gravedigger had done. Although they had done their best, the cemetery began to appear less beautiful. Throughout the 1950s and 1960s, the matter broth before the parish council and improvements were planned and carried out.

The cemetery is still in use and appears today as a beautiful place for the joy of all those who have their loved ones buried there.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voice:  Bente Sørgård

Editing: Helge seim

 

Music ans sounds: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Andreassen A.H. og Sørgård R. (1992) Meløy Kirke 125-årsjubileet 1867 - 1992 Sentrum Trykk

Meloy Church

There are no preserved sources that can provide information about why this spot was selected when the first church was built on Meløya. It is probably reasonable to assume that even then they chose the most convenient and important places. Meløya was located close to the main travel route. The place had been inhabited for a long time and was well known. Already in the 13th century, Snorre's saga tell the story of the brothers Guttorm and Brynjulf of Mjola, or Meloya as we say today.

The 13th century was a very active church building age in our country. It is therefore reasonable to assume that Meløy also got its first church at this time, as one of the 1200 churches and chapels that old sources mention from this time.

In 1661, construction work on the new church began. The old one was demolished in 1666, the same year that the new one was completed. The new church was built by Joen Svendsen. Unfortunately, this church did not last many years before it burned down after lightning struck in January 1704. It was not possible to save the building itself, but it was possible to save some of the furnishings. Including an altarpiece, a pulpit, as well as a chandelier.

When the new church was to be built, there was some disagreement, among other things about who should pay for it. When the matter finally came before the king, it was settled and in 1711 the church was erected.

150 years later, this church was also ready for replacement. After some discussion, it was decided that the new one should be built directly south of the old one. Work on the church went quickly, and in the summer of 1867, it was ready. The new church was so large that it became difficult for the priest to control the people's attention. Already in the same year, it was thus decided in the parish council that disturbances in the church during services should be fined 60 shillings. In 1895, a doorman was also employed to ensure peace and order in the church during services. This position continued until 1913 when it was subordinated to the position of church servant.
 
Even though the church had been consecrated, it was not finished. Much work remained, and it went slowly. Most likely the reason for this was lack of finances. It would prove to take 30 years before the church got its own heat source. It was not until June 1900 that it was decided bu the town council to buy 2 Church ovens. 
 
Yes indeed, the Lord's love warms the soul, but it must have been cold in the middle of winter.
 
Over the course of the 20th century, a number of repairs and maintenance work have been carried out at the church. This was also the century in which electricity found its way into many homes. Electric lights were also installed here in the church. This happened in the early 1940s. In the 60s, it was also decided that the church should be floodlit.
Meløy Church, which is a neo-Gothic long church, is today Northern Norway's second largest wooden church. Only surpassed by the Lofoten Cathedral in Kabelvåg. By today's measure, the church may seem unnecessarily large, but according to the rules of the time, it is actually a bit small. In the 19th century, all churches were to be built to accommodate 1/3 of the parish's population. In Meløy, there were just under 2,000 permanent residents. The building was thus designed to house 750. This was not approved, and the number was actually adjusted down to 600.
 
We must also remember that it was built in a time when the church was much more than just a place for worship. In a time when everyday life mainly involved hard work isolated from the outside world, the visit to church on Sunday became the highlight of the week. Here you met friends and family. News was heard from other places in the village and public announcements were read out.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voice:  Bente Sørgård

Editing: Helge seim

 

Music and sounds: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Andreassen A.H. og Sørgård R. (1992) Meløy Kirke 125-årsjubileet 1867 - 1992 Sentrum Trykk

The burial mounds at Kopparhågan

Here at Kopparhågan there were once 5 burial mounds, but today there are only 3 left. A burial mound is a pile of loose material and stone placed over a burial site, often erected as a monument or memorial to the person or persons who died. This was the pyramid of the Iron Age. Far less impressive than those in Egypt, but still significant. Because, like the pyramids, not just anyone got a burial mound. It was often reserved for chiefs and other important persons. The size of the piles varies considerably, perhaps in relation to the status of the dead.

Child: 

Are you talking about that rock pile on the side of the road?

 

Grandma:

Yes, that one is probably the easiest to see, but you should be able to see 2 more behind it. Do you see the long stone standing on a ridge a few tens of meters northeast of the burial mound? It`s erected on one of the other burial mounds.
 
 

Child: 

It was a funny loooking stone. 

 

Grandma:

It is a bautastein, or a menhir. In the Iron Age, these stones had the function of marking something important. In Heimskringla written by Snorre Sturlason, we learn that it was customary to burn the dead and erect a memorial stone after them.
They are rather crudely made and have no text, but in some cases inscribed pictures have been found. Stones with runes carved into them have also been found. Runes are an old written language that was used here during the Iron Age. These stones with runes are often called rune stones or memorial stones.
 

Child: 

You grandma. Something has been scratched into the stones. It says A.O. 1944. Is it a memorial stone?
 

Grandma:

No. This stone was discovered during farmwork with the soil here in 1944, and was placed on this burial mound by the man who found it. It is thus erected in a random place. So these are probably his initials. But you mustn't try to do that. It is strictly forbidden and you can actually be put in jail for doing so. This is a cultural monument, and we must protect it.
 

Child: 

Cultural monument? What is that?
 

Grandma:

They are traces and signs in nature of people who lived before us. They tell us about how people lived and what they thought was important. With their help, you can see the history in the landscape. We must protect them for those who come after us. With them history becomes more then words on sheets of paper, it becomes real.
 

Child: 

I have heard that treasures were often buried in the Burial Mounds. Do you think there is something here?
 

Grandma:

All 3 were excavated in 1905 by a man named Nicolaissen. In the burial mound with the menhir, nothing was found. And in the burial mound furthest to the west, he found only a few bones, but he specifies that the burial mound was not untouched.
Between the 2 burial mounds, there is a small elevation which is in reality the 3. burial mound. In this, a small pit was found, where there were fragments of a sword, a spear, a shard of clay and 2 small bronze buckles.
 

Child: 

Bronze buckles?
 

Grandma:

It was a kind of large safety pin that they used to hold clothes and cloaks in place.
Buckles that were found were often not whole. On an information board down by the road, you can see a picture of what we think they looked like. These are drawn on the basis of information from many different sources, descriptions, pictures and similar buckles that have rusted in a different way.
 

Child: 

Why did they put the burial mounds right here?
 

Grandma:

The location of the burial mounds was also very important. At the time Norway was fare from the peaceful place we know today. It was a time of great political unrest and people were constantly exposed to attacks from the outside.

At the time Øysund was at its most powerful, Norway had still not been united into one kingdom. For protection it was customary to submit to a chief. 

Eventually Norway was divider into several smaller chiefdoms. A large burial mound meant that a powerful chief resided in the area. It would act as a deterrent to those who wanted to invade and alluring for those who wanted to trade. Thus, the burial mounds were often placed along the coastline where people traveled.

Subject text: Helge Seim og Gøril Pedersen 

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Astrid Margareth Sollie og Lean Iversen Hansen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source: 

Glomfjord Industry

At the turn of the century, something happened in Glomfjord that was to have great significance for the small mountainside village. The violent forces of nature in the mighty Fykan-waterfall was to be tamed and the energy harnessed. A power plant was built on Fykan, but how was the energy to be used?   First up was Knut Tillberg's zinc factory. It began production in 1920.

Worker:
Yes yes… You engineers calculated and used nice words, but the truth of the matter is that the calculation was completely wrong. Already in 1924, the price of zinc had become so insignificant that the entire factory went bankrupt. It was so bad that the state bought it for 2,4 million kr. If that hadn’t happened, we bought would be out of work.

Engineer:
Anyway, between 1924-1926 they search for an heir to the zinc factory. The ideas were many; Electric drying of fish, Extraction of salt from sea water, oil from coal, a state fertilizer factory, lectrothermal industry, saltpeter factory and nitrogen factory aimed at the fertilizer industry.
 
In 1926, the English company Britisk Aluminum Company Limited entered the picture. They opened up the establishment of aluminum production based on waterfall energi. It turned out that several businesses in the industry were behind it, and the operating company Haugvik Smelteverk A/S was formed. In July 1926, an agreement on the lease of power, buildings and facilities was signed, and production began in 1927. In the first years, only about half of the capacity was utilized. 
 
It was only when upgrading and business cycles in the late 1930s created increased demand that the plant's capacity was fully utilized. The operation continued until the outbreak of war in 1940.
 

It was only when the arms race in the late 1930s created increased demand that the plant's capacity was fully utilized. The operation continued until the outbreak of second world war in 1940.
 
 
Worker:
Yes, war is hell, but it isn’t all bad. Now everyone needed aluminum and that meant mor work for us here in Glomfjord. After the German invasion, the local leaders lost contact with the owners in England. But work continued under German leadership. They called themselves Nordag and they had tremendous ambition. They upgraded the capacity both here and at the power plant.
 
 
Engineer:
This increased activity did not go unnoticed in England. Glomfjord was attacked twice by the Allies.
 
 
Worker:
Yep, and once again it’s the working class who has to pick up the tab. We lost 2 men at Haugvik when the bomb rained in 1941 and these British commandos scaring the living hell out of the guys at the power plant in 1942. Not to mention Ellingsen up in the fykan valley. And of course, there was also a complete stoppage in work.
 

Engineer:
Although the sabotage in 1942 was successful, it only took 3 months before power production was up and running again, but no more aluminum is ever produced in Glomfjord. The reason was a lack of raw materials.
 
Worker:
Didn't I think so. Yet again it was you people that mucked it up again! 
 

Engineer:
No, it was because of the war! The war hampered the supply of raw materials. This cannot be predicted. Now I must ask you to hold your tongue and stop all these needless interruptions!
 
 
Engineer:
Anyway, after the war, a new search begins for an heir to the Glomfjord industrial site. On 10 July, an agreement was reached with Hydro, and construction work began already the same month.
 
1,500 men were put to work with an ammonia factory for fertilizer production. Barely two years later, the factory could be put into operation, partly built on the foundations of the aluminum plans begun by the Germans.
 
 
Worker:
The years with Hydro was a great time in Glomfjord. They took care of everything.
 


Engineer:
Didn't I say you shouldn't interrupt.... What? Did you say it was great? Well yes you’re correct.. 
 

Engineer:
Ammonia production ushered in a new era in Glomfjord and Hydro's history. Production was divided between Glomfjord and Herøya at Porsgrunn. Three special ships transported ammonia the 1,500 kilometers. Such a long transport of ammonia in large pressure tanks was a pioneering effort that attracted international attention. The ships operated in shuttle traffic for nearly 25 years without incident.
 
After six years as a supplier of raw materials, in 1955 Glomfjord got its own factories for the production of nitric acid and commercial fertiliser. The ammonia could be refined on site, with supply from outside as capacity increased. Glomfjord is today one of the busiest ports in Northern Norway. All raw materials for fertilizer production are imported, mainly from Eastern Europe.
 
Fertilizer production in Glomfjord developed strong professional environments. When the ammonia factory was closed in 1993, an extensive restructuring began. In 2004, Hydro's fertilizer division was spun off into the company YARA, which today is a world leader in fertilizer production.
 
 
Worker:
Are you done bragging so we can get back to work? Well, unless this is what you engineers call work.
 

Engineer:
That’s it! I`ve had enough! The truth of the matter is that some are blessed with a strong physique and others with a creative mind. Someone has to think the large thoughts that create opportunities for others who are unable to think as ambitiously.
 
 
Worker:
Creative mind!? Utter nonsense!
 
Stand around with your hands in your pockets and talk while you grab money, that's what you do.
 
While we guys who actually do the work have to struggle for every penny. You are all delusional and lazy.
 
 
Engineer:
The Audacity!
 
Where would you be if it weren't for us who think the big thoughts? Someone has to do it to create jobs here in the periphery!
 
 
Worker:
Big thoughts!? HA! The only big thoughts I see here is the once you have about yourself. And these workplaces you speak so warmly about, are so unstable that half of it could be enough.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Matias Bjune Pedersen

Editing: Helge Seim

 

Source:

  • Fagerland, T. E. (1998) – Industristedet Glomfjord: Fra veidemark til kraftsamfunn

Glomstua

This was a period where large sums were invested in buildings and facilities in Glomfjord. An agreement between the Norwegian state and the Swedish investors regarding power supplies to the planned zinc factory in Haugvik, led to great optimism. In 1918, Glomstua was thus built and the following year Ferdinand Bjerke, the director at the zinc factory, moved in. He became the first of several who over the years have lived in this beautiful building.

Engineer:
The drawings of Glomstua are signed "M. A. Bachkes Arkitektkontor" but Swedish consultants were also involved in the project. The building was made with many of the characteristics of the mansions of the time. There were separate rooms for servants and governesses, and in the annexes there was a playroom and workshop. Oddly enough, it was also arranged for pig and chicken keeping, which probably reflects the difficult supply situation during the First World War.

Worker:
Yeah, often the rules are different for different people, but when the stomach rumbles and the shop shelves are empty, the color of your shirt has little to say....

 
Engineer:
After the zinc factory went bankrupt in 1921, the state took over, by auction, most of the properties, including Glomstua.
 
After an agreement was entered into in 1927 with "The British Aluminum Corporation" for the production of aluminum at Haugvik Smelteverk, an agreement was also made to rent Glomstua. Thus, the director of the newly established aluminum plant, Hans Jensen, moved in the same year. And from 1938, operations manager Johannes Høeg lived in the house.

Worker:
It must be nice...
 
Engineer:
Excuse me? Didn't they agree that the workers' housing on Jæra was of a good standard?

Worker:
by all means, I am just saying that it is a nice building.
 
Engineer:
When Hydro established itself in Glomfjord in 1947, they also rented Glomstua. From 1949, Glomstua has been used as a representative building for Norsk Hydro. Among many famous guests is King Olav V. in 1959.
 
The building has been renovated several times, most recently during the 50th anniversary in 1997. However, the renovation work has been carried out in a discreet manner, and Glomstua has largely retained its historic atmosphere.
 
In 1995, Hydro bought Glomstua from Statkraft. Hydro thus finally became the master of his own house.
 
Worker:
Nice location too.
 
Engineer:
Yes the little glomvann is a pretty little lake which, … what's the point?
 
Worker:
Nothing….
 
Engineer:
No no, go on! Out with it!
 
Worker:
I think it's great that the guys at the top have a nice view when they're sitting around drinking coffee all day!
 
Engineer:
Again with these insults. Can't you just shut up!
 
Worker:
Make me!
 
Engineer:
I'm going to get them fired! That's what I'm going to do!
 
Worker:
I would like to see you try. I have the entire workforce behind me and if you try, we'll strike at once!
 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim and Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Mathias Asplund Nyhagen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Hage, Ingebjørg: "Glomfjord - idealbyen rundt 1920" in Karlsøy og verden utenfor. Kulturhistoriske perspektiver på nordnorske steder. Tromsø museums skrifter XXX, Tromsø 2003

 

Visions of Glomfjord's bright future

After the stat bought the powerplant in 1918, it seemed that Glomfjord had a bright future. The famous architects Christian. Morgenstierne and Arne Eide designed a town for as many as 6,000 inhabitants. The town should have a church. schools. business districts, hotels and residential areas. It was imagined that visitors would come from far and wide to view what was described as the new Rjukan.

Engineer
The magazine "Det Nordlige Norge" also went to great lengths to describe Glomfjord's coming golden age:

"A city with thousands of inhabitants is being created. Where before there was only a footpath leading to the field, there will now be a paved street, and there will be a tramway from the docks and up to the town, winding its way between the houses. This will take the workers from the city to the factories, which will be a little further out by the beach, and the travelers who come to the place with the local ships or “Hurtigruten”, will be dispersed by the train throughout the city to GrandHotell, Hotell Ekselsior or Fønix. Up in the mountains there will be a station for airships. Mail and passengers are sent to and from the airship station with an elevator. It is the new Northern Norway that is being created in miniature, but it will be big and mighty."
 
Worker
yes, I believe it when I see it. Can you tell me what happened to this big and "mighty" city you were talking about?
 
Engineer
Will, things don't always go 100% according to plan..
 
Worker
Yeah, that’s for sure 
 
Engineer
Regardless….
In the first construction phase, housing construction was concentrated in Glomen. The idea of ​​Bernt Lund, the plant manager at the time, was that the industrial plants should be built at Haugvik, while the workers should live in Glomen free from annoying smoke and noise.
 
Worker
Yes, the workers' housing at Jæra turned out great, but can you tell me where the tram went?
  
Engineer
The large-scale city plans were unfortunately scrapped due to the recession and crisis in world trade. The plans were thus halted. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the Tram route was started and that it can still be seen south and south-west of Nordhaugen.
 
Worker
"Phew!, recession…."

 

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim and Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Mathias Asplund Nyhagen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Fagerland, T. E. (1998) – Industristedet Glomfjord: Fra veidemark til kraftsamfunn

The workers' housing at Jæra

The workers' housing at Jæra was part of the plan for Glomen city. Here there were both family homes and so-called "lauskar barracks", sleeping barracks with room for up to 48 people in some buildings. The two-storey family homes had a living area of 210 square meters, with a shared bathroom in the basement.

Engineer:
The workers' housing at Jæra was the first regulated area to be built in accordance with the town plan from 1916. Subsequently, three engineer's villas at Hylla were also completed.
 
 
 
Worker:
Must be nice sitting there in peace and quiet, while the workers had to deal with other people's habits and unhabits, not to mention that all of us had to share the same toilet!
 
 
 
With that being said, we did have good times between us. And then it was a bit funny with the location of those engineering villas
 
 
Engineer:
What do you mean?
 
 
 
Worker:
 
Well, you know, the road goes straight above the houses. Right?
 
 
Engineer:
 
Yes, what about it?
 
 
 
Worker:
 
It means that every day when I go to work I can look down on the whole engineering batch.
 
 
 
Engineer:
 
Excuse me!?
 
 
 
Worker:
 
I think it's only fair that I get to sneak in 5 minutes here and there, since you look down on us workers for the remaining dozens of minutes a day.
 
 
 
Engineer:
 
Are you quite finished?
 
 
 
Worker:
 
Yes, yes, by all means.
 
 
 
Engineer:
 
The other buildings further down in Glomen were only meant to be temporary and were to be removed according to the plan to make room for a church, hospital and hotel. But when the zinc factory went bankrupted in the early 1920s, the entire town plan was put on hold.
 
 
 
Worker:
With no Church we had to creative. For communion and prayer we had to use the steam kitchen which was located in Øvre gate 5. Today, this building is also gone. Indeed here nothing is sacred….
 
 
 
Engineer:
Should you not mention that a proper church was built instead!?
 
 
 
Worker:
 
Of course, but that would be in another post.
 
 
 
Engineer:
 
So you are allowed to refer to other texts, but when I do the same all hell breaks loss? 
 
 
Worker:
 
Yeah isn’t it annoying when there are different rules for people...
 
 
 
Engineer:
 
When Hydro established itself in Glomfjord in 1947, the original town plans were retrieved. The company believed that the plan could be realized in its entirety without any problems, but chose, for financial reasons, to place the building at Haugvikmyra adjacent to the factory site.
 
 
 
In modern times, the buildings have been completely renovated and parks have been developed. Jæra is today home for many families with children and the place is known for its pleasant living environment.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim and Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Mathias Asplund Nyhagen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Fagerland, T. E. (1998) – Industristedet Glomfjord: Fra veidemark til kraftsamfunn

Meloy cultural center

Meloy Culture Centre, which was opened in 1988, is a multi-purpose building that accommodates culture and sports. The cultural center is located in traditional surroundings. Thus, the building has taken up the legacy of the rich and flourishing cultural life that sprung from the workers' commitment. These activities were previously housed in Folkets Hus.

Worker:

In the car park on the other side of the road was “Folkets Hus”. It was completed in 1940 and was the result of an enormous volunteer effort. Here the workers could meet and chat without having their bosses hanging over their shoulders.

 

The meeting with the construction community meant opportunities to get work and income, and to meet new cultural and political impulses. While 17. May was otherwise the big party day in the rest of Norway, it was often 1. May that was celebrated at the new industrial communities.

 

As early as 1914, 1. May was celebrated for the first time in Glomfjord after the Glomfjord workers' association was founded in June the previous year. During the celebration of the day in 1918, as many as 400 people took part in the workers' association's event.

 

Engineer:

A real howling chorus. Hustle and bustle. If they didn't demand one thing, they demanded the other…

 

Worker:

Shut up!

 

At this time, there was a fierce battle with the employers over the working time regulations. In August 1918, the workers gained ground for their demands, and the eight-hour day was a fact. And det Glomfjord workers played an important part in this arrangement.

 

Engineer:

You cry for higher wages, you want to earn more, but do you want to work more? No, far from it. You want to work less!

 

Worker:

8 hours in a day is anyway far more than what you office rats have ever done! 

In any case, in 1987 the new cultural center was completed, while the “Folkets hus” was constantly falling into disrepair. And in 1997 it had become so worn that it was unfortunately demolished.

 

Engineer:

Not a second too early!

 

Worker:

Can you stop with those interruptions. I am trying to convey an important part of our history here!

 

Engineer:

Annoying, isn't it?

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim and Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Mathias Asplund Nyhagen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Hansen. E. (1997) Årbok nr. 13: Folkets hus i Glomfjord Meløy Historielag

The air raid of Glomfjord September 1941

On 9 April 1940, Norway was invaded by Germany. One of the reasons of the attack was to gain control over Norway's natural resources and our industry. One of them was The aluminum factory in Glomfjord. The Factory lost contact with its British owners and in the same year Nordag was established. (Nordische aluminium gesellschaft). The goal was to produce aluminum for German aircraft production. The British naturally wanted to stop this.

Engineer:
On the night of 12. September 1941, 5 Albacore planes took off from the aircraft carrier HMS "Victorious". The target in Glomfjord was the power plant at Fykan and Nordag's aluminum factory in Haugvik. The pilots reported hits in both places, but in reality neither target was hit. At the power plant, the bombs hit too high and ended up in the mountains above. At the aluminum factory, two men were killed while working on a locomotive when the bombs hit.
 

Engineer:
Lieutenant Colonel Johs. Müller, who was commander of Luftwaffe 4./Flak Abteilung 824, was given responsibility for developing the air defense around Glomfjord after the bombing. According to intelligence reports made in 1942, this air defense consisted of several air defense positions: 2 pcs. 37 mm anti-aircraft battery and 6 pcs. 20 mm anti-aircraft battery. To ensure constant staffing, a crew barracks was also built. The remains of this barracks can be seen to this day.
 

In 1944, this close defense was discontinued when there was no longer aluminum production at the factory. The reason why aluminum production stopped has for a long time been credited to the efforts of the commandos during Operation Musketoon in 1942. But in reality, it was just as much a lack of raw materials that put an end to aluminum production.
 

Worker:

So the occupier is referred to by both name and rank, while the 2 Norwegian workers who lost their lives during the bombing were barely mentioned in a subordinate clause!?
 

Engineer:
Excuse me?
 

Worker:

Their names was Albert Bakke and Erling Aleksander Nilsen!

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Matias Bjune Pedersen

Editing: Helge Seim

 

Source:

  • Tvenning K. (1994) Årbok nr. 10: Bomber drepte bestekammeraten Meløy Historielag
  •  Interview Knut Støre
  •  Other interviews

Setvik farm

Setvik farm may have been cleared already before the great Black Death in 1349. Until 1666, Setvika was a crown estate, but has subsequently had many private owners.

Engineer:
In 1916, the property was bought by “Glomfjord Aktieselskap”. After this, Setvik was considered an industrial area. Beyond the 20s, “Glomfjord Aktieselskap” experienced financial difficulties. The Norwegian state then bought both the power plant and the factory area. Setvik thus passed into state ownership.
 
 
 
Engineer:
In 1923, Odinna Katinka and Johan Andreas Pettersen were offered to rent Setvik farm. On the farm there were two residential buildings, a barn and a summer barn. Johan considered this too much to own alone and got his brother, Petter Kristoffer Pettersen, involved in the operation.
 
In addition to the farm, Johan and Petter drove transport with three horses for Glomfjord Kraftverk and Haugvik Smelteverk AS. Johan also got work in transport at the factory. In 1932, Petter took over the horse transport alone, at the same time he bought his first lorry. The operation of the farm was initially shared, but the land was eventually divided and Petter built a new barn for his livestock. The road down from the main road separated the properties. Johan owned the land from the road down towards the sea, and Petter owned the land from the road in towards Setvik valley. They each had 3-4 cows and some younger animals, besides the horses.
 
In 1931-32, the two brothers built a small residential house near the road, for their parents, Hanna and Julius Kristian. They also gave them a piece of land and a cow, so they had milk and meat.
 
After Johan died in 1935, life became somewhat harder for Odinna and the 6 children. But they still managed well.
 
 
Engineer:
Just before the war broke out in 1940, electricity was installed in Setvika. It didn't take long before the Germans came to Meloy. They wanted to optimize the production of aluminum in Glomfjord. To protect the industry, both trenches and anti-aircraft guns were eventually built at Setvikhågen. To ensure permanent staffing, barracks were also built. Beyond the war, it gradually became more difficult to provide the soldiers with proper food, so a pig barn was built in the valley. It became Odinna's task to look after the pigs. It was important to have pork as a supplement to the crisis-oriented food for the soldiers. You can still see some remains of the pig barn.
 
Setvik farm was vacated approx. 1951-52. The power plant later sold all the buildings for demolition/clearing. The "Petter-Setvik house" was set up in Våtvika and moved into in the summer of 1964.
 

Worker:
 
hark….
 
 
 
Engineer
Oh, what is it now then? I mentioned all their names and what they worked on. I even told them about negative conditions with the industry.
 
What in heaven's name do you want!!? Was it a unionized mouse in the wall perhaps, or a special cow that alone fed the whole of Glomfjord with milk and butter!?
 
 
 
Worker:
 
What? Oh, no. I just had to clear my throat. But since you ask, I can point out that the reason Johan died was as a result of blood poisoning from a wound he got while bundling the sack in the factory.
 
 
 
Engineer:
 
That is of course somewhat unfortunate, but accidents do happen. And as far as I can remember, the Director applied to the National Insurance Agency and arranged for the family to be compensated!
 
 
 
Worker:
 
Yes, I remember that. That's why I didn't say anything..
 
 
 
Engineer:
 
Ohh….give me strength.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim and Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Mathias Asplund Nyhagen

Editing: Helge seim

Music and Soundeffect: freesound.org

 

Source:

  • Pettersen K. (2002) Årbok nr. 18: Setvik gård Meløy Historielag

Benkestok

Benkestok was a Norwegian noble family in the Middle Ages. By the end of the 18th century the name was officially no longer in use., but this was only on the male side. On the women side however the line has multiple descendants.

You may have heard the legend? The legend of the Benkestoks and how our ancestors saved the life of our king. He was fleeing from evil men who wanted to kill him,, but was saved by our ancestor. He opened the bench and let the king hide in it. Such wooden logs were often simply called Benchestok. As thanks for his cleverness, our ancestor was honored with a title of nobility and took the name Benkestok, so that our proud past would never be forgotten. 

My name is Ermegaard Trondsdatter Benkestokk. Born 1610 at Meløygården. The first to use the name Benkestok was Tord Benkestok. He is mentioned in 1399 in Oslo bishop Eystein Aslakson's land register of church property in Oslo. He was my great, great, great great grandfather. 

The Benkestok grew powerful and eventually they owned land in Båhuslen, Herjedalen, Vestlandet, Nordland, Shetland and the Faroe Islands. 

The first Benkestok in Meløy was my great grandfather. Trond Tordsen Benkestok had been Lensmann of Sogn, but in 1528 he lost this right and moved north to Meløy in Nordland. It is said that it was due to a settlement between the Danish king and the power-hungry governor Vincens Lunge.

In Meløy, he eventually owned large properties through marriage with Anna Johnsdotter Haar from the noble family Gyldenløwe. He first received the mediocre title of squire, before later becoming a knight. He also owned land in Bergen, where he was a fut at Bergenhus and officer at the fortress. 
I was only 16 years old when my father, Trond Benkestokk, passed away. As the heir, it meant that the responsibility for the estate now rested on my shoulders. Fortunately, I had a lot of help from my mother, Gjertrud Peitersdatter. 

 

In my time, it was a tradition that the many daughters of a dying Norwegian nobility were taken over with their estates, by more or less noble Danish fortune hunters, but there were few who ventured up to this poor and desolate corner of the realm. 

So I sat and waited . while my youth slipped away like sand between my fingers. It was not until 1640 that the courtship came. His name was Jon Gundersen, and he was somewhat older than me. He didn't have any noble title either, but he was skilled and already the following year he became Lensmann in Meløy. In addition to farming, he also engaged in transport and seafaring. He also gave me children. 3 boys and 2 girls. 

 

Yes, it was a great time, but unfortunately it came to a sudden end when Jon died in 1665. Again, the responsibility for Meløygården fell on my shoulders. Fortunately, age had given me strength to be able to bear the responsibility. My children also grew and was able to help me. Especially Trond. He took over the position after his father. He eventually moved to Gåsvær and built up a rich and large trading postd there. In addition, he owned 14 våg in Meløygården and Meløy-skagen. 1 våg is, as you know, 18kg, but I wasn't talking about 18kg of fish, no, this was a way of calculating how much tax he had to pay. In comparison, a normal farm sat at about ½ våg.

Hehe, yes, even if he couldn't bear the name, he was certainly a real Benkestok. 

 

One dark winter night in 1687, I was again struck by misfortune. A small glow had found its way into the firing wood in the kitchen and soon the whole farm was ablaze. Since Meløygården was a large farm with many houses, bowers, hay and corn fields, barns and stables, this became a fire that could be seen for several miles around. 

Eventually, the villagers came to the farm. There they found me, crying in the ruins. Rumors began to circulate in the village that the old lady on Meløya was in great distress. But you shouldn't listen to them. There will always be those who love other people's misfortune. Besides 12 Våg on Meløya, I still had 2 Våg on Osa, 1 Våg on Bolga and most of the large farm Fjære on Kjerringøy. 

And even though this marked the end of Benkestoks golden age, I was by no means a beaten woman. Already in the same year, with great help and support from my children and the Fogd Peder Broch in Nord-Herøy, we started the reconstruction of the most necessary buildings. We were eventually able to build a lot of the farm, but it was never the same. Still, I can’t complain. I was enriched with many grandchildren, and I never suffered any real hardship. 

After living as a widow for 30 years, in 1695 I finally found rest. Since noble names only follow the men, I was the last official Benkestok. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that the family continued on the female side. And even 300 years after I passed away, you can meet people who, with great pride, say that they originate from Benkestok.

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voice:  Bente Sørgård

Editing: Helge seim

 

Music ans sounds: freesound.org

Source:

  • Normann H. (1986) Årbok 2 Benkestok-familien Meløy Historielag

Helleristninger

About 10,000 years ago, humans migrated into Norway. They found their way north and eventually ended up in Meløy. Here they left traces that would prove to last for thousands of years. The pictures in Meløy are carved into the rock and have thus been given the natural name Helleristninger. What are they, where are they, why were they made and how?

The pictures in Meløy are over 9,000 years old and can be found on Fykan and on Åmøya. The 2 areas contain around twenty pictures each and the motifs are primarily moose, reindeer, bears and whales.
 
They are made by scraping away the top layer of the mountain, so that the dark algae disappeared where they scraped. They thus got a silhouette contrast between the light mountain and the dark algae.
 

We obviously don't know exactly why they were made, but archaeologists have some theories. Perhaps they are there to show what can be hunted in the area. Maybe they're there to mark territory or maybe it's all about magic. Most primitive cultures that modern man has encountered have been shamanistic. They saw forces of nature as something magical that was controlled by various nature deities. There is no reason to believe that the first people in Meløy were any different. In other words, perhaps the images were scratched in as a ritual to ask the gods for luck when hunting large prey. The latter is perhaps the most likely theory.
 

Unfortunately, most of the images have been seriously damaged over the past 100 years. Through pollution and vandalism, we have gradually damaged them. In Meløy today, only the Rock Carvings on Åmøya can be seen with the naked eye. These are Meløy's greatest treasures, take care of them. You’re your children about them. Feel free to look at them, but be careful. They have been here for 9000 years. If we work together to protect them, they might be around for the next 9,000 years as well.

 

Subject text: Helge Seim
 
Screenplay: Helge Seim
 
Voices: Helge Seim
 
Editing: Helge Seim

 

Sources:

Helleristninger

About 10,000 years ago, humans migrated into Norway. They found their way north and eventually ended up in Meløy. Here they left traces that would prove to last for thousands of years. The pictures in Meløy are carved into the rock and have thus been given the natural name Helleristninger. What are they, where are they, why were they made and how?

The pictures in Meløy are over 9,000 years old and can be found on Fykan and on Åmøya. The 2 areas contain around twenty pictures each and the motifs are primarily moose, reindeer, bears and whales.
 
They are made by scraping away the top layer of the mountain, so that the dark algae disappeared where they scraped. They thus got a silhouette contrast between the light mountain and the dark algae.
 

We obviously don't know exactly why they were made, but archaeologists have some theories. Perhaps they are there to show what can be hunted in the area. Maybe they're there to mark territory or maybe it's all about magic. Most primitive cultures that modern man has encountered have been shamanistic. They saw forces of nature as something magical that was controlled by various nature deities. There is no reason to believe that the first people in Meløy were any different. In other words, perhaps the images were scratched in as a ritual to ask the gods for luck when hunting large prey. The latter is perhaps the most likely theory.
 

Unfortunately, most of the images have been seriously damaged over the past 100 years. Through pollution and vandalism, we have gradually damaged them. In Meløy today, only the Rock Carvings on Åmøya can be seen with the naked eye. These are Meløy's greatest treasures, take care of them. You’re your children about them. Feel free to look at them, but be careful. They have been here for 9000 years. If we work together to protect them, they might be around for the next 9,000 years as well.

 

Subject text: Helge Seim
 
Screenplay: Helge Seim
 
Voices: Helge Seim
 
Editing: Helge Seim

 

Sources:

Operation musketoon

2 mighty roars cuts through the cold september night in Glomfjord in 1942. Followed by sirens and more explosions. Operation musketoon had been a success, al that remind was to escape. Sverre Granlund and his 11 fellow combatants  had taken the powerplant at fykan out of commission and wore now in full retreat.

The plan was to get over the mountain and into neutral Sweden. But it was pitch dark and the commandos couldent find their way. Granlund found a work hut and the Norwegian workers gave them a map and a description of how to get over the mountain.

 

Not long after they left the cabin the germans got up with them. It was a gun fight and 7 of the commandos wore captured Granlund, Fairclough, Trigg og O`Brien got away, but Erling Djupdræt was wounded. He was taken to Bodø hospital, but died fro the injuries a few days later.

Captain Black and 6 other prisoners are transported first to Trondheim, then to Oslo. On October second, the journey continues to Ålborg in Germany on board S/S Donau. They are then taken on by train to the village of Colditz. The officers are kept in a different prison away from the other commandos. Still, during the stay in Colditz the moral was high. The commandos got food, cigarettes, candy, chocolate and tea. They also got exercise and had access to several books. Eric Curtis writes in his wardiary that it was like being on vacation.
 

October 13. they are transported to Berlin. Here they are questioned for 9 days before moving to Sachsenhausen. The next day they are taken out of the cells one by one. They are told they are going to be measured. The prisoners stands up facing the wall.
 
Without warning comes a shot. A body falls to the ground. No judgment was read, no last words were said.
 
One by one they are put up against the wall. One by one they are killed.

  • Reginald Makeham
  • Eric Curtis
  • Joseph Houghton
  • Cyril Abram
  • William Chudley
  • Graeme Black
  • Miller Smith

7 young lives are wiped away by 7 short shots. All they wore, all they could have been, all the children they could, grandchildren and grate-grandchildren. In a blink of an eye everything was lost
No words can chance what happened, but they deserve our respect. Then gave everything for a land that wasn’t their own. They fought for freedom and peace and paid the ultimate price.
 
 
Thank you for your efforts
Thanks for everything you gave
Thank you brave men
 

Subject text: Helge Seim
 
Screenplay: Helge Seim
 
Voices: Helge Seim
 
Editing: Helge Seim
 

Sources:

  • The National Archives Musketoon – DEFE 1/109 Debrifing Sverre Granlund November 1942
  • The National Archives Musketoon – DEFE 1/109 Debrifing Richard O`brien 26.oktober 1942
  • The National Archives Musketoon – DEFE 1/109 Debrifing Fredrick Harry Trigg og John Fairclough 8.oktober 1942
  • Støre K. (1991) Årbok nr. 7 Meløy bi ufredår Meløy Historielag

Fykan Power plant

At the heart of the Glomfjord lies a majestic building. The power plant was built over 100 years ago to create value from the mighty waterfall. It`s said that it was so big that it could be heard all the way from Neverdal, 11 kilometers away. The power plant was designed by Johan Brochmonn Nordhagen at NTH in Trondheim and has high architectural value. At the time, it was important that money and power were made visible through the architectural expression. The power plant building was therefore built in a monumental, almost cathedral-like style.

Engineer:

That’s right, the power plant is an engineering masterpiece!

It all began in 1898 when the Lensmann and the church singer in Meløy together bought the rights to use the waterfall. Later they sold the rights to Ragnar Schjølberg in Bodø and Ole Wilhelm Lund, businessman and engineer. They founded the company Glomfjord Aktieselskap..

In the summer of 1912, the newly appointed construction manager Bernt Lund was in Glomen. Surveys in the mountains and construction of barracks and a forge were the first tasks to be undertaken.


Worker:

As always it’s the high and mighty who are talked about. But who built the faxility? Was it them? Of course not. It was us, the working class. While they wore siting inside their warn offices drinking coffee, we climbed up and down the steep mountain with several tens of kg of equipment on our backs. Often with our life at stake.

What about Norin Jørgensen From Neverdal, Daniel Johnsen from Åskardet or Edvard Kundsen from southern Norway? They were taken by an avalanche,
early in the winter of 1912. And they were only the first of countless others who gave their lives for the power plant.

 

 Engineer:

That's regrettable of course, but without these high and mighty there would be no work for anyone.

Anyway, in 1920 the power plant was completed, but already 2 years earlier they had experienced financial difficulties. The power plant was essentially bankrupt, and was sold to the state in 1918 for the record sum of NOK 15 million kr. The purchase was highly controversial, and many doubted that the investment would pay off. However, Prime Minister Gunnar Knutsen was a strong advocate for the purchase and got his way. The purpose was to make money by selling power to the zinc factory that was under construction in Haugvik. In addition, they wanted to get the power plant into Norwegian hands, as the power plant was initially owned by Swedish interests. 

Glomfjord power plant became the first state-owned power plant of this size. It is therefore correct to say that Glomfjord power plant is the country's first "state power plant" for industrial purposes.
 

Worker:
You’re painted a nice picture there. But shouldn't you mention that the zinc factory in Haugvik also went bankrupt and that the state had to buy that as well?
 
 
Engineer:
We will talk more about that later.
 
 
Worker:
Hehe, how convenient.
 
 
Engineer:
Anyway. During the German occupation, the power plant was planned to be expanded and received a total of six aggregates. The station as it stands today was completed in 1949, with the addition of a new administration building that was added later.
 
After the Svartis power plant came into operation in 1993, only one of the six aggregates is in operation at Fykan.
 
 
During the Second World War there were a total of 2 attempts to blow up the power plant. First by aircraft in 1941 and later by commandos in 1942, during the sabotage operation Operation Musketoon.
 
 
Worker:
Oh, did you run out of rich men to brag about? Then maybe I can tell the nice people about what happened to Albert and Erling when they worked the night shift at Haugvik in September 1941.
 
Engineer:
No, I'll tell you about them later!
 
Worker:
Fine! But I`ll hold you to it!

 

Subject text: Helge Seim

Screenplay: Helge Seim og Jan Ivar Bårtvedt

Voices: Jan Ivar Bårtvedt og Matias Bjune Pedersen

Editing: Helge Seim

 

Sources:

  • Fagerland, T. E. (1998) – Industristedet Glomfjord: Fra veidemark til kraftsamfunn

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