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The saws at Mollandseid, Masfjorden

The saws at Mollandseid. (Svein Nord).

In Mollandsvågen, close by the river that runs from Mollandsvatnet (lake) into the fjord, are two water-powered circular saws and a mill. This small industrial centre has belonged to the farms Molland, Reknes and Duesund, which together own the rights to the waterfall

In 1723 the farms Molland and Reknes had joint ownership of a mill. Whether it is the same mill house still standing is not known for certain. In 1804 the leaseholders of Molland applied for royal permission to operate a mill. This has disappeared now; most likely it must have been a sash saw. The circular saws, now standing, are from the 1870s, but still operated by waterpower. The saws in Mollandsvågen were ideally situated for further shipping of the sawn timber, but it must have been a hard job to bring the logs to the sawmill. Masfjorden has rich forest areas and the inhabitants must have had a fair income from the forest. Some sawn timber went to Bergen, but a lot was sold – or exchanged for fish – to people from Austrheim, Fedje and Gulen. This is a classical theme in the industrial economy of Nordhordland, ever since the Middle Ages; timber and house-building material from the internal forest communities in exchange for fish from the coastal communities. Both house timber and ready-made houses have been brought from Masfjorden to the smallholdings on the coast.

The sawmill and the mill were in use until after WWII.

  • Saw at Mollandseid around 1950.

Saw at Mollandseid around 1950. (loaned by John Brun)

  • Skagen, A. K. (1991) Mollandseid Masfjorden: eit kulturminnemiljø: utnytting av ressursar i skog og vatn.