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Alvøen is one of the oldest industrial places in Norway. As early as the 1620s a gunpowder mill was built here. The place itself was well situated for industrial activity, lying only 100 m from the waterfall, which provided power for the mill, and a good harbour wherefrom the products were shipped. The success of the gun-powder mill varied in the 1600s and 1700s, but what made Alvøen best known was its paper production.
The industrial settlement Bjørsvik
If you enter the farmyard at Rekve, some kilometres from Bulken, where the road departs to Giljarhus, you no longer meet “the miller”, Knut Hernes, in his old rural mill. But some years ago he would wish you welcome, friendly and hospitable, and show you around his mill, which had been his workplace for a generation. As light-footed as a youth he climbed in steep ladders high up into the waterfall, to let the water down on to the waterwheel.