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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.
There are many river networks out by the coast and they tend to be small and unassuming. The farmer has relied upon the watercourses to run his mill and saw, and it may be that the trout have given him a good source of food in years when the ocean fish failed. In our time, these river networks are being rediscovered for their value in recreation and outdoor life, and several places, tourist trails have been built in order to fully enjoy them.
The steep drop by Fossen cliff has been the biggest challenge for those who wished to make a road over Kvamskogen through the years. Leave the car by the monument on the old road and take a walk down to the bend by the waterfall that Bergen-folk call "The bridal veil". Why is there a waterfall just here?
Much rain, a steep drop and nearness to Bergen meant that the power-making potential of the Samnanger water system was exploited early. Samnanger was thus one of the first power-producing municipalities in western Norway. With its subsequent expansion and new power stations, about 400 gigawatts of electricity per hour were produced on average each year. This is enough to meet the energy needs of 25,000 households.
One does not need much imaginationto see that where the river bends down in Røssebotnen, there has once been a lake. The landscape tells this - more clearly than any book.