In 1852 Haktor Thorsen erected two large warehouses on one of his farms in Sunde and started trading and salting herring. This was the start of an industrial adventure that made Sunde into one of the first industrial communities in Kvinnherad.
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.
Salhus has been a connecting point for sea travellers far back in time. The name probably derives from the Old Norse word sáluhús, “house for travellers”. The name may indicate that this was a place for an inn even in the Middle Ages. The place is eminently situated in the route to and from Bergen. For travellers coming by boat from Sogn and Nordhordland, Salhus is the last stop before Bergen. Travellers from the communities in Voss also came this way earlier when they were going to Bergen
Close to the tunnel opening at Amalie Skrams vei in Ssandviken, there is a cultural monument of European dimensions; a rope making works that produced rope and fishing tackle for West and North Norway.
Today the name “Verftet” is linked to both a district and conglomeration of buildings lying protected by Fredriksberg castle. The original shipyard was founded in the 1780s by Georg Brunchorst and Georg Vedeler. It was called Gerogenes Verft (the shipyards of the Georgs), and here ships were both built and repaired in the years after 1786.
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.
Today Tyssedal appears like a classical industrial community, a picture of modern Norway from the turn of the former century until today. A/S Tyssefaldene was established in 1906, and on 1 May 1908 Tyssedal power station was put into operation. The work on the first stage of the facility was completed in a short time, with a work force of 500 men. They built water tunnels, regulation reservoirs, power station, penstocks, harbour, cableways, office buildings, houses and 6 km of power lines in the wild mountains above Odda to provide the new melting plant with power.