Tveiti sawmill in Herand is probably the last water-powered sash-saw in the country that has been in regular operation up to our time. There has been a sash-saw here since the 1700s, and on the other side of the river there are remains of an even older saw.
Down by the fjord at Svåsand, close to the main highway, there is a long row of boathouses, one of the well-preserved, older boathouse locations along the Hardanger fjord. It is the farms at Svåsand that have their boathouses here, four main farms with origins far back in time.
When bishop J.Neumann was on a visitation in Hardanger in 1825 he also visited Torsnes, the seat of the Galtung family. They were then in the process of pulling down the old dwelling house on the farm. As the committed observer of ancient monuments and antiquarian buildings that he was, bishop Neumann has provided us with interesting details:
The farm Vik in Jondal has been one of the earliest settled farms in Jondal; a good and fertile farm east of the river. Legends hold that mighty men have lived in Vik, and it is easy to imagine that the farm may have been a chieftain’s seat for some time.
On Austre Bakholmen, a small islet of around 15 acres between Hundvåko and Drøni, lies the oldest trading centres in Austevoll. For a long time this was a court location and it was a natural centre in this archipelago.
Where the school and the sports facility lie at Eidsbøen there was previously a bog surrounded by small hillocks. More than 1000 years ago this was a holy place, where the dead were buried.
Farming in Austevoll has nearly all been in combination with fishing as the main industry. The farms in the district are therefore small, even in a west Norwegian context.