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Sagvåg in the early 1900s, with the gate saw and the shipyard to the right in the picture.

Sagvåg in the early 1900s, with the gate saw and the shipyard to the right in the picture. (Sev. Kannelønning, SK 2546, SF)

The pit saw on the property of the farm Valvatna, is the origin of the name Sagvåg. The sawmill is mentioned as early as 1564. The name of the place at that time was Fuglesalt, but soon there is only talk of Saugvog.

Also on the Nysæter side of the river a sawmill was later established. It was people of minor nobility and their descendants who owned the sawing rights. As elsewhere in Sunnhordland in the 17th and 18th centuries, there was great traffic of Dutch people and others who bought lumber in Sagvågen. Today Valvatne’s lumber trade carries on the tradition in modern forms, but there is still an old gate saw here. Likewise, an old mill house is still standing.

From 1865 until 1968 Sagvåg was shipping harbour for sulphur ore from the mines at Øvre Litlabø. The ore was transported by boats through Storavatnet for storage at the jetty innermost in the bay. When A/S Stordø Kisgruber (founded in 1907) started major operations, a railway was built to a new harbour site at Grunnavågsneset at the entrance to the fjord.

At Jensaneset (“a headland at Saugvogen, where Jens Hanssøn has leased himself a piece of land”,1644) Otte Ottesen started a shipyard in 1825. This was the start of Ottesen Skipsbyggeri A/S, which, from turn of the century up until the 1960s built 214 new wooden boats, amongst them the life boat “Olav Østensjø JR.”. The business was closed down in 1980, but plans are afoot for the restoration of the buildings. The area will then achieve status as an area of cultural relics.

  • Nedreaas, T. (1986) Stord - Norge i et muslingskall: Stordøy. Norge. Bd I, s. 363-381.