The Historical Society - Friends of Mostadmark Jernverk
We will also make attention to the English version of our tiny folder.
The purpose of the society is to take care of the remaining objects, the history and the memories of the iron mill Mostadmark Jernverk, positioned a few hundred meters downstream the river Homla starting from the lake Foldsjøen in Mostadmark community. In a remaining office building (built late 1700) – “Contoiret” there are accomplished a small museum. Also the former plant area is now treated as a museum area. Here you will find some remaining buildings and some new. Of the old, we will mention the old smiths forge and the workers rest cabin called “Labbistuggu”
Within the plant area you will also find remnants of two old furnaces. Only the bottom part of them bot is remained. The youngest one was placed in the south-east corner of the plant area, near to the river bank. Here was also placed the water driven power wheel for energy to the furnace bellows. The eldest furnace, - built late 1650’s is to find 300m north (downstream) from the main plant area. This is the eldest blast furnace of the type used in the 1600-1750 period remained I Norway.
The ore they used to make iron in the first period was found in mines within a few miles radius from the plant. Also the charcoal they needed for the melting process was made from the nearby forests. The process of making charcoal from wood was decentralize in the matter they cut the wood, and raised it in a kiln nearby, and then burned in a controlled way to make coal of it. Then , - in the winter with good sledding, it was transported to the iron mill plant. Many of the ore mines and the kiln places is registered of the friends society and given to the public as information in maps, picture albums, books and other documents.
The “Contoiret” museum is opened for public all Sundays in July and August every year. Access to the museum at other times can be obtained by contacting the museum keeper at mobile phone +47 924 29 447 The outdoor areas is open for public all the time. Some legend can be found on small posters placed around upon the visible objects in the mill plant. We regret that this information is only available in Norwegian language yet.
The historical society does a near cooperation with the schools in Malvik municipal. The pupils can every year, under a skilled assistance from teachers and society members, try to “travel back” to the times when Mostadmark Jernverk was a great for the locals, and pioneer for the country mining industry.
In the history of the iron mill Mostadmark Jernverk there were three activity periods with standstill of the iron production in the intervening times:
1. First period started in 1653 and lasted to 1695. The first blast furnace was raised on the lower plant area and taken into use in 1657, and the raw materials was obtained exclusively from local ore mines and charcoal production.
2. Second period started in 1753 and lasted to 1818. There was built a new blast furnace on the upper plant area, taken into use in 1756 . Now the reservoirs of local ore began to be emptied and they had to “import” it from more distant places. Much of the ore in the later part of this period came seaways by ship to Hommelvik and was then transported with horse vehicles up to the plant in Mostadmark.
3. Third, and last active period started at 1822 and lasted to about 1880. The blast furnace was after an accident restored in 1856 with incombustible core stone from England.
Under all this time, also throughout the intermediate periods , - a saw mill was localized and operated at the iron mill plant area. This mill obviously supplied a very welcome overlapping activity, both for the workers and the owners of Mostadmark Jernverk.
The products of Mostadmark Jernverk has a wide variety. Under the first period there was production of iron materials and equipment for the Danish/Norwegian military forces. Cannon balls were casted here, and probably used throughout large parts of northern Europe. Also nails and other iron details for construction works were made in Mostadmark.
The great product of the second period was cast iron ovens for heating living houses. We believe this was an enormous improvement for the indoor environment in the common houses of the time.
Our historical society has done a lot of work to make the knowledge of this pioneer industry plant public available in our local environment. At the time the society was founded in 1986, the plant area was a scrubland overgrown with both fine and coarse wood. This has been cleared up and the remaining buildings reset into a ok shape. The workers rest cabin “Labbistuggu” had since the iron mill was discontinued, been used as living house, - but has now (2009) been returned from a remote place at the upper end of Foldsjøen, - and set back where it stood in the 1880’s. The old forge is restored, - the bellow and the forge furnace refurbished to a functional condition. Now it is being used for demo production of tools like knives etc. under museum events and other instances.
The friends society has plans for restoring the intake dam across the river Holmla, - just upstream the plant. Also to build a cover shed over the remnants of the 1657 blast furnace is part of a plan. Furthermore there are plans of rising an old log hut we have purchased, for the purpose of being a store building for bulky equipment belonging to the iron mill museum.