Already in Norwegian tales from around 1100 there is mention of Havstenssund. The story about King Sverre tells about a manor, Sonaberg, situated at a strait (=sund in Swedish). The name of the mountain (=berg in Swedish) in Havstenssund, Sônneberget , might derive from this manor. There were pilots, fishing supervisors and an inn for the shipping trade already during the 18th century but Havstenssund got its disposition during the 19th century. Several parts of the village are of national interest and part of the culture heritage.
This is the start of a walk where you will find more about our community. Follow the instructions on the yellow plates. The walk can be extended with a nature and culture trail in the eastern part of Havstenssund. This walk starts at Tångenvägen and ends at the chapel.
LÖKHOLMEN – Northern part of Havstenssund
In 1941 three enthusiastic entrepreneurs started a canning business in the southern part of the village. They started with a laundry cauldron where they cooked shrimp. The shrimp was then put in sterilised glass jars. This was a tedious task and many glass jars brook. They wanted to use tin jars instead but had to transport the jars to Norway to get them sealed. When a road to the northern part of the village, Lökholmen, was built they could construct a factory that was ready in 1945, and named Havsten Canning AB. Contracts with the yield from the local fishermen were set up. The cans were sold to shops in restaurants all over Sweden but a considerable amount went on export, i.a. England and France.
The workers were women who came from the nearby villages but also from the islands, where they were picked up by boats. Some women from villages further away were picked up by the company bus. At most around 50 women and a few men worked in the factory. Cannig was made with shrimp, mussel, crayfish, anchovy and sardine. In 1945 two of the canning partners built the first houses on Lökholmen, which became
part of the village. The road along the sports field, which was once the seabed, was built in 1950. Musselsshells from the canning factory had then filled out the seabed. One of the owners had long also sold engines to the fishermen so when the canning business was closed down in 1974 the current business GBM took over
–> Follow Norrsundsvägen south to the fishing port
At the beginning of the 20th century, Fishermen on the west coast of Sweden often used English cutters as their vessels mainly to catch mackerel. During the coming decades the fishing of shrimp increased and this gradually became the major trade in Havstenssund. Up to the 1950’s there were between 60-70 fishermen in the village. In 1930 the Havstenssund Fishermen Association was founded. It was active until 1965 when it was
liquidated. Around 1976 there were 4 trawlers, 2 other fishing vessels and 40 fishermen still active. During the last part of the 20th century crayfish fishing, both with trawl and pots has to some extent replaced fishing for shrimp. Havstenssund does still have a fishing fleet. Today there are 2 trawlers, ans several smaller fishing boats. In recent years the demand for shellfish has increased the catch for shrimp, crayfish and lobster and also developed the live storage of the catch. The hope is that the fishing sector will continue to be an important trade.
–> Continue south along the fishing harbour, and cross the footbridge.
WAREHOUSES AND THE HARBOUR
At around 1840 Johannes Corneliusson started the first company trading and storing of oysters and lobster in Bohuslän. The rapid-flowing water in Havstenssund was excellent for keeping live shellfish in cages. The catch from around Bohuslän was gathered here and then sold all over Sweden or exported to England. Transport to Stockholm was mainly by horse and carriage. In 1875 the sons, Malcolm and Otto took over and extended the business to include preparing and selling fish, mainly herring. Herring was salted and put in barrels to be shipped by boat. Around 1870, in the beginning of the herring boom the warehouses in the harbour were built on stone plinths. According to hearsay the buildings were moved to Havstenssund from Norway. Photos from the beginning of the 20th century show many wooden piers. According to sayings there were a couple of sheds in front of the merchant house, but to make room for a bigger quay they were moved south into the sound. There are still a few boat sheds along the footbridge and one is probably more then 100 years old. The Corneliusson family ran several different businesses, like stonemasonry and commodity commerce and had monopoly on these businesses as well as landing and trading of fish and shellfish. The fishermen were paid with an account in the shop, often “converted” to alcohol. The monopoly ended when a cooperative fishing association was established but the landing of fish went on to 1974.
–> Turn left towards Sjövägen
This house was the grocery store. It was run for over one hundred years until 1990. Where the circle is there was the local inn “Gröne Jägaren” (the Green Hunter) In the year1703 the authorities decided for defense reasons that there had to be an inn in order to to keep track of passing Danes and Norwegians who travelled by boat along the coast. Little was known of activities in the archipelago. The name “Gröne Jägaren” might be since soldiers in Bohuslän had green uniforms. The house is not the original but the name lives on.
–> walk up Sjövägen for the next sign nearby on the left
THE VILLAGE – continuation
After a failed attack on Norway in 1716 and with a risk of new attacks, King Karl XII of Sweden decides that large quantities of supplies must be stored along the coast. Many ships moor in Havstenssund but are hindered by the Danish-Norwegian fleet. The Norwegian admiral Peter Todenskjold tells of how the Norwegian fleet confiscate four Swedish ships and sets a fifth on fire. When the new pier was built at the beginning of the 20th century burnt oak timber was found in the muddy seabottom. They were likely the rest of the burnt ship. In the gardens near the harbour cannonballs with the same calibre as those on the Danish/Norwegian ships were found
–> Follow the roads Sjövägen, up the hill to the crossing with Tvärgatan
THE VILLAGE – continuation
The village is situated between three hills. Between the two southern hills lived the pilots and between the northern lived fishermen and stone-cutters. This made a segregated society. The saying is that children from the two areas were not allowed to play together. When they then all started school together they did not know each other. Havstenssund has, for coast communities, an unusual building plan with straight roadss
and rectangular plot of lands with gardens and with all warehouses by the pier. Otto Corneliusson, the younger son, had foresight and became important for the development of the village. During the first half of the 20th century Havstenssund had two fish dealers, two grocery stores, a guest house, canning industry, school, post office, boat and sail making, dry goods store, bike and radio store, electrician, bakery and a café. There was also a public bathhouse
–> turn south towards Sônneberget to the last houses before the rocks
THE VILLAGE – continuation
The cooperative union in Havstenssund was founded in 1917. In 1939 their grocery shop “Konsum” was established in this building. It was active until 1974 It was important to residents and summer visitors alike. The cellar housed a bakery, milk shop and a radio workshop. During the Second World War the baker also charged
batteries for people. The building directly under the rock worked as a warehouse. Left of the building there is
a path up the mountain called “Målareklåvan” (the painters cleft). The name is said to derive from a painter living in a house near the rock that is now gone.
–> continue up through “Målarklåvan” and then follow the red dots on the rock,s up to the top of the
mountain. The legend says that you have to be very quiet when you pass through the cleft or the big boulder
might fall down!
The next part involves walking up and down on rocks. If you prefer a more plane surface you turn around and
go back to the harbour where you turn left passed the warehouse and out onto the footbridge
From the peak of the mountain you have a fantastic view! To the south you see the treacherous passage across open sea, Tjurpannan. The bottom of the sea is rocky and uneven which makes the area difficult to navigate. Numerous shipwrecks have taken place in this area. The pilots searches from the little pilot station on Hällsö, across the sound, were vital in order to try and prevent shipwreck. There were several pilots living on Hällsö, together with customs officers and fishermen. From late 19th century a society on Hällsö grew up and there were at one point around 80 people living on the island. The pilot station closed down 1960 but although most
people today live there part-time, there are still a few residents on Hällsö. The sea outside Tjurpannan is still a treacherous passage and there is today a Sea Rescue station located in Havstenssund
–> Now turn east aim for the tower of the chapel and descend the mountain to the new road. There is no
Walk through Havstenssund
(starts in the north of the village at GBM)
You have two choices:
If you go EAST across the main road and onto “Tångenvägen” (at the bus stop) toy will experience lush groves and pastures with rare plants. Here are also traces and remnants from old times when there were settlements, a brickyard and a smithy. (This walk will take around 50 minutes).
If you go WEST, passed the beach, you will get to the footbridge, which runs along the
mountainside. This last part of the walk will take you the the harbour (5-6 minutes).
The footbridge “Spången” was inaugurated 2008 and is an initiative of the community association
The narrow sound often has a strong current. On the rocky shores many big algae, such as kelp and rockweed are growing. The endemic species have these days competition from an introduced species, gulfweed (Sargassum muticum). It’s believed that small juveniles of the algae were attached to shells of pacific oysters. Pacific oysters were imported to Europe when the native oysters in southern Europe were dying from a
parasite. Since the imported oysters were not subject to quarantine, small fouling organisms survived and spread in the sea. It’s believed that the gulfweed spread along the coast of Denmark and then further to our coast where they were detected in 1987. The species has since spread south and is found around Öresund. The effect of gulfweed on the endemic flora and fauna is so far not established. The pacific oyster (Magallana gigas alt. Crassostrea gigas) is also an introduced species in Swedish waters. It’s believed that since the implant in France and the Netherlands the oyster has been able to spread north due to a rise in sea temperature.
The Pacific oyster could potentially have a negative effect on the population of blue mussels, since they live in the same environment as the mussels.
–> Continue “Spången” north and you will get back to the harbour area.
This is the end of the walk through Havstenssund. It can be extended with the walk east of the main road.
That walk starts behind the bus stop on the east side of Sjövägen.