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November 14, 2020

Small Town Life of Sunnfjord, Norway in the Early 20th Century Through Amazing Photos

Sunnfjord is a traditional district in Western Norway located in Vestland county. It includes the municipalities of Askvoll, Fjaler, Flora, Førde, Gaular, Jølster, Naustdal, and the southernmost parts of Bremanger. It covers an area of about 4,476 square kilometres (1,728 sq mi) and has a population about 8% of the population of Vestland county.

Life of Sunnfjord, Norway in the early 20th century

The central geographical characteristic of the Sunnfjord region are the fjords: Dalsfjorden and Førdefjorden. It is a tourist region, with waterfalls, fishing, white-water rafting, glaciers, hiking, and scenery–including Jostedalsbreen National Park.

The area was the site of the largest air battle over Norway during World War II, and a museum is dedicated to the event in Naustdal. There are two airports in Sunnfjord: Førde Airport, Bringeland, just outside the town of Førde, and Florø Airport, just outside the town of Florø. The European route E39 highway passes through the region, going north and south.

These amazing photos from Fylkesarkivet i Vestland were taken by Norwegian photographer Olai Fauske that show small town life of Sunnfjord, Norway in the 1900s and 1910s.

A group of people gathered outside Bakkeselet mountain hut at Brulandsstølen mountain farm

A game of croquetAdd caption

A group of people gathered outside Steinaselet mountain hut at Halbrendsstølen monutain farm

A halibut was caught close to Bjønnaholmen in the fjord Førdefjorden

A man and a horse portrayed at Teigen in Førde. The house in the background is Kristian Ulltang's kome "Nøysomhet" (moderation). Photographer Olai Fauske was UIltangs neighbour

A small family outside their home

A family gathered around a coffin at the church yard

Andreas Andersson Holsen (b. 1862) and Severine Kristiansdotter Holsen (b. 1854) photographed on the occation of the wedding of their son Kristoffer Nikolas A. Holsen

Boy skiing at Halbrendsbrua bridge

Bride and groom and their wedding guests

Cattle at Bekkjavatnet lake, Førde


Cyclists outside Kristian Ulltang's house "Nøysomhet" (moderation) at Teigen in Førde

Family portrait. The grandmother is wearing traditional clothing from the Sunnfjord region, including a "høgehue" (cap)

Fauske in Ervika, Førde

Five people in a rowing boat downstream on the river Jølstra from Hafstad Hotel in Førde

Funeral procession photographed at Teigen, Førde municipality. The deceased is a woman. The text on the wreath of flowers reads "Farvel kjære mor" (Goodbye dear mother) 

Group portrait from Fauske's studio in Førde

Group portrait of three men and three women

Harvesting at Øyrane in Førde municipality

Holmedal in Askvoll municipality. On the right are several boat houses and Holmedal church. The butter factory "Flora" can be seen in the far left

Hunters and their catch

Kleivane, Ytre Hafstad, in Førde municipality

Living room interior

Man and bull at a cattle show

Man and goat

Man with horse and carriage

Mand and horse at Bruland. The mountain in the background is Førdsnipa


Ole Martinus and Bergitte Solheim with their children Johanes, Oliver, Gunhild and Marie

Portrait of a couple

Portrait of a knitting woman

Ragnvald Halbrend (b. 1897) and Hermann Grimeland (b. 1897) skiing

Stevnebø farm in Gulen municipality

Taking a stroll, Teigen, Førde

Teigen, Førde. The large white building in the background is Hafstad Hotel

The bailiff's farm, Bruland. Ludvig August Kjær (b. 1867) and Magdalene Beyer (b. 1866) posing with their catch of the day

The centre of Naustdal village

The farm Farsund

The Fossen family photographed at their farm Fossen, farm number 19 in the municipality of Førde

The Hafstad family

The school class seems to boys only. Maps of Norway and Scandinavia are hanging on the wall behind the teacher

The Svardal family, Flora

The Ullaland family at Urbø farm in Naustdal municipality. Seated in front are Nikolai Andersen Ullaland (b. 1837) and his wife Kristianna Simonsdotter Ullaland (b. 1832). Standing behind them are two of their daughters

The Vie family

The wedding of Kristoffer Nikolas A. Holsen and Anna Øksenberg

Three men photographed in the street outside photographer Olai Fauske's home and studio in Førde

To the left is Kristian Ulltang's house "Nøysomhet" (Moderation) and photographer Fauske's home and studio

Trengereid, a small village in the eastern part of Bergen municipality. The Vossebanen railway line goes through the village. The image shows the railway line, railway station and houses in Trengereid

Two men traveling alongside Jølstravatnet lake

View of Ålhus, Jølster. The vicarage and church in front, and the Hegrenes farms in the background

Wedding at Ervika

Wedding in Støfringsdalen valley, Jølster municipality, 1919. The bride is Anna (b. Støfringsdal) and Johannes L. Fossheim. The couple took up residence at Fossheim farm

Wedding portrait of Anna (b. Støfringsdal) and Johannes L. Fossheim

Women and children

(Photo © Olai Fauske)


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