Photo: Runa Bjone

The wood from the 1890s at Maihaugen

The forest in the upper part of the open-air museum is now being turned into a forest area as it would have looked in the 1890s.

At the very top of Maihaugen, between the seat hamlet and the light trail, is a spacious forest patch. The only buildings in this part of the museum are the forest shed and the forest cabin from Turthaugen. Here, the museum tells the story of the forest as a resource and workplace.

The 1890s forest and forest path

  • The forest area at the top of the open-air museum, above Setergrenda.
  • Here you will find a great forest path where you can learn about the forest as a resource and workplace.
  • Along the trail, there is a gap hut built the same way loggers did in the past.
  • The forest is thinned so that it appears like a felled forest in the 1890s.
  • Altogether, 1,000 cubic meters of timber will be removed from the area.

Thinner forest

The forest in this area had become too dense compared to how the forest was before. In collaboration with Mjøsen Skog, we are now thinning this forest so that it will show what the forests looked like in the early 20th century. At the time, it was common to pick out one by one tree that was suitable for felling. This meant that the largest and most valuable trees were cut down, while the rest were left standing.

The result was a varied forest with trees of different ages and sizes and the forest floor had plenty of blueberry heather.

Forest trail

You can walk through the 1890s forest on the great forest path created here. Along the way, you learn about the forest as a resource and workplace via information boards along the path. Here you will also find a great log cabin, made in an old-fashioned way as the loggers built to spend the night in the forest.

More about the forest trail.

Hest drar tømmer i skogen.

Foto: Rune Søderholm / Maihaugen

In the course of a few years, a total of 1,000 cubic meters of timber will be cut in this forest. In winter, the work takes place with a horse that pulls timber out of the forest, as the work was done in the past.

Around 40 acres will eventually appear like the felled forest from 1890. After a few years with nature's own help, the blueberry heather will grow in the forest floor, and you will get a more accurate impression of what the forests looked like in the past. The goal is for this area to both become a nice recreation area on Maihaugen and for it to tell an important story about forestry.

Forestry has changed the forest

We hardly have old-fashioned logging forests with a variety of tree species and sizes today. Modern forestry with clear-cutting and planting is far more efficient. The trees in the forest grow old at the same time and are ready for harvesting. The forest is therefore more productive, and the volume of timber has more than tripled in the last 100 years.

The old-fashioned way of managing the forest is more gentle on biodiversity. Birds and other creatures will be driven away by clear-cutting, but they are preserved and thrive in the type of forest that we are now creating at Maihaugen.

The gold of the forest

Forestry has been an important industry in the hinterland, and growth in the timber industry really accelerated in the second half of the 19th century. In 1870, timber accounted for more than half of the export earnings to Norway. In Fåberg and Lillehammer, many found work in the forest, with rafting, at Dampsaga, or at the cardboard factory. For the farms, the forest became an important and secure source of income.

The forest cabin from Turhaugen

The forest cabin and the stable from Turthaugen were located deep inside Gropmaka, close to Nevelfjell. It was built in 1936, and was used jointly by the farms Besserud, Simenrud, Nord Haave, Systuggun Haave, Søre Haave, and Ødegården. The cabin was used by the forest workers. This winter you can meet horses pulling timber out of the forest at Maihaugen.

Vedstabel ved gammel umalt skogskoie på friluftsmuseet Maihaugen på Lillehammer.

Foto: Veslemøy Furuseth / Maihaugen