The Living Mine Museum

The mine museum at Litlabø has been established to commemorate the local community existing in the times of A/S Stordø Kisgruber. Pyrite was mined in this area from 1865 to 1968, when production was closed down due to difficult market conditions. There is, however, a lot of pyrite remaining inside the mountain.

Litlabø, or Gruo (the mine) as the local name is, is rich in history, geological, architechtural, technical as well as social.

The original mine museum at Litlabø was opened May 29. 1984 and is located in the old blacksmiths’ shop called the smithy (“smio”) in the mine level area. Here a good number of photos and objects from the mining days are exhibited, in addition to two impressive scale models of the Litlabø mining area and the ore shipping dock at Grunnavågsneset.

In the pleasant park between the mine level area and the venerable office building of 1910 stands the restored workmen’s house, completely equipped with original furniture taken from the workmen’s houses that belonged to Stordø Kisgruber. Here visitors may see what it was like to live and grow up in the middle of a mining community in the 1950s. The museum in the smithy and the workmen’s house are run and administered by Sunnhordland Museum (link), guiding being provided both by Sunnhordland Museum and the FOM.

By way of diligent voluntary collective work the FOM has restored and arranged several opportunities for exciting experiences. Pulling the little mine train along a 600-mm gauge railway, the handsomely restored locomotive “Geito” (the Goat) takes wagons of visitors 250 meters across the open-air mine area and some distance into the mountain. The railroad is the living line of connection between many of the remaining old mine buildings.

Join us on thrilling walks along the narrow mine drifts inside the mountain, in combination with lectures and stories of work methods and the miners’ everyday life.

The hoist building, which formerly housed the shaft hoist machinery, has been made into an exhibition- and- assembly room. Shown here among other things is the original 1921 generator set of Børtveit hydro-electric power station, complete with turbine, generator, turbine regulator and control panels. The hydro-electric power station was built and owned by Stordø Kisgruber.

The shaft tower from 1928 is being reconstructed, and future visitors will be able to enter the top of the tower to enjoy a grand view of the area.

The FOM arranges guided group tours by appointment.
Further information is to be found on these pages.

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