THE HAUGA HOUSE at DHS Museum

THE HAUGA HOUSE

You are now standing in the hall of the house from the Haugen farm in the valley of Jostedalen. The house, probably built some time in the 18th century, is a timbered house, and in the early 19th century a loft was added, which was not usual in the Sogn villages at that time.

When the chimney was introduced in Sogn from the mid-18th century, it replaced the old smoke stove and the opening – the “ljore” – in the ceiling. The chimney also made it possible to build in two storeys. If you take a look into the living room, you can also see other interior features that came with the chimney. Wooden floors became common, as well as big, paned windows offering a good view. The benches that were attached to the walls were replaced by chairs along the long table, but the horn spoons were still stuck in between the logs after the meals. Now when the acrid, black smoke no longer covered the walls with soot, the need arose to decorate the house. “Rose painting” and woodcarving became fashionable – just take a look at the fine cupboard where the wife on the farm kept her kitchen utensils.

It is strange to imagine the different people with their various life stories who have lived in this house over a period of two centuries until the 1960s. Here they have led their lives with their sorrows and pleasures. The living room was used for many kinds of activities. In the evening the men were sitting by the light and the heat from the hearth, working and mending what they needed of tools and implements, while the women were cooking the food in the hearth, spinning and weaving. Here their children were born, and here people also passed away.

The house is today furnished in the way people lived in the latter part of the 19th century. Then it was Sjur and Kari Haugen who lived there. They married in 1866, when she was 19 and he 38. They had five boys who all became farmers. In 1902, their eldest son Hallvard and his wife Anna took over the farm. They had ten children. You can see the sewing machine that used to belong to Anna’s mother on the long table. She had to sell a goat to buy it from a tailor. She was good at sewing and weaving, and made everything they needed in the house and the family. The loom is now standing on the loft.

By one of the windows you can see the “sliding bed” that could be extended and used by the husband and wife and perhaps a couple of children. Are you wondering why the beds were so short? This is because they were sleeping in an almost “sitting” position, lying on straw and blankets and with big striped bolster pillows to support their backs. The baby slept in the cradle and a couple of the older children shared the bed in the small bedroom.

The small bedroom could also be used for the retired people on the farm or as a guestroom. In this house, the loft room was used as a guestroom.

If you like, you can walk up the staircase, but be careful if you have difficulty walking. On the way up you see an opening in the wall. This is where people crept out when they wanted to remove the soot from the open fireplace or make the house air-tight. In the big room upstairs you can see the guest beds and the chests with clothes and apparel. All young girls had a chest of their own, where they collected various items for their marriage and getting their own home.

When you leave the house, please close the door. The door is split in two to let in air and light, but also to keep animals out and children in.

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