THE SAWMILL POND AND THE RUINS FROM THE NASAFJÄLL ERA

The Nasafjäll era, which began in 1634, was significant in the history of Arjeplog District. But general knowledge of conditions here must have been very sketchy. Large investments were required to mine ore in this inhospitable mountain area. Today, it is hard to imagine how anyone could work in the conditions that a Swedish winter brings, with the cold, the storms and the large quantities of snow in the mountain range bordering on Norway.

The first mining era ended in 1659. The mine then lay abandoned until the beginning of the 1770's, when mining operation again were begun at Nasafjäll. It was impossible to restore the smeltery at Silbojokk, because all the forest, which supplied the necessary firewood, had been chopped down. A new location was sought downstream on the River Lais and it was eventually decided to build the new smeltery, which was to handle the ore mined at Nasafjäll, at Adolfström.

The location was found to be suitable, with the stream running between Lake Laddve and the River Lais. The stream could be dammed up to provide waterpower for the various facilities for processing ore. In addition, the Yraft Delta on the other side of the lake could provide huge amounts of hay for the livestock, which was needed for the production of meat and milk. Horses and reindeer, necessary for transport, were also fed on hay. A maximum of about 50 people worked at the smeltery and the Nasafjäll mine.

 
At Adolfström a dwelling house and cowsheds were built. The works facilities consisted of a sawmill, a watermill, a fuel store, a smithy, a bellows-maker's, a carpenter's, two calcining kilns, ponds, a smelting plant and water chutes. Roads were built and new buildings were erected. Ore transport was very difficult, and was achieved with the help of reindeer in winter and horse in summer. This part of Norrbotten country was extremely sparsely populated:. In an area of 36 million km2 (16 million square miles) there lived about 400 people.

Mining operation continued under very difficult conditions until 1810. Then the mine was again abandoned , and people occasionally lived at Adolfström until 1821, when the whole area surrounding the smeltery was destroyed in an extensive fire.

Due to the fire, all activities ceased and the village of Adolfström was completely uninhabited up until 1840. That year, a settler came - according to tradition, of Walloon origin, that is, related to one of the mining experts working at the mine when it was in operation.