Visit Norway’s remote Vestland coastline with Anders Folkestadås, turn of the century lighthouse builder & amateur photographer.

Kråkenes Lighthouse today.

In 1906, a lighthouse desparately needed to be built on Kråkenes, a rocky, knife-like promontory jutting from the northwestern tip of the island of Vågsøy in Vestland County, Norway.

Enter Anders Folkestadås (1865-1914), a foreman in the Norwegian lighthouse service.

As if building a lighthouse on a gigantic, lonely and dangerously waveswept rock wasn’t enough hard work, Folkestadås took with him his heavy plate glass camera gear; the wooden box of a camera, the glass slides, the cloth to hide under when taking photos, a heavy tripod to keep the whole contraption still and the toxic chemicals required to prepare and develop the images from the exposed slides.

The pictures Folkestadås’s took serve us up a brief and fragmentary vison of an obscure and niche world. The life, work and death of Vestland’s lighthouse people at the turn of the century.

Folkestadås was involved in the construction of several lighthouses along the coast of Norway. As well as leading the construction of Kråkenes lighthouse in Sogn og Fjorane, later in 1910 he worked at, and photographed Sklinna lighthouse in Nord-Trøndelag.

A couple of the photos included here were shot by Anders’ son, Elling Andersson Folkestadås (1895-1947).

The wooden lighthouse that Anders Folkestadås built was destroyed by fire after an Allied air raid in 1945. The current lighthouse now houses a restaurant and has rooms available for overnight stays.

The old glass of Anders Folkestadås has held up well. A century has passed. They are crystal clear.

Images: Fylkesarkivet i Vestland archives, Norway; Wikipedia; Google maps.

The remote farms in Kråkenes village photographed on an early morning in 1906. Anders Folkestadås.
“Teigafolket” (the Teiga people) – the children: Hanna (b. 1894), Gustav (b. 1899), Gjert (b. 1900) and Arne (b.1890).

These are the children of Haldor Arneson and Maria Gjersdatter. Haldor was ill when this picture was taken, hence the open farmhouse window. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
Women’s weaving course in Folkestad. The teacher, Sofie Viddal is standing on the left. Elling Andersson Folkestadås, 1917.
Members of the Nils family of Kråkenes in front of their farm. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
Kråkenes lighthouse under construction. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
Karina Marta Hansdatter Høydalsdal (1837-1911) on her deathbed. Anders Folkestadås, 1910.
Lighthouse worker (and photographer) Anders Folkestadås at Kråkenes lighthouse. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
The girls at Kråkeneset. Anders Folkestadås. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.

These girls from Kråkeneset are all in their best clothes for their photograph at the newly built lighthouse.
Front row, from the left: Simiana Jakobsdatter (b. 1882), Marie Jakobsdatter (b. 1890), Ana Jakobsdatter (b. 1892), Inger Arneseth (b. 1890) and Kristine Andersdatter (b. 1890). Back row, from the left: Samuline Haldorsdatter (b. 1887), Anne Olefine Andersdatter (b. 1880), (perhaps the cook at the lighthouse), Samuline Andersdatter (1883-1962) and one unknown.
Two men in front of a building in Sklinna in Nord-Trøndelag. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.

The sign reads “Jørgensens Etablissement. Kjøb og Salg. Fiskeprodukter – Handelsvarer”,
Jørgensen’s Establishment. Purchase and Sale. Fish products – Merchandise.
The Moster Kvalø family, Nordland. Anders Folkestadås, c. 1900-1910.
The crane and rails for the lighthouse boat at Kråkenes. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
Johannes Flote and Anton Reite castrating a lamb on Folkestadbygd. Anders Folkestadås, ca. 1900-1910. 

Anton Reites on the left has pinned a sprig of Rowan to his jacket. Rowan was believed to have protective powers and considered a holy tree in Norwegian (and European) folklore.
Building the crane at Kråkenes fyr. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
The Helset family from Fjøshaug at Folkestad. Anders Folkestadås, 1907.

Per Jacobsen Helset (1861-1938), Anna Reite (b. 1898), Severine (b. 1895), Ane Marte Pedersdatter Kalvotsvik (1857-1937) and Jacob Persen (1884-1972). Per was married to Ane Marte.
Geita lighthouse. Anders Folkestadås, 1900-1910.
Members of the Jakob family in front of their home. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.

In front Aagate Samsondatter (1881-1910) and her husband Lars Jacobsen (1872-1934) with their children Olina (c.1906) and Jakob (c.1904). Standing behind them is Jakob Arneson (1848-1936).
Anna Rønestad Vold is milking the goats on the staircase of Måholmen lighthouse.
Anna worked as a cook on Måholmen lighthouse in Nord-Trøndelag.

Anders Folkestadås, 1910.
The Folkestad family. Anders Folkestadås, 1910.
Martinus (1875-1962) and Hansine (1871-1945) Folkestad with their children Johanne (b. 1905) and Åslaug (1908-1918). Martinus worked as a foreman in the Norwegian lighthouse service.
Someone getting a trim at an unknown location. Anders Folkestadås, 1910.
Grinna lighthouse. Anders Folkestadås, 1904-1910.
Gjæslingan lighthouse in Nord-Trøndelag.
Anders Folkestadås, 1910.

Construction of this lighthouse began in May 1875 and in October 1877 the light was lit for the first time.
Funeral of Daniel Danielson Bjørkedal. Elling Andersson Folkestadås, 1917.
Goats at Kråkenes lighthouse. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
The “Monsefolket” (Monse people) in front of their home.
The family was so called because of Mons Arneson, “Old Mons”, the grandfather of Anders Arneson.
Anders Folkestadås, 1906.
The lighthouse service vessels “Utvær” and “Træna”. Anders Folkestadås, c. 1900-1910
Mother and two children. Anders Folkestadås, c. 1900-1910.
Nine soldiers in civilian clothes. Anders Folkestadås, c. 1900-1910.
Fishing vessels anchored at Sklinna, Nord-Trøndelag. Anders Folkestadås, 1910.
“Røysafolket” (the Røysa people) outside their home. Anders Folkestadås, 1906.

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