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Unnen's Sawmill


Photo 1913

Stående fr. v. Gustav Pihl Fällestorp
Adolf Persson Unnen
David Johansson Unnen
Robert Persson Lindsberg
Benjamin Lorentzon Torarp västergård
Sågverksägaren August Persson Unnen
Karl Frej Dyhult
Oskar Johansson Vekadal
Erik Jönsson Unnen
Sittande fr. v. Simon Persson Lindsberg
Skomakaren Jönsson (på besök) Unnen
Elias Andersson Dyhult
Oskar Johansson Dyhult
Sågmästaren Johan Frej Dyhult
Alfred Johansson Hallalund
Gustav Bengtsson Vekadal
Oskar Lönn Skogslund

Carl Jehander the "Railway King" who built the Halmstad Bolmen railway, was the owner of a steam sawmill in Lidhult built in 1888.
According to the sales agreement dated 16 Jun 1893, Jehander bought a piece of land for the future railway yard extension, at Unnen beach, on 0.59 hecters for 400 crowns from Per Andersson and his wife Britta Christina Pettersdotter.
In 1895 he decides to move the saw to Unnen where the siding from the ridge has been completed. In November 1896, he quickly sells the sawmill to timber merchant August Persson from Älmås in Lidhult for 7500 crowns.
August had previously been involved in the construction of five steam sawmills. The enterprise was serious and had at most about 50 employees.
The saw had two frames, double edger, two planes and combined cutters and balanced saw. The machines were driven by a steam engine with 100 effective horsepower. The sawmill was located on the property Loshult 1:15 at Unnen's southeastern shore and Unnen station. August moved from Älmås on 5 Nov 1897, and settled the family near the sawmill. As early as 14 Nov 1898, they move to Yttra Röshult 2:3 which he bought.

The First World War quickly changed the possibilities for export of sawn timber which meant that profitability deteriorated sharply for the entire sawmill industry in Sweden. August Persson moves to Ljungby in 1917 where he starts a trucking business and becomes a juryman. The sawmill stood still for a few years and was later sold to builder Sanér in Lidhult. He sold the framework, a circular saw bench, edger, mill, steam engine with the associated boiler and some of the houses were razed. The company went bankrupt, and there was a bankruptcy auction of the assets in 1930. They consisted of the remaining buildings and about 4000 square meters of sawmill site with railroad tracks, stock equipment for picking up logs from the lake and a lot of other equipment, drive shafts, pulleys etc.
The highest bid 300 crowns was given by Frans Andersson (strongman Franse), former owner of the steamer Vega, but was now a lumber merchant. Franse was actually Frans August Andreasson named after his father juror Andreas Mattiasson in Loshult. But after a schism with his father in his youth, he and his brother Albin began to use the name Andersson.

The first task was now to buy a new steam engine and boiler, and build a new machine shop and saw housing which was better suited to a newly purchased saw now that the frame saw was gone. Even a fan system was obtained, to thereby feed chips to the machine shop and the boiler without additional transportation and manual labor.
David Lorentzon in Dyhult who now owned Vega and was also technically proficient was hired as the machinist. Both he and his brother Benjamin Lorentzon in Torarp had previously worked at the sawmill, so Benjamin became the sawmill superindentant.
Frans's two sons, Hugo and Sture, were early to participate and work at the sawmill. Hugo was taught to be the sawmill superintendant by Benjamin and Sture had already run the steam engine at the age of nine, when school was over for the day or David needed to be absent.
Sture was so interested in technology that he continued to study and took a degree in engineering in Gothenburg where he settled.
Franse also had two nephews who worked at the sawmill, Ernst as second sawyer and Karl as a stacker. David had an adopted son named Nils Falk, who also worked at the sawmill as a stacker.

Until 1939, when war again broke out, business went well for Franse. He already had a great loss during the First World War of a major sum as a lumber merchant, when he had two checks totaling SEK 53.333 for lumber delivered to Germany which become worthless overnight. Now it was not export to Germany that was the problem but lumber to England and Denmark which did not go farther than the dock in Halmstad where they lay because freighters had more important loads to ship. Domestic sales occured most to furniture factories in Markaryd, Bjärnum och Lenhovda where deliveries were made by truck. Therefore Franse bought a yellow painted Ford truck, whom the residents of Loshult baptised the "Golden Danger". Later another Ford was purchased, but it was green colored.
Because exports stopped, the railroad transport equipment diasppeared and therefore one wanted to discontinue the connection between Unnen and Åsen. Because Franse appealed the decision, the matter was sent to the coalition government lead Per Albin Hansson for resolution. During a cabinet meeting in early 1940 one decided that the railraod should be shut down and Franse would receive the railway bed instead to build a road for heavy trucks.

f_a_brevpapper.jpg (12445 bytes)
Franses brevpapper.

f_a_autograf.jpg (8519 bytes)
Franses namnteckning.

In 1944 the sawmill was shut down, and the machinery and equipment was sold off afterwards. The buildings were demolished because they were abandoned and the last thing demolished was the chimney that was dropped right into the lake. Sture built a vacation home on the sawmill site and it has had German owners since 1973.
The parental home Lövnäs was divided into two parts with the house and half the land being sold to a family from Halmstad and Hugo built a summer home on the second section, currently held by his sons. He began working as sawyer on the newly built "Storsågverket [Big Sawmill]" in Lidhult which Halland Forest Owners built in 1944.

GPS-koordinat: WGS-84 N 56° 50' 16,22" E 13° 32' 28,24" (56.83802, 13.54090)
RT-90 X 6303512 Y 1361824

Do you want to see an arial photograph?

If you want to travel by train on the Halmstad - Bolmen Railroad or read more about the railway access spur's history, go to the page Unnens station.

A Julin: Annerstad förr och nu p.299
J Rosengren: Beskrifning öfver Sunnerbo Härad p.342
Smålandsposten 5 Apr 1888, 11 Mar 1895 och 23 Nov 1896
Sture Andreasson Varberg (son till Franse)

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Copyright © Rolf Carlsson.
Translated Eric Swanson.
Updated: 22 apr, 2016.