Norway – Sod-roofed grist-mill in deep Olden Valley

See how ingeniously the sluices have been arranged, so that water can be used for turning this grindstone or for turning the wheels inside that little mill.

The valley here is so deep-set between the mountains that we should have to look much higher than this to see any horizon at all. Streams are running down the mountain-sides all around us, comparatively few of them utilized in any way, so disproportionate is the water-power to practical needs.

The best farm-tools are bought, but nearly all old-fashioned farmers have scythes that were made at home years ago by grinding a mere strip of iron down to an edge. Some knives worn stuck in the belt, like Thor Eide’s here, were thus ground down by hand.

The Lapp people are also clever at that sort of work, and sell a good many of their knives to tourists. The most valuable knives have elaborately carved handles, as well as good blades, and some that are worn with as much pride as a costly watch, have sheaths of en-graved silver. These knives do not signify anything corresponding to the stiletto of the Sicilian, and the razor of the negro in the southern states of America, for Norwegians to-day are not given to bloody feuds, however much they may dispute and wrangle in words. Sheath knives here are like the omnipresent “jack-knife” in America, tools of general utility, with which every boy is proud to be equipped. It was a knife of this sort that little Gunnar’s father gave him when he went for the first time away from home as a cow-herd for the widow Rimul.

To this little mill oats and barley are brought and ground into coarse meal between stones turned by water from that farther sluiceway.

Not far from here, just a few rods farther up the valley, we can watch the harvesting of barley. The spot where we shall stand is marked 66 on the special map of the lake region at the head of the Nord-fjord.