Visit a time machine!

Sortland Museum

Sortland  • Vesterålen

When you walk beneath the beautiful white carvings and open the old worn door of the Jennestad trading post, it is easy to feel that you are walking back in time, or better said, visiting various epochs from the past.

The post still stands just as it was when trade finally dwindled. The house was built in 1863, the furnishing are from about 1900, and the different goods and ads on the walls are from the decades leading up to 1982 when the shop closed.

Of course, the trading post has fewer goods on display than when the store was in operation; goods for sale would even be hanging from the ceiling. The range of goods that available at Jennestad was immense. Coats, cloaks and cloth, gunpowder, sewing needles, syrup, herring fishing nets and cement. The post smelled of tar, soap, coffee, mothballs – all the smells would compete with one another.

The turf box and countertop are worn shiny from years of customers sitting on the box and waiting their turn or leaning on the counter. Shopping took whatever time was required back then, because the store was also an important meeting place for the villagers and the region. Talk was lively around the counter and inside the post office at which one could collect one’s letters or the local newspaper. There was no self-service; the purchases were handpicked for each customer. The storekeeper did a lot of walking behind the counter.

The boats of the locals would be docked along the quay: From Risøysund, Børøysund and all other places. The owner may have been sitting at his desk, behind the post office, counting meticulously the amounts intended for the salary bags of the graphite workshop that was a part of the organization.

The post also took in fish, evident in the drying racks seen along the docks. The shack with the gutting table and receiving area are located behind the trading post. The merchant-owner and his family lived in the i main house. Dinner would be served on lovely tablecloths, cloth napkins were used and the family would play croquet in their beautiful garden. The main house functions as an art gallery. The garden is filled with exciting sculptures.

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