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Our story

All the fisherman's cabins at Straumsjøen were used for accommodation on land for the various boat teams during the winter fishing. They all have names after the boat owners. It was in those times that there were no cabins on board the boats and when people did not have a car. Winter fishing often started early, at 04:00 at night.
When the day was over and the fish was "pre-empted" and delivered to the fish farms, it was good to rest in the fisherman's cabin and possibly fix nets and talk.

Normally, eight men lived on each fisherman's cabin, and often a cook. They often slept with two men in each bed, and they had a small closet in the living room with private belongings. In two of our fisherman's cabins, the original beds and several of the private closets are intact. Our oldest fisherman's cabin is from the 18th century, which among other things has housed Queen Sonja when she spent the night in connection with her walking Dronningstien / Kyststien out from Straumsjøen.

Previously, the bow aisle was open, and here they dried and repaired yarn. Now this is built in and insulated. According to one of the fishermen who lived on Jonebua (which is built right behind Damperiet) the winter fishing started on 2 January. Then they worked in the area from Straumsjøen until February / March, before moving to Lofoten and being there until Easter. From Easter until May 17, they stayed in Finnmark. Many of the fishermen had a small farm that they worked on during the summer. There were previously four fish farms / fish receptions in Straumsjøen, and two of these are still active. 

Previously, Straumsjøen was an active area with a shop, post office, trandamperi and four fish receptions. In the white big house on the left side of the road just before entering the scales lived the manager of the area. Today there are two active fish receptions in the wake.

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The history of the Damperiet

From an old dilapidated tram factory to a social gathering place for the people!

The old Damperiet in Bø has for a long time functioned as a tram steamer, with great activity and a lot of capital in circulation. Today it is a cozy brewery cafe with fresh baked goods, delicious lunches and fish meals on the menu. What exactly is the story of this beautiful pearl?


The steamship's history

The building originally stood in Henningsvær in Lofoten, but was transported to Straumsjøen around 1930 and was then fitted out as a steamboat. The fishing boats entered the fjord and delivered the fish to the reception, before turning their noses towards the Damperiet where they delivered the liver. The Trandamperiet was a cooperative in which the various fishing boats had ownership shares that gave them the right to dividends based on what they delivered, and this was carefully recorded from the office on the second floor. Up to approx. In 1970, a cod steam factory was operated, before which the building remained empty for many years. At the beginning of the 80s, a couple of enterprising fellows found that this great location could provide a nice gathering place for the people. They then established Damperiet as a restaurant/brew cafe. On the menu was a wonderful fish soup which was the best in miles around, in addition to whale steak and whale stew which have also been part of the menu. The steam house has had periods of full houses throughout the summer, and has been one of the major gathering places in Vesterålen. But it has also been closed on several occasions, where the owners have not found the right way to run the place. In 2021, the building was acquired by Vesterålen Rorbuer AS, which also owns and operates the rorbuers located next to the Damperiet. In the past year, weddings, confirmations, birthdays and randonee camps have been arranged, in addition to being open throughout the summer holidays.


Damperiet to day

Bryggekafeen has a fantastic location with sea and mountains on all sides. On the terrace you can enjoy something good while you watch the fishing boats come and go, or you can soak in the warmth where the fire is burning and the atmosphere is so good. Feel free to stop by before or after coastal walks and mountain walks.

The steam house is run by the married couple Solveig and Kåre Thommessen, who want to create a warm and cozy atmosphere where you, as a guest, can put away your phone and work and enjoy the silence, nature and the good atmosphere. The steamboat has plans to expand with a new wharf, sauna and a new "mini-Museum" where you can learn more about what the fish has meant to the local community. It is possible to rent SUP boards and kayaks at Damperiet, if you want to take a trip to sea.

In connection with Reginedagan, the Damperiet will be part of the cultural element with, among other things, a concert, walking tour and stories about the origins of the Damperiet.


Cod liver oil and the history of Damperiet

Together with dried fish, cod liver oil has been Norway's largest export commodity for several centuries, and at the end of the 1920s, Norway supplied around 75-80% of the world's consumption of cod liver oil. There was a lot of money in boiling cod liver which was turned into cod liver oil. In 1854, Peter Møller discovered a better method for increasing the quality of cod liver oil by steaming the liver, and the interest in medicinal cod liver oil only increased. During the Second World War, when food was in short supply, cod liver oil became essential for many, it had a formidable effect on the body. We had had the crane for many hundreds of years, but as a source of health and food it was only in the years 1940-1945 that it really flourished. Many experienced on their own body what a "miracle" the crane gave. After the peace, the crane became a permanent part of the gift packages sent from Norway to other countries.

Cod liver oil has many benefits, and was given to people who suffered from, among other things, emaciation, tuberculosis, rickets, syphilis, chronic bronchitis, chronic eczema, nervous disorders and general weakness. It is also said that the employees drank a cup of cod liver oil every day, and they were never sick. If the fishermen were sick, they took a trip to the Damperiet to get cod liver oil, this has saved many fishermen out there.

In the past, it was common for fishing villages to have a cod steamer, along with fish receptions, fishing boats and general stores. In Straumsjøen there used to be a large-scale operation, with a post office, a shop, several fish receptions, and of course a steamboat.


Source: "Tran and cod trade for a hundred years" published by the company Peter Møller, VisitNorway,"

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