Cultural Heritage


Situated along Gudbrandsdalsleden
Foto: Hans-Jacob Dahl
Prosperity despite small circumstances


Ved leden

There was an old road between Mellingsetra and Orkdalen, it is probably this road Pilegrimsleden is following today. When we come over the hill and down to Mellingsetra, we encounter a small hamlet with few houses and no permanent settlement. This has not always been the case. The place was previously a farm that had been setteled in the Middle Ages, but was deserted during the Black Death in 1349. When times improved, the pasture was included under the farm Mellingen, hence the name. But when we hear about Mellingsetra in the 17th century, there are two independent uses here and it is the monastery on Rein that is the owner. There must have been a lot of activity here, despite the dirt road being small. They had their own mill and there was a sawmill here, but the saw was not owned by the farms, it was run by the bailiffs Lorch and Friis. When Trondheim burned in 1651 there was a great need for timber and the forest was cut down and a few years later the saw was closed down.

At this time, around the middle of the 17th century, 10-12 people lived here, 250 years later, in 1900, the number was over 40 people. There must have been prosperity at Mellingsetra. If the dirt road was small, they had significant pastures in the surrounding areas and there was good grazing. During the quarrying period at Løkken, they probably also received income from producing coal for the smelting hut at Svorkmo. An example of the prosperity is the story that the bridal crown at Mellingsetra must have been the largest and finest in the whole village. A more important example is that one of the two farms in 1711 had 3 horses, 16 cows, 2 oxen, 6 sheep and 5 goats. It was a large herd by the conditions of the time.

Prosperity attracts people and it is said that in 1861 a family moved to Mellingsetra from Hølonda, they had obtained a homestead contract. They took the moving load with them on a sledge. It was all they owned, on top of the load sat the two youngest children, and it is said that he also carried a pig in a sack on his back.

Pilegrimsleden går gjennom setrene på Mellingsetra. Foto Hans-Jacob Dahl
Foto: Hans-Jacob Dahl