Turid Næss and Gisle Ebbesen, who have a farm on Vega, have been making a great effort to restore the former cotter’s smallholding on Store Emårsøy since 2008. Visitors can now enjoy a historical tour round Vega Kystgård and get an impression of how fishermen-farmers have lived here from the 1800s until fairly recently.
Store Emårsøy had a couple of smallholdings from about 1780 to 1905. As the 20th century passed, only one smallholding remained here, with just a couple of cows and some sheep. Fishing was the main occupation, but some sealing, trapping of otters and gathering of eider eggs and down provided valuable additional income.
The last family left in 1957, pulling down the boathouse and barn, while the house gradually fell into disrepair. Life on Emårsøy is well documented with photographs of the last family to live here. Several of these photographs are on view in Skogsholmen Gjestehus.
Trips to Store Emårsøy
The Vega Tourist Information Office arranges boat trips to Store Emårsøy in summer using a boat that carries about 50 passengers and a local guide. Turid Næss and Gisle Ebbesen, and their family make, visitors welcome on the island. Please contact Vega Turistinformasjon for more information.
Photo: Gisle Ebbesen