The name Tåvær means ‘two fishing villages’ and alludes to the shape of the island. There used to be three households on the main island, which was inhabited until 1985. One of the former owners ran a small trading post and had a cargo vessel to buy fish in Lofoten, a shop and a post office which once served as many as 150 people. A neighbouring island, Buøya, had fish-drying premises. The trading post is attractively located in an inlet. The dwelling house dates from 1875, and there is also a shop, an outhouse, a building used for cooking, washing, etc., a warehouse and a quay. There used to be a large boathouse as well.
Øverstua, built in 1793, stands on the highest spot on the island and has a marvellous view in all directions. It now belongs to The Friends of the Vega Archipelago, and a cooperative society, Andelslaget Øverstua, Tåvær, is restoring it. Nordland County Council commissioned the Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU) to study the construction and the paint used in the past in the ground floor rooms and part of the first floor. This work formed part of a project called Kystens øysamfunn Fargeundersøkelser på Vegaøyan (Island communities on the coast; investigations of paint in the Vega Archipelago). The information obtained was to be used when the building was being rehabilitated. The rehabilitation is due for completion in 2011 and visitors will then be able to rent the house.
Nine brothers and two sisters who grew up in Øverstua emigrated to the west coast state of Washington in America. The brothers settled on Puget Island and became fishermen, while the sisters cultivated berries on Vashon Island. Two other sisters remained on Tåvær.
The passenger boat operating in summer does not call at Tåvær, but the island is a good choice for kayakers and people with their own boat. It is best to go ashore on the east side of the island, or ask the owner of the main house for permission to use the quay on the west coast. As the island is privately owned, it is advisable to contact the owners if you wish to camp. More information can be obtained from the Vega Tourist Information Office (Vega Turistinformasjon).