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Inside the book

The interior of this book is B&W because almost all the photos are old black and white photos. Below are some excerpts from the book and to the right are a few of the many photos.

P. 7 - The Oldest Period:

"The few findings from the Stone Age that have been recorded on the island of Utsira, among them an ax found in Kvalvik in 1911 and a stone ax of the “Vespestad type” found in Austramarka in 1948, tell us that people lived here before 1000 – 2000 BC, but they were possibly only visitors from the mainland at that time. At Austrheim and Klovning there are traces of settlements from the Stone Age."

Page 10:

"At one point during the Middle Ages, Utsira became the property of the Halsnøy Monastery. This could have been as a result of a gift or that the island was actually purchased by the monastery. The monastery was founded in the late 1100s and was part of the Augustine Movement."

Page 17:

"According to the Land Register of 1668:

Utsiiere, an island 3 miles from the mainland out in the ocean belonging to Halsnøy Cloister, with several farms paying tax to the King’s treasury. One of the farms in Nordvik, farm no. 15, 6 våger dried fish (annual tax), providing fields for farming and pastures, sowing of 6 barrels grain, providing sufficient feed for 20 cows, enough fuel (peat) and cooking facilities for life sustenance, good for tax of 1-1/2 pound of grain, 4 goat hides for local defenses, 6 buckets of grain for the church, and 12 skillings in cash contributions."

Page 46:

"In the settlement after Ole’s death in 1851 there are assets valued at 880–4–16 Spd., of which this farm is estimated at 425 Spd. and the farm at Austrheim at 250 Spd. His widow gets the farm at Austrheim, while the grand–daughter Berthe Malene gets the farm here. Among miscellaneous items, the following could be noted:

1 four–oar boat with sail 3–0–0, 1/10 share of four–oar boat 0–2–12, 1/8 share of four–oar boat 0–0–7, 1/3 of fishing vessel for net fishing with sail and associated equipment, 9–0–0, 1/10 of another fishing vessel for net fishing with equipment, 3–0–0, 2 “balker” (around 56 fathoms) spring herring seine nets with accessories and 1/10 of a tarp, small anchor and lines 12–0–0, 1/8 share in a large seine net with associated equipment 4–0–0, 1/8 share in a small cast net with accessories 2–2–12, 5 pollock nets 2–2–12, 3 spring herring nets 0–4–18, 1 coal fish net 1–0–0, 1 boathouse clad with boards and tile roof 30–0–0, 1 pair of binoculars 5–0–0, 1/2 share in plow, 1–0–0.4, 4 cows 30–0–0, 1 calf 0–4–0 and a horse 8–0–0."

Page 48:

“The oldest inhabitant on Norway’s most outer island.
Among all my friends out there on the island furthest out, there is one who I cherish most to visit with. This is – Bertel Gudmundsen Leite in Nordvaagen. I have on many occasions mentioned my friend Bertel Leite, but now I would like to again “put him on the spot,” as on Saturday the 22nd this month, he turns 80 – and on top of that he is Utsira’s oldest inhabitant.
Bertel was born on Utsira and has lived there all his days. In his youth, however, he did spend a few years abroad, something he is very proud of, as he sailed the proud schooner “Lesseps” of Haugesund. Owned by Hans J. Olsen, Lesseps was a sharp sailing ship and left all other sailing vessels they encountered on the high seas struggling behind, according to Bertel. Such a sailing ship as Lesseps would be difficult to find again.
Bertel Leite, however, gave up sailing the seas around the world and settled as a fisherman and farmer on the island where he was born. In all his days, the courageous Bertel pursued all challenges that came his way in work and life with vigor, which he still does at the age of 80. He also cuts the hay alone, as always.
Throughout the years he experienced a lot on land and at sea including many dangerous situations. Ages ago, he sailed a cargo of grain to the mill together with another Utsira’er. The cargo was bagged and stowed in the hold, and halfway between Utsira and Urter the vessel filled with water and capsized. Bertel and his buddy climbed up on the keel and rode the capsized vessel for hours in heavy seas before anybody came to assistance. Bertel did not want to lose his valuable cargo and with help from the rescuers, he (righted) the vessel and sailed around in the heavy seas to pick up the floating bags to bring the cargo back to Utsira.
Also, some years ago on one of his trips to Ostmarken to look for ocean shrimps from the cliffs, he slipped and fell on the slippery rocks and landed on a ledge on the steep cliffs facing the ocean. It is difficult to tell how long he lay injured on the ledge, however, many hours later he managed to climb back up and came crawling home with an injured back. Bertel was laid up in bed and a doctor was summoned. He was not very happy when told that his injuries were serious and was told to stay in bed for at least three months.
Bertel has received many public acknowledgements for honorable deeds. In his living room there is a framed document from the German Government acknowledging his participation in saving “Pylos’s” crew on a stormy night in January 1920, and somewhere in a drawer there is a box with a medal he received on that occasion. Whether he still has intact the 500 kroner he received as a reward from Carnegie’s Hero’s Fund, I cannot say.
He is a typical example of the strength and stamina of our coastal population. He is quick in response and forceful in actions and words, and his wit and satire can be hard–hitting. However, he is also pleasant and comforting, and this is how I came to know him.
I remember particularly well a meeting with him eight years ago, when the large “Inheritance from Holland” became an issue on everybody’s mind and became a topic of conversation everywhere. One day as I came along the road I found Bertel harvesting the fields (with his scythe). As I walk by he says, ”I suppose you are good at calculations? …Listen,… from the Dutch Inheritance we are supposed to get for this area, a good part is supposed to go to Sira – and I am also an heir. So, sit down and take notes.”
I took the numbers he gave me and started to multiply, divide and subtract according to his instructions, and came up with a conclusion that Utsira should receive 2 million kroner, if Bertel’s assumptions were correct.
“That is a lot of money,” Bertel says thoughtfully.
“Yes, but it is very doubtful that anybody gets anything out of this,” I tell him. “I doubt if you will get rich on this inheritance, Bertel.”
“Oh, no, just so,” Bertel replies phlegmatically, his quaint accent propelled to power again. And then he takes his scythe, splits off a stalk, leans onto his scythe – with zeal and bright mood. “It is probably best to stick with what you have. It’s the daily work that bears the fruit.” — and that’s Bertel Gudmundsen’s philosophy in life."
By Ola Nordmann.
Haugesund Avis newspaper, 20 September 1934.

Click here to see Tourist Brochure about Utsira (scroll down for English).

Hans Berentsen Forman

Rasmus Thomassen Family

Tomine Larsdatter

Konrad and Julie Austrheim's Children 1926

Herring Fishing 1948

Myre Family and Friends

Thomas Bendiksen Family

Sjur Olsen Kvalvik

Lighthousekeeper Severin Haugland

John Mathias and Petronelle Johnsen

Johan Julius Albertus Dahm

Dalastein-Klovning family 1916

Elling and Astrid Gudmundsen


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