The Mill Village (Kvarnbyn in Swedish), where the museum is located, is a cultural heritage area with a recorded history stretching back to the 14th century.
The museum was founded in 1987 and moved to its present location in 2002. Like many other buildings along the rapids, the museum building has an industrial manufacturing history. From 1929 until 1982 stockings and socks where made in these premises. The house is still affectionately known as “Strumpan” meaning “The Sock” because of its history.
Mölndal means Mill Valley in Old Swedish and the name has been used to describe the area since the Middle Ages. Surrounded by fertile farmland, the power of the rapids was used to grind harvested seeds. The earliest records of mills by the rapids are from the 14th century, and by the 17th century there were at least 35 buildings containing flour, saw and paper mills in the area.
The last hydro powered manufacturer closed its doors in 1942, but the area continued to host a range of industries for many more years. The last to shut down was Papyrus, a large paper manufacturer that was located in Kvarnbyn (at the bottom of the steep hill that leads up to the museum).
The residential houses of Kvarnbyn are mainly former workers’ homes from the early 20th century. At that time, the houses were packed very tightly next to one another and the number of residents was much higher than today. In our café you can find a recreation of an apartment from the 1930’s, showing how a typical living space for a family in Kvarnbyn might have looked like at the time.
Take a stroll around Kvarnbyn before you leave to take in the historic surroundings and the powerful rapids!