Tar and charcoal from the woods

During the latter half of the 19th century, Sweden and Finland were the leading exporters of tar in the world. The people living in Björsbo, as well as farmers around the forest rich areas of Sweden made use of the stumps of pine to burn and extract tar. The little path that leads you to the east woodland lake at the camping, goes right next to the tar pit where our farm people spent consecutive days in early springtime to produce the valuable tar. Most of the production was probably sold to earn useful extra income. The rest was used for impregnation and medical disposal. Besides that, a cross of tar was painted at the front door of the barn to protect the animals at the farm from illness, evil and other horrors.
The forest around Björsbo also tell us that the farmers in this area produced a lot of charcoal during wintertime. On the eastern side of the same small woodland lake you find what the remains of the fireplace in a simple hut where the charcoal burners slept and ate while spending weeks away to guard the charcoal kiln from incineration. The charcoal was delivered by horse and wagon to Härryds factories where the charcoal was used to produce iron from bog ore collected from the bottom of the nearby lake Hären. Bring the picnic basket and view the old ruins of the blast furnace and factories in Härryd a few kilometres west of the camping – a perfect distance for a nice bike ride.

Tjära från tall Tar from pine Tjära från tall, Tar from pine
Tjära från tall, Tar from pine Tjära från tall, Tar from pine

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