Elvarheim Museum

Aslak Rom
Aslak Rom
Elvarheim museum focuses on the utilization of the forest and human harvesting of natural ressources. At the museum you can see the four largest Scandinavian carnivores: bear, wolf, wolverine and lynx, as well as many other smaller predators and birds. This year we proudly present a brand new Beaver exhibition. You will also find traps, trapping equipment and other things that bear witness of human exploitation of nature in the past and present.

Aslak Harstveit, the "Trapper"

The museum originally builds upon a private collection previously owned by Aslak Harstveit from Åmli.

In the ”Aslak-room” you will find both predators and small game, Surrounded by their natural environment. You will also find the different equipment utilized for trappping them.

The "Nights room" shows the birds and animals tha come out at night, and in the "Birds room" we showcase many of Åmli's and Agder's birds in both sound, in pictures and stuffed form. Here will you also find a representation of the Black grouse's special mating ritual.

In the "Knive's room" we present Aslak`s private collection of knives with over 200 pieces.
The book ”Fangstmannsminne” , where Aslak tells the writer Andreas Vevstad about the wilderness, trappingmethods and experiences in the wild, is a helpfull background for a visit to the museum.
Olav Tverrstøyl, the Bear hunter

Olav Tverrstøyl (1845-1938) from Åmli, was the most succesful bear hunter in the history of Agder. During his time as a huntere he killed 96 bears, this represented about 10% of the bears shot in the Agder and Telemark provinces. Olav's life and destiny is excitingly described in Andreas Vevstad's book "Bear hunter Olav Tverrstøyl".

In the ”Tverrstøyl-room”, you will find Olav's bear rifle, ski's, clothes, fishing equippment and trading products. Here you will meet a real bear with the name ”Lillepekka”, who did not live up to its name.


The Little People - bevers` life above and under wather
Above any other Åmli is the beaver municipality. By the end of the 1800s beavers were near extinction, and just a small population of around 60 to 100 individuals survived, mainly in Åmli. From here beavers were exported to many different parts of the world. Today the beaver population is stable and growing with numbers exceeding 70000 individuals only in Norway.

To mark the relevant position beavers have in Åmli municipality, the comunity chose the Beaver as the symbol for the municipality coat of arms. In 2014 Elvarheim museum purchased the exposition “The little people” from the Kristiansand based firm Naturama. The exhibition fills most of the museums basement floor, and through wall charts, film, stuffed animals and a montage where kids can creep into the beavers cultural history, live sets and natural environment both above and under the water we can learn more about this furry animal. You can also se how a beaver lodge looks like in the inside. This exhibition is specially designed to give a complete sensory experience where you can see, touch and smell the beavers!


Åmli in 1814

In 2014 we celebrate the 200 years since Norway had its own constitution. Elvarheim museum has collaborated with schools and nurseries from Åmli to create this exhibition, which both examines the national and local political events in 1814, showing various snippets of everyday life from 200 years ago. Here can you taste flatbread, read about living conditions, food, schooling system and inflation. You can also read the nurseries own constitution!


Sveinung Gjøvdland, the Fiddle-maker

Åmli has a rich folk music tradition, and Sveinung Gjøvland was on his time one of the best fiddle makers in Norway. His workshop is in display in a small room in the Banqueting hall in the 2nd floor. It's also written a great book about Sveinung Gjøvland tittled "Felemakaren". This book can be purchased at the museum.


Culture and municipality facilities since 1925

Elvarheim was build on the initiative of the Youth team and Åmli municipality in 1925, and has since housed both council meetings, the school, the library, the cinema and much more. In 1989 some parts of the building were destined to form Elvarheim museum. The banqueting hall in the 2nd floor still functions as a cultural center and features parties, concerts and various performances. The roof paintings from Ragnvald Einbu depicts snippets of Åmli nature, and is well worth to see.