The history of Melkevoll farm
How and when the farm was first founded, is unknown, but we do know that originally it was called Brekkohals.
On January 20th 1340, Ivar from Brekkohals was visiting the church in Olden to pay his taxes to the Munkeliv
Monestary in Bergen. A copy of a certificate tells us this. During the black plague in 1349 nobody on the
The population of Norway was reduced to such an extent during the year of the plague, that the very most
of the countries farms became inoperative, and remained so for the following 200 years. Around this time, in
roughly the year 1550, a man named Knut began the revival of the farm. He built houses on what used to be the
milking yard for the neighbouring farm, Myklebust. That is why the farm was called Melkevoll, which means "the
hill where the cattle were milked".
In 1743, during the Little Ice age, an avalanche destroyed the houses, but nobody was injured. The houses
were rebuilt a little further north, where they now stand. The farm has large outlaying fields. Young
shepherds tended the cattle in the fields all summer. It was important to keep the animals away from the
fields that were meant for harvesting. Back then they started cutting the grass around midsummer and didn't
finish until the first snowfalls. This enabled them to keep a relatively large livestock through the winter.
Buskap på garden
More that just farming
Up until the 1900 the farm was based upon self-sufficiency. New times and new methods came. Most people
experienced a higher standard of living and tourism started. The first travellers came to Oldedalen in the
1860s and 70s.
In 1886 the farmers in the valley built a riding path up to the Briksdal glacier. Most of the farmers
participated in taking the tourists from the boat on the lake up to the Coffeehouse in Briksdalen. That's
how the horse traffic began. In 1927 a new road up to the Briksdal Glacier was built. The farmers'
participation was rewarded with rights to carry tourists up and down the road in a stagecoach. Ingebrikt
Melkevoll worked up three so-called coach-rights . So today, several years later, we have three Troll cars
in traffic in Briksdalen.
In 1971 Johanna and Andres Melkevoll founded a campsite in the outlaying fields of the farm. The site lies
in very beautiful surroundings with views both to Melkevoll glacier and Briksdal Glacier.
The company Råblokk og Monumentindustri from Eide in the county north of us, Nordmøre, started in 1962 to
take out stone for production of stone tables and tombstones. An especially beautiful type of gneiss of good,
steady quality was found in a scree, "Stor-ura", on Melkevoll. Unfortunately, the transport costs were too
high in addition to the fact that the gneiss was too hard to work with, so the production was discontinued
after short time.
Natural mineral water
In the late 80s Olav and Svein Kvame did examinations of water quality in different springs in Oldedalen.
Inge Melkevoll suggested to run a test on the Blue Mountain Spring, which after a while prroved to be of
very high quality. In 1992 Kunt Ødven from Florø, contacted Kvame and Melkevoll to examine the possibilities
of starting to bottle this water. The company Olden Brevatn was founded in 1992 with Olav, Svein, Knut and
Inge as auctioneers. Knut was hired as production manager, later daily leader in the company. Inge was the
foreman of the board up until 1995.
In 1993 the spring was approved for production of natural mineral water, which is the highest labeled
standard water can have. Hansa Brewery was included in the project, and is today the main shareholder in
Olden Brevatn. Production of bottled water started in 1995. Meanwhile a deal had been made with Hygoform,
Norway's largest dealer of water coolers, so Olden quickly gained market shares.
The production started out in rub halls, but already in 1998 the factory hall was built on Melkevoll,
between the farm and the campsite.
In 1999 the company produced about 15 million litres of Olden in barrels and bottles. Around 20 people
are employed here today.
Olden (only N)
Inge Melkevoll has since 1985 run his own contracting business. The company employs a little more than
two man-labour years. The firm has three excavators from 8 to 22 tons, trucks and drilling equipment.
Melkevoll Maskin is centrally approved as a contracting business for ground and fieldwork of class 2.
Machine contracting (only N)