16th century-19th century
In the late 16th century large areas of Sweden were still wild and unsettled. At the same time there was crop failure, land shortage and uprising in the woods of eastern Finland. The Swedish state saw an opportunity to get more taxes by populating the wilderness and offering the Finns land and tax-free years. This resulted in the cultivation of the remote woodlands which we today call Finngrounds. Tiveden was one of the most southern areas populated by Finns and Tivedstorp was originally a Finnvillage.
In the 17th century Lille-Hindrik Hindriksson came wandering through the forests of Tiveden to cultivate the woodground. Lille-Hindrik slashed and burned the first wood ground here, far away from other populated areas. This lonely settlement made the base for a village which was called “Lilla Hindrikstorp” for a long time. Lille-Hindrik was the first of the Finns who found work here at a charcoal kiln and many others followed. Many of them settled in the beautiful glade which today is known as Tivedstorp.
The growth was slow, where a population register from 1774 states five households, 1829 nine, 1846 fourteen, and in 1870 twenty. It was hard to make a living working in a charcoal kiln and Tiveden quickly became a deserted area. The village now known as Tivedstorp became more and more desolate as a result.
Two hundred years later – in the 1950s – Tiveden was like many other rural areas in Sweden, being abandoned with many of the farms remaining empty.
In 1952 the foundation Tivedstorp was created. Sven Danell, bishop of Skara, and many nonprofit organizations created residencies for immigrants whose family providers could find work in forestry.
Farms were bought and made ready to use and in 1954 the first immigrants moved in. In 1956 a Romanian family of three generations consisting of 21 people arrived. People came to visit the small colony in the forest. They modestly asked if it was possible to buy a cup of coffee. Of course! It became popular and in 1959 IM opened a proper coffee place serving by the tree in the cabin of old mother Johanna, today known as the old coffee house. When the Romanian family moved to other jobs in the area in 1961/62 they had grown to 42 people. The foundation discontinued and IM took over the responsibility for the ground and facilities.
Throughout the years Tivedstorp has expanded much from it’s original buildings. The handicraft shop was built in 1961, the new coffee house in 1965, the chapel 1968, the stables 1971, the bells 1973, the guest houses in 1975 and the tent places in 1985.
Tivedstorp is being run by Lisa, Martin and Mikael Szanto, with help from our friends Anders, Tom and Martin. Volunteers are also invited throughout the season from across the globe to help run the hostel and restaurant. We are passionate about outdoor life, food, baking, animals, gardening and of course people, new encounters and good service. We hope that this will be reflected in your experience here with us.
Tivedstorp is owned by Tiveds Utvecklings AB, TUVA, which was founded in 2007 to buy Tivedstorp. The idea was that by owning Tivedstorp they could develop the area. TUVA consists of about 170 members with different ties to the area.