History Tours
with roleplay
The Grindstone Mines in summertime.

Unspoiled grounds, overgrown mineholes from ancient times, a purely magical feeling to thread the footpaths, that meander between deep mineholes and high mounds of old waste material. Up and down, while the forest is seething of life.

It is no wonder why this place is so appealing to both Orsa´s own people as well as tourists.

Here you´ll step into historical times so very easy. Here you get a strong feeling of what life was like, for the people in the old days in this part of the country.

Here, you listen in the wind for the sounds of hammers pounding against the grindstones, thuds from heavy blocks of stone, and the yells and talk from many people everywhere.

Do they speak the native Orsalanguage? It is so hard to understand for anyone not born to it.


Meet people from the old days and at work in the Grindstone Mines.

Our guide will take you on an exiting tour where you will meet several of our skilled playactors.
For instance you will meet with Anna, 43 år and a widow, who works in the daystripmines. You will also meet  the Lillfajtn, who is the boss of the Miners Team . At the Lindå Mine perhaps you will see the Stonehacker. You will also visit the Hacking Cabin and the only Mine Cabin left standing in the area.



 You will find out how they lived in the Mine Cabin, what the very common desease osskallsjuka (consumption) infered to the people and how to hack a grindstone by hand from a block of sandstone.
This handicraft is still performed and carried through the generations.
All playacting is full of warm living characters from the old days, whos lifes offered much hardship and misery but
also joy, fun and hope. The History Tour mirrors real people centuries ago:
their lifes and thoughts, the day to day struggle and laughters, the tough conditions and the unbreakable hope for the future.


photo: "Örni", Helena Nyman

Yes, dogs are welcome to walk with us on the History Tour, but they will have to keep behind as last in line.
Orsa Grindstone Association also offers the History Tours with English and /or Netherlandic guide.

Pictures from Opening Day 2012


This is a project initiated with contribution from the Swedish Board of Agriculture EJFLU (Europeiska jordbruksfonden för landsbygdsutveckling). Reed more about it here: http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rurdev/index_sv.htm





Today the area shows a dense forrest, but in the old days there was not many trees standing here. It all looked like one big quarry with many big holes, and the mounds of waste grew higher every day.

In the mineshed the whole crue lived together during the 4 to 5 miningweeks every autumn. Many had very long way to walk home for the weekend, so they stayed instead. On saturday nights they often amused themselves with fiddle playing, dancing and many storytellings of adventures and legends of magic.
On sunday, a service was held in Mässbacken for all mineworkers, and on monday morning everyone got back together for work.
Here in Orsa people have been working the sandstone for more than 1 000 years. Whetstones have been found and dated from the times of the vikings.

Every village formed their own crue of miners. And every minecrue had their own mineshed, stable and smithy. Around 1900 was close to 500 villagers working in the Grindstonemines. Orsa was largly dependent on the income from the production.

The work was extremly hard and both men and women struggled in the mines. Yes, you often began working here as early as age 12, and at 18 a youngster was likely already skilled with the tools of the trade.

It was a profession to be proud of, but it cost you. The awful
Osskallsjokan (silicosis) took many lives. When Carl von Linné came here in 1734, he saw that there was hardly any men left over age 40, in Kallmora village. (wich is the nearest village)

Many widows and their children worked hard in the daystripmines, to make ends meet and be able to pay the taxes.

Come along and walk the footpaths in a cultural surrounding that whisper of ancesteral toil and drudge, and at the same time wonderful craftmanship. Listen for the echoes from fiddles and stories of trolls. Come with us on a visit in the old times when traditions were being formed.