The farm and farm management.

Probably no one has been richer in the mining town than Miss Catharina Borchgrevink. She inherited a fortune from her father, the General Manager of the mine, Leonard Christian Borchgrevink and aslo inherited the fortune of her fiancée, Theodorus Molmann.

Astrid Nyhus and Amund Spangen

Executor documents from 1805, a year after her death bear witness to a large, well-equipped and distinguished residency. It is built on two floors with a full loft and two stone walled cellars.

Like all others in the privileged, or upper class in Røros Miss Catharina Borchgrevink had livestock and undertook farming activities. Running the property entailed considerable work and the ‘old maid’ had a staff of servants: one housekeeper, 2 farm workers and five maids. The farm section of the property had a roomy cattle shed with space for many animals. When she died Catharina Borchgrevink left 3 horses, 17 milking cows, 2 oxen and 2 sheep. In addition the property had haylofts, a cart hall, a smithy, pigpens and a separate building for the storage of wooden cups. One building contained a workshop and a living room for the two farm hands, a loft for tools and equipment and clothes cupboards for the men. On the property there was also a servant’s hall an ale-house or brewery with a baking oven equipped with a bricked chimney and bricked-in iron cauldron. In a large separate building for the storage of food built on two floors there was space for camphor storage chests and grain bins. On the land attached to the house there was also a fenced-in herb garden, and the outlying area was enclosed with plank or slatted fences. All the buildings had turf covered roves.

When her fiancée, Teodorus Molmann died, Catharina Borchgrevink took over the property called Molmanndalen  a luxurious country residence. In addition she owned the farms Storrya and Skjevdalen. In Røros she had three plots of land wher she grew fodder for her livestock, these plots were Storhagen (large garden) Abelhagen (probably, Apple orchard) and Ol-Jenshagen. She also owned reindeer and had title to 15 animals in each of the herds belonging to the Sami Morten Olsen and Tomas Larsen.

The Molmannsdalen property is situated in Dalslia, which extends from the farm, Påsken to Nausterbekken and from the mountain line to Haaelva. The property was occupied and farmed even before the mining activity started. One of the first General Managers, Johannes Irgens had title to Haarli as the place was called in old documents. He used to run a summer farm, his livestock he kept on his property in Røros. The son, Henning Irgens, who was also General Manager of the mine took over the place. In 1726 the Molmann family became the owners of Haarli and since then it has had the name of Molmannsdalen.

It is said, with some degree of reliability that Catharina’s ghost walks at Molmannsdalen. This tradition has lasted right up to the present day. The story goes that Catharina is dressed in her wedding gown waiting for her groom to come rideing on horseback up the valley and fetch her. But he fell from his horse and was killed.

In 1936, Røros Copperworks sold off its forest properties to the State, among them Molmannsdalen. The farmhouse was rented out as a summer dairy and the last people known to have had their animals there, were Marta and Leonard Dahl.

Røros municipality now owns all the building at Molmannsdalen. They are used as a summer school and also rented out for other activities. The whole of the forested and sheltered valley is very popular as an outdoor recreation area in both summer and winter. The people of Røros have always taken care of the area’s natural qualities.


Røros was added to UNESCOs of World Heritage Sites in 1980, refer also to Riksantikvaren, ( Norwegian Inspectorate of Ancient Monuments and Historic Buildings).
The content of this website is copyright protected.. Reproduction is not allowed without permission.
Financed by Kulturnett.no and Norges Forskningsråd together with Høykom.