From Vikings to an Ironworks
Huseby is located between lakes Salen and Åsnen and is an old ironworks with a well-preserved works environment. The oldest name form of Huseby is Hosaby (1419). People have been coming to Huseby and its surroundings for a long time. As soon as you arrive at Huseby Bruk, you can feel the tide of history. Below the car park lie the remains of a village that was located here about 1000 years ago – a Viking village. At excavations in 2008 the remains of 24 buildings, both housing and storage, were found. The houses were made out of wood, with a roof of reeds or straw.
From the 1400s onwards, various people are seen as owners of farms in the village Hosaby, among others the Bishop of Växjö and the knight Magnus Sture.
The Ironworks was built
In the 1600s, Huseby still was a little village dominated by farmers and agriculture. But the time of change was underway and came with the Prince and Swedish Admiral Carl Carlsson Gyllenhielm. In 1629, he let construct an ironworks at Huseby, which became the starting point for 301 years of iron production. The location of the ironworks might seem strange, but everything that was needed was found here; bog-iron ore – the raw material taken from the bottom of the lakes, forests that gave coal for the firing of furnaces, and water that gave power and worked as a means for transportation.
The iron ovens are a success
Gyllenhielm operated the ironworks at Huseby with the help of managers and experts from Germany and the Netherlands. With their help, he began constructing cannons and iron ovens in the 1630s. These iron ovens became Huseby’s main product, and tens of thousands were manufactured for 225 years. The iron production at Huseby was seen as very original as it was only based on the bog-iron ore from surrounding lakes.
The Brothers Rudbeck
In 1677 the operations at Huseby ceased, and a few years later “the estate lay deserted and unused”. But it did not take long until new operators came to Huseby. In 1869, the brothers Peter and Paul Rudebeck rented Huseby Gamlegård on favourable terms in order to re-launch the ironworks. Peter became the one who engaged in Huseby and began to rebuild the ironworks immediately. In the 1690s the blast furnace, foundry and drill were in full swing, and eventually the rod-iron and manufacturing smiths also started. Rudebeck also built a new manor house building located in approximately the same place as the present building.
The Counts Hamilton
In 1792, new owners came to Huseby; the counts Hamilton took over. The first Hamilton, cavalry captain Axel, expanded the farm by purchasing several nearby farms, and Huseby was transformed into a single large agricultural/works unit. Two of Axel’s sons, Hugo and Malcolm Hamilton, soon took over the operations at Huseby and much of the outer environment is a remnant of their time. The large manor house was completed in 1844, and most of the buildings that you can see today were restored or rebuilt during the Hamiltons’ time at Huseby. Eventually, though, the counts ended up in financial distress and had to sell Huseby.
A new buyer emerged – Joseph Stephens.