Loftahammar’s rural community centre (hembygdsgård)
Loftahammar’s rural community centre - located in the village of Aleglo on the outskirts of Loftahammar - includes a windmill, a rural folklore museum and a cottage.
The community centre’s windmill is the smaller of two in Aleglo. Erik Jonasson sold the small mill to Loftahammar’s rural community centre in 1947 for 500 kr.
The mill was built in 1851 and was in service until 1932. Because the original interior and equipment remain intact, it is a prime example of rural industry from that period.
The mill is of Dutch design, involving the rotation of the cap and sails towards the wind using poles and a wagon on the ground. It has four floors. The first contains a staff room and sieves. On the second, there are three millstones for groats and grains, which were attached on the third floor. The fourth floor houses the main drive shaft and other mechanisms for transferring drive from the sails.
The rural folklore museum was originally a storage shed for Bolagsgården in Tångered. In 1978 the shed was moved to the rural community centre and is now a museum with a representative collection of tools and fishing gear associated with the local archipelago and its fishing culture. The latest addition to the museum’s collection is a mail cart that was used to run the post between Västra Ed and Loftahammar. It was donated to rural community centre in 2011 by Alf Alvarsson. There is no way of telling how old the cart is, but it is known that it was used until 1920, when the post began to be delivered by bus. On the museum's second floor, the market boat Teresia can be found. Moreover, there is also a “lillöka”, i.e. a light rowing boat with a type of sail typically found in the northern Tjust archipelago.
The merchant boat Teresia
Teresia was donated to community centre in 1956 by Gerhard Andersson, from Tallholmen. The merchant boat is a fine example of rural handcraft and a valuable remnant from a bygone archipelago culture.
Before the boat was lifted up to the museum’s second floor in 1978, it was stored beneath a simple roof in the garden in front of the mill.
Teresia was constructed in 1893 by boatbuilder Anders Johan Andersson, or ”Anders Jan”, (1834-1906) in Hallmare, Loftahammar. The boat had both oars and sails, and was used for the transportation of goods to markets in Linköping via the Göta canal. She is 10.5 metres long, 3.2 metres wide and the depth without cargo measured 0.6 metres.
Teresia came into service as a merchant boat in 1912, and was used to transport different types of cargo around the archipelago. At most, it could take 33 barrels of salted herring. Every year at the beginning of July, it was taken to Linköping market. It took 8 men to row Teresia; 4 men rowed whilst the other 4 rested in the cabin. The journey usually took 2 to 3 days, although the fastest was reportedly completed in 27 hours. Journeys to Linköping stopped around 1940 when they were replaced by those by car. Teresia’s roll in the archipelago then became to transport hay, straw and firewood.
The cottage (Sw: ryggåsstugan) was donated to the rural community centre in 1986 by Västervik’s municipality.
The cottage is a one-storey building without ceilings which in earlier times was the usual form of houses for commoners in the Nordic countries.
The cottage was moved from its original location in Loftahammar village to the folklore centre in Aleglo, where it was renovated. Primarily, it is used as a coffee house, but also for mini-exhibitions showing old crafts items and children's clothing.
Aleglo hamlet is located about 1 kilometre from the church in Loftahammar. The village was mentioned as early as the 13 century when Magnus Ladulås was King. In the name Aleglo, the words “Ale” and "glo" are found, the latter meaning a small cut-off bay. Aleglo hamlet is said to be the mainland’s only hamlet with two windmills. The small mill was used until 1932, when the sails broke. The miller at the time then bought the large mill, which was powered by an oil engine until 1937 and then with electricity. By 1967 the large mill was no longer in use. The large mill is now a permanent private residence.
Loftahammar’s rural community society
Loftahammar’s rural community society was founded in 1947. The society bought the small windmill for 500kr and at the same time secured the plot of land on which it stands. In 1967, the society were gifted the land surrounding the mill by the families of Tage Stenhammar and Holger Egmyr.
In addition to maintaining their buildings and collections, the current society is actively involved in the following activities: the Valborg bonfire celebrations at Kapelludden, pilgrimages, village hikes on the archipelago’s islands, national day celebrations on the 6th of June, diverse activity days during July at the rural community centre, Loftahammar’s exhibition in August, and the centre’s Christmas market in December.